Certification is required of all mediators participating in the Mediated Settlement Conference (MSC) Program, whether a mediator is serving pursuant to party-selection or a court appointment.
Certification criteria are set forth in Mediated Settlement Conference (MSC) Rule 8.
To become certified, an applicant must
- Meet threshold education and work experience requirements, and
- Meet mediation training, observation, good character requirements.
Threshold education and work experience requirements
- Attorney applicants for MSC certification must be licensed in N.C. or elsewhere and have at least five years of legal practice experience.
- Non-attorney applicants for MSC certification must have either:
- A 4-year degree from an accredited institution of higher education and 10 years of relatively high-level management or professional experience.
- A 4-year degree from an accredited institution of higher education, completed 20 hours of mediation training, conducted 30 mediations over a minimum of 3 years, and have 4 years of management or professional experience. -OR-
- A master’s degree or doctoral degree in alternative dispute resolution studies from an accredited institution and 5 years of relatively high-level management or professional experience.
The Commission has adopted MSC Rule 8(a)(2)(b)(3) which further clarify the type of threshold experience the Commission is seeking in non-attorney applicants. If you have any question about your eligibility to be certified, you may contact the Commission and seek an MSC Provisional Pretraining Packet to be certified prior to registering for training.
Training and Observation Requirements
All applicants must:
- Complete at least a 40-hour MSC training program, except that applicants who are FFS certified or who have completed training in another State may complete a 16-hour training program (applicants who completed training in another State, may contact the Commission’s office and apply for partial credit);
- Complete two observations of mediations (contact DRC staff at DRCMediators@nccourts.org to request information on the observation video);
- Demonstrate good moral character;
- Submit an approved application form;
- Pay all certification fees, and additional processing charge; and
- Agree to serve without charge parties who lack the ability to pay.
In addition, all Attorney applicants not licensed in N.C. must:
- Complete an independent study of N.C. court structure, legal terminology, and civil procedure, and
- Provide three letters of reference at least one of which is from an individual with knowledge of the applicant’s practice as an attorney.
In addition, all Non-Attorney applicants must:
- Complete a 6-hour prerequisite course on N.C. court organization, legal terminology and civil court procedure, before enrolling in the 40-hour training course,
- Complete three additional observations (contact DRC staff at DRCMediators@nccourts.org to request information on the observation video), and
- Provide three letters of reference, including at least one letter from a person with knowledge of the applicant’s work experience.
The Commission has adopted a number of policies intended to clarify MSC certification requirements.
The Dispute Resolution Commission certifies mediation training programs.
Fee to be assessed for mediator certifications and renewal of certifications.