How to Become a Mediator

NCRC maintains a roster of trained and experienced mediators. A selection committee meets quarterly to assess program needs and to fill openings in the mediator corps from a waiting list.

Interested candidates should send a letter and resume outlining their skills, mediation training and experience to Mediator Selection Committee at NCRC, 530 B Street, Suite 1700, San Diego, CA 92101

With some exceptions, new mediators are chosen from among the approximately 20 annual graduates of the NCRC Mediator Credential for having the training, observation and experience necessary to be effective mediators.

General mediator skills that NCRC looks for are the ability to appear neutral, to listen well and to guide disputing parties through a process that brings them to a resolution. Language skills as well as cultural and geographic diversity may be selection priorities during some screening periods.

NCRC mediators usually maintain their outside occupations and mediate for NCRC on an "as needed" basis. Some are more active than others. Over 50 occupations are represented in the mediator corps, including education, engineering, business, mental health, medicine and law enforcement.

New mediators generally are assigned as co-mediators with more experienced mediators in small claims cases and community cases. As mediators gain expertise, they may be given opportunities to serve on one or more special mediator panels such as: Court, Parent–Teen, Real Estate, Probate or Workplace. Experienced NCRC mediators often mediate solo.

New NCRC mediators make a commitment to donate 10 hours per month for a one-year apprenticeship that includes ongoing monthly training. Traditionally, many NCRC mediators have stayed for years beyond the initial commitment.

What is the NCRC Mediator Credential?

Offered to serious practitioners since 1993, the NCRC Mediator Credential is a certificate awarded to mediators who have demonstrated basic competency through a three-pronged curriculum: 30 hours of mediator skills training, a supervised experiential internship and a detailed performance evaluation. The experiential component includes two observations and eight mediations.

Prior training and experience may entitle an applicant to a waiver of some or all of the first two components and an adjusted fee. There is no prerequisite educational background to apply for the NCRC Mediator Credential. Enrollment may begin at any time throughout the year based on availability. There is usually a waiting list to begin the program. Average completion time for the credential is nine months to a year.

What if I’m not sure I want to apply for the NCRC Mediator Credential?

The first part of the credential, the training component, may be taken as a stand-alone activity that can apply toward the credential for up to two years. The training component is satisfied by NCRC’s four-day (32-hour) Introductory Mediation Skills Training generally offered three different times during each calendar year. The course is open to the public. Enrollment is limited to provide opportunity for effective interaction between training faculty and enrollees.
Click here for more information.

Does NCRC ever pay its mediators?

The majority of NCRC mediators volunteer their services in return for the training and experience they receive through their affiliation with NCRC. Thanks to these volunteers, NCRC is able to provide accessible community and Small Claims mediation services throughout the county.

The mediators on the West Coast Resolution Group Panels and Divorce Mediation Group panels are paid at their per hour rate. However, they typically come to NCRC with a book of business and an existing client list. If you are interested in joining one of these panels and have a successful mediation business, please contact us at