Becoming a Commercial Mediator: making the most of your mediation skills

Dr Mike Talbot Blog, Uncategorised

So, you’re an Accredited Interpersonal Mediator: what next?

You’ve completed the accredited mediator training, survived the role-plays, endured the assessment, got your certificate on the wall, and if you haven’t yet completed your first couple of cases, hopefully you’ve at least got one or two lined up.

Workplace disputes, neighbourhood conflicts, working with families, dealing with the whole range of interpersonal fall-outs. These are all within your reach if you’ve qualified and accredited with us as an interpersonal mediator.

But did you know that there is another avenue that might be worth exploring?

Commercial Mediation

Commercial Mediation stretches your skills that little bit further. This involves resolving disputes over purchase and supply, contractual matters, and financial issues. In commercial mediation you use many of the same skills and techniques that you learned as an interpersonal mediator, except certain aspects of the process get turned on their head, so to speak.

This table shows you how:

Interpersonal Mediation Commercial Mediation
What skills are used? Active listening, re-framing, managing behaviour, building consensus, breaking the impasse, exploring options for settlement Active listening, re-framing, managing behaviour, building consensus, breaking the impasse, exploring options for settlement
What boundaries are in place? Confidentiality, voluntary participation, without prejudice Confidentiality, voluntary participation, without prejudice
Who attends? The disputing parties only The parties and their representatives, experts, employees, family members, etc.
What sorts of disputes can be resolved? Workplace disputes: bullying, harassment, grievance-type issues; neighbourhood and intra-family disputes, complaints, any kind of interpersonal fall-out Disputes over purchase & supply, financial & contractual matters, employment settlement agreements, anything that would otherwise be settled in a court or tribunal
How are the meetings structured? Individual sessions with each party, with the substantive work done in a joint session A brief joint session at the start of the day, with the substantive work done in separate shuttle sessions
What is the outcome? A non-binding agreement to change behaviours and conduct An agreement that is usually made into a binding contract by the lawyers
Which professionals can conduct it? Anyone with an accredited qualification such as the Interpersonal Mediation Practitioner’s Certificate Anyone with an accredited qualification such as the Commercial Mediation Practitioner’s Certificate


Got your interest?

In fact, a lot of the commercial mediators who undertake an externally accredited Commercial Mediation qualification with us have already trained in some other form of mediation AND they might have trained with another provider, in the UK or elsewhere, before they undertake our Commercial Mediation Practitioner’s Certificate.

So, good news: if you want to add the skills of commercial mediation to your already-overflowing toolkit, you don’t have to go back to scratch. We can build on your existing skills with our conversion courses, whether you have trained in family mediation, neighbourhood mediation, workplace mediation or any other model. Our Commercial Mediation conversion course will get you an externally accredited qualification, and set you up to resolve an even wider range of disputes. All you need is to have trained on an externally accredited course, with us or anyone else, and you can undertake a three-day intensive to become a commercial mediator: building on your existing skills, opening up more earning opportunities, and getting you ready to enter the fascinating arena of commercial disputes.


Dr Mike Talbot is the founder and CEO of UK Mediation.

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