Questions to ask when selecting a family mediator

1. Is the mediator accredited: 

Whilst a large number of people have trained as family mediators comparatively few have done enough mediation of a sufficiently high standard to be accredited.  The mediator you see at Cheltenham Mediation Services will be an accredited member of one of the professional bodies recognised by the Family Mediation Council.

2. When did the mediator train as a family mediator:

Nicholas von Benzon trained as a mediator in 1992 and was accredited by the Family Mediators Association the following year.  Jacqui Kyne trained in 2006 and was accredited by National Family Mediation in 2008.

3. How many mediations does the mediator currently do each year?

In reality many mediators do very little mediation. 

At Cheltenham Mediation Services our mediators each conduct between 50 and 100 mediations a year and in addition each see several hundred clients for MIAMs (Mediation Assessment and Information Meetings). 

4. Does the mediator work full time as a family mediator, or is it merely a part-time activity?

The mediator you see at Cheltenham Mediation Services will be a full time mediator.  For the majority of mediators, family mediation will take up only a small proportion of their time.

5 Has the Mediation Service been awarded the Mediation Quality Mark?

This is a Government supported Quality Mark which Cheltenham Mediation Services has been awarded.

6. Is the service contracted to the Legal Aid Agency? 

Services, like Cheltenham Mediation Services, which are contracted to the Legal Aid Agency have to work to recognised quality standards and are regularly audited by the Agency.  Only services with the Mediation Quality mark can offer you free legal aid.

7. Will the mediator charge you extra for signing for Court application form following a MIAM?

Some mediation services may appear to charge less for your MIAM but then make an additional charge for signing the MIAM certificate required by the Court.  Cheltenham Mediation Services fee for your MIAM includes the certificate and any correspondence or telephone calls we may make as a result of seeing you.  Our charges for each subsequent mediation meeting include the preparatory and other work associated with that meeting.

8. Does the mediation reduce its fees for those who are less well off?

At Cheltenham Mediation Services we offer reduced fees to those who, although not eligible for legal aid, have income and capital which falls below certain limits.