When I go to the store there are some products that I will purchase that are generic, and there are quite a few other products that I only purchase the national brand. Peanut butter is one of those items. I will only purchase a national brand because I can taste the difference.
A Certified Mediator (CM) is similar to a national brand. When you select one you have some surety about the quality, experience and education of the CM. Most states have a mediation association and these professional associations provide credentialing criteria in order to obtain the CM designation. Many also provide additional credentialing for a “family” designation. You can find a Certified Mediator from one of these association sites. For instance, in Montana, you can access a directory of all CMs on their website: mtmediation.org/profiles/index.php
When you select a mediator, always choose a Certified Mediator. You should check their certification status and ensure that they have been certified (branded) by a legitimate credentialing authority. Ask the mediator where they obtained their certification, and check that association if you have any questions about the experience level required to become certified. Since there is not a statutory regulatory agency governing all mediators nationwide, you will need to do a little homework in your state to ensure you have selected a qualified CM with the background and experience that meet your particular dispute needs.
Theresa Doty is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.