Volunteer Mediator Training

Get involved - your community needs you

Do you like helping people? Do you want to help promote peaceful ways to resolve conflict in your community? Can you listen to others without passing judgment? As a volunteer mediator, you can help neighbors resolve conflicts, help youth learn new skills to handle conflict, offer inmates a chance to make a re-entry plan, help parents create parenting plans to meet everyone’s needs and create a community that uses a problem-solving process instead of the courts.

The process

New applications for the basic mediator training are accepted on a rolling basis. Once a year, Harford County Community Mediation Program (HCCMP) receives the funding to offer a free training. These seats are in high demand. On average, we receive about 35 applicants for about 16 seats each year. Prospective volunteers submit an application and may be invited to go through a very competitive selection process, which includes a phone interview and a three-hour orientation before final selections are made.

Volunteer acceptance

While HCCMP understands that people lead busy lives, we are offering a unique and selective opportunity to become one of our volunteer mediators. We will only accept those volunteers who are available and can make a commitment to attend the full training and consistently fulfill their volunteer commitment.

Training & apprenticeship

The training and apprenticeship process includes basic mediation training and an apprenticeship (two observations and two mediations with an experienced mediator). After volunteering with HCCMP for a minimum of 100 hours within one calendar, following the training and apprenticeship, the volunteer will receive a Certificate of Training. The 100 hours this average to mediating twice per month, but can include outreach and office work of about 10 hours per month. 

Application package

Interested in applying? Click here.

Training philosophy

Basic mediation training (free in exchange for volunteering) is offered through us by Community Mediation Maryland. Below is more on their training.

Community Mediation Maryland

The following information was adapted from the Community Mediation Maryland website.

CMM uses experiential learning to teach listening and conflict resolution skills, which means:

  • People learn from their own and each other’s experiences
  • Exercises are used to create an experience in the room and then the group processes what we can learn from that experience to be effective in conflict
  • As the participants learn skills, they practice them and gain experience with the skills through skill-building exercises and role-plays

Safe learning environment

To allow for effective experiential learning and to create space for trying out new skills and making mistakes, the class begins by building community and creating a safe learning environment. As a safe learning environment is created for the training participants, the group learns about what it takes to create an environment safe enough for those in conflict to be honest, be open to listening, learn from their differences, and be open to collaboration.

Direct, honest feedback

Finally, CMM trainers are committed to direct, honest, and constructive feedback. Trainers give honest and direct feedback to support learning and to ensure that everyone knows what they have mastered and what they need to work on. In this way, participants are able to learn how the skills fit them as individuals and how they can use the skills in the “heat” of conflict.

Trainers are always learning

Perhaps the most important aspect of the CMM training philosophy is that trainers are always learning themselves. Throughout any training, as trainers develop new ways to customize their explanations and answers to the learning needs of the group, they discover a new aspect of conflict resolution and training. Therefore, while trainers believe the skills and training approach are strong, they consider them a work in progress and constantly improving.