Family & divorce mediation training

    Accredited mediation training for legal practitioners -

    Become a NABFAM accredited family and divorce mediator

    Attending this course in mediation will provide you with a start-to-finish process in applying for accreditation by NABFAM (The National Accreditation Board for Family Mediators) as a mediator in family and divorce dispute resolution.

    This 52-hour course provides bespoke training for legal practitioners. It is unique from other mediation training courses in that it is a combination of the foundation training (40 hours) and the applied psychology training (12 hours), which is compulsory for legal practitioners who seek accreditation in family and divorce mediation. Additionally, delegates have the option to partake in 10 hours of role-play as a substitute for the 3 supervised mediation sessions. Read on for more details.

    Course Content

    The route to accreditation

    To become an accredited mediator in family and divorce disputes, you must complete two components, namely:

    1. A theoretical component, consisting of

      1. 40-hour foundation Divorce and Family Mediation Training; AND

      2. 12-hour Applied Psychology for Family Mediators.

    2. A practical component achieved through completing

      1. 3 mediation sessions supervised by an accredited mediator; OR

      2. 10 hours of supervised role-play (where you spend 5 hours in the mediator role).

    Once the candidate has received certificates for both the theoretical and practical components, he/she can apply for accreditation at any NABFAM-affiliated body.

    Our certificates will be sufficient proof that the candidate meets the theoretical and practical requirements for accreditation.

    The 52-hour course

    • The course is made up of 30 hours online sessions, consisting of 21 hours theory and 9 hours role-play. (The 9 hours role-play here is not to be confused with the additional 10 hours role-play, which is one of the two options for the practical component. All candidates participate in the 9 hours role-play as it forms part of the 52-hour foundation training.)

    • The remaining 22 hours is for self-study before, during and after the course.

    • The 30 hours online sessions run over 6 mornings and are spread over three weeks – two mornings per week.

    • All online sessions take place in the mornings from 8:30-13:30.

    • As part of the 22 hours self-study, attendees must complete and hand in an assignment.

    • After successful completion, a certificate of satisfactory attendance of the theoretical component will be issued.

    Logistics & details

    • The course is available in English or Afrikaans. English and Afrikaans classes run simultaneously in different Zoom sessions. Upon registration, you can indicate your language of preference. Participants attending in Afrikaans will receive the study material in both Afrikaans and English.

    • All sessions are presented online via Zoom and are interactive.

    • Role-play will be conducted in breakout sessions on Zoom.

    • The class size for the 52-hour course is limited to a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 24 participants to ensure an interactive class setting.

    • The class size of the 10-hour role-play is limited to a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 participants for focused supervised mediation sessions.

    • Course material is sent electronically in printable PDF-format shortly before the course commences.

    • ALL sessions must be attended in order to receive the certificate. Recordings will not be available.

    • The course is presented by two highly experienced mediators, both with a legal background.

    Course Content

    Certificates and accreditation

    • The course is listed on NABFAM's accredited courses list under Melindi van Rooyen and Claire Penfold Divorce and Family Mediation & Applied Psychology Training for Lawyers (52 hrs).

    • Please note: The Gawie le Roux Institute of Law does not issue a certificate of accreditation. This is issued by any NABFAM-affiliated body upon application by the candidate.

    • However, the attendance certificates that we issue, indicate that the candidate has successfully completed the relevant component of the family and divorce mediation training.

    • After completing the theoretical component, a candidate must still complete the practical component – either through role-play or supervised mediation sessions.

    • Once the candidate has received certificates for both the theoretical and practical components, he/she can apply for accreditation at any NABFAM-affiliated body.

    • Our certificates will be sufficient proof that the candidate meets the theoretical and practical requirements for accreditation.

    Course Content

    Features of the course

    1. Features of the theoretical component

    • This course provides mediation skills and strategies in the field of family and divorce disputes.

    • It is a 52-hour online course, which was specifically designed for legal practitioners like advocates and attorneys.

    • It addresses the legal, financial, cultural, ethical, and psychological aspects of mediation in this field.

    • The unique combination of the basic mediation skills and the applied psychology provides legal practitioners with high quality training which meets the requirements for accreditation and is presented in a comfortable timeframe.

    • The training is presented in both English and Afrikaans.

    2. Features of the practical component

    • Every NABFAM-accredited body has its own criteria for accreditation, but one general requirement they all have, is that candidates must complete a practical component, consisting either of three individual mediation sessions, or role-play where the candidate is in the mediator role for 5 hours, both under the supervision of an experienced, accredited mediator.

    • Option 1: Three supervised mediation sessions of between one and one-and-a half hours each. This option is ideal for those practitioners who want to mediate disputes of their own clients. These sessions involve either, i) direct supervision during the mediation session, or ii) a mentor-discussion and guidance after the sessions. This is a private arrangement between the candidate and one of the two presenters. The benefit of this option is that candidates are exposed to real-life situations and actual clients.

    • Option 2: 10-hour role-play. The supervisors will present candidates with cases and roles. Candidates can register for this option on our website. The benefit of this option is that candidates gain more exposure by participating in multiple mediation sessions, and experiences what the client feels like in the mediation process. It will prepare them well for their first real-life mediation sessions and no further supervision will be required.

    3. Course outcomes

    • You will receive theoretical and practical knowledge in the following aspects of the mediation process:

      • Mediation skills and strategies.

      • Legal aspects in terms of marriages, co-parenting, and unmarried fathers.

      • Religious and traditional marriages.

      • Financial implications of divorce.

      • Drafting a memorandum of understanding and a parenting plan.

      • Ethical aspects.

      • Co-mediation.

      • Self-awareness.

      • Understanding psychological aspects in family and divorce mediation.

      • The effect of divorce and separation on adults and children.

      • Personality disorders in the context of mediation.

      • The process of how a mediator receives accreditation is a module in the course.

    4. Why mediation instead of litigation?

    • Mediation is an accepted alternative dispute resolution mechanism (ADR).

    • It is increasingly accepted that the traditional adversarial system of litigation, which works well in most other fields of our law, is not well suited to resolving divorce cases and other family disputes. More specifically, the adversarial system aggravates the risk factors of divorce for children.

    • In fact, the advantages of mediation in family matters are highly praised worldwide.

    • Therefore, as a family law practitioner, you will have to make the paradigm shift to broaden and restructure your family law practice to include rendering divorce and family mediation services to your clients.

    • Mediation is already mandatory in parenting issues in terms of the Children’s Act, and since 9 March 2020 mediation must first be considered in family and divorce disputes before any new application or action can be handed in at the High Court.

    • Mediation is an extremely valuable method to resolve disputes between spouses as it creates a platform to settle conflict by seeking mutual solutions, and in the process, to limit the destructive effect of divorce on families.

    • If mediation is conducted by a skilled mediator, it should be a shorter and less exhausting process than conventional litigation.

    • Lastly, apart from mediation being the ethically more correct way, it should be more profitable for your practice over the medium to long term.

    Course Content

    Our Promise

    • This bespoke training in mediation for legal practitioners provides you with a start-to-finish process in meeting the criteria for accreditation.

    • By attending these courses and gaining accreditation, you will be able to attain a whole new skillset and potentially expand your client base.

    • You will benefit from the presenters’ experience in the field, not only learning the theory, but also practicing the skills in a supervised setting.

    Course Content

    What are you waiting for?

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