Mediation Training FAQ

Get answers to your questions about mediation, EMA and our courses

I want to become a mediator. What course do I take first? Is EMA right for someone that wants to practice beyond commercial mediation?

Depending upon your background and area of interest, we recommend starting with the Mediation Skills Course. There you will learn the key principles that all mediators should know as well as how to apply them in the real world of mediation. This course, organized around a filmed, two-party mediation, deconstructs the mediation process into predictable stages, with guidance and expertise from industry pioneers. It is for individuals who wish to work in commercial mediation, community mediation or mediate in the workplace. Our students learn how to mediate formal disputes, including those in litigation, as well as proactively prevent disputes.

There are many careers in the mediation field and this is a very exciting time to become a mediator. Here is a video from our course you may find of interest:  Many different mediation careers

I have been a mediator for a few years now. Do you have any courses that would help me take my practice to the next level? Perhaps start to work in commercial mediation?

Our Advanced Mediation skills course is perfect for those who have experience mediating.  It is taught around a full, 5 party complex case. The course assumes you have a basic understanding of the mediation process (including nuances of the various stages of mediation) and takes the training from there. It is a 45 hours course and includes a one hour consultation with Bruce Edwards.  

How do I register for a course with Edwards Mediation Academy?

Registering for an Edwards Mediation Academy course is quite easy. Just go to the course page that you are interested in and click the purchase button. Follow the prompts from there.  

How much does it cost to enroll at Edwards Mediation Academy?

Prices vary by course and you can find the information on our website.  

Once you purchase a course, you become a lifetime member of EMA with access to webinars, recordings, member newsletter and other events.  

Does Edwards Mediation Academy offer any discounts?

We offer discounts for students, seniors, military, educators and non profit organizations.  All we ask is that you provide either an current ID or some other form of verification. Reach out to us by email: for more information.  

Once I purchase a course, how long do I have access to my course? How long will my membership last?

Course access is set at 6 months (industry standard) but we appreciate that life gets in the way sometimes.  If you are having a hard time completing, just reach out and ask for an extension. You will receive a notice 2 weeks before your course is due to expire to remind you.  

Once you are a member of EMA (once you have purchased a course) you are a member for life and will have access to our member-only webinars, newsletter and other events for as long as you would like. All member-only recordings are on the course page and all members have access.

Can I get CLE credit for your courses?


Our Mediation Skills Course has been approved by the California Bar Association for 31 hours of CLE, including 2.5 Ethics hours and 2.5 hours toward Bias. 

Our Advanced Mediation Skills Course has been approved by the California Bar Association for 35.75 hours of CLE, including 2 Ethics hours.

Our Mediation Advocacy Course has been approved by the California Bar Association for 30.75 hours of CLE, including .5 Legal Ethics and .75 Bias. 

Our Ethics in Mediation Course has been approved by the California Bar Association for 3.5 hours of CLE.  


Many states offer reciprocity with the CA Bar and our courses are approved in those states. Other states provide CLEs for our courses by individual application. If you have questions about specific states, please reach out to us or to your State Bar Association. We can provide you with a course agenda and the CalBar approval letter to assist in obtaining CLEs.

What makes EMA online courses better than others?

We have received great feedback from our students who tell us that what they learned from EMA courses is directly applicable to their mediation work. We believe that’s because in developing our online courses, we take great care to provide the practical mediation skills our students need, wherever they are located in the world. EMA mediation courses are developed in partnership with top instructional designers, and they leverage the latest in adult learning research. They incorporate a self-paced format and exclusive shadow videos of a complete mediation.

EMA courses are designed for deeper learning and maximum retention of mediation skills. Moreover, they are structured for the convenience of each student; to be taken in the student’s own environment and on their own timetable.

Our courses enable you to:

  • Learn at your own speed – When concepts are presented over time, rather than in one sitting or daylong workshop, students can embed their knowledge in long-term memory instead of short-term awareness. Concepts “stick.”
  • Strengthen what you have already learned – Each time students return to a course, their brain retrieves and repeats what they have previously learned, which strengthens their learning connections as they move forward.
  • Reflect on the learning – EMA courses encourage self-reflection and provide time for learners to think about the content and apply it as they move through course modules.
  • Optimize learning through interleaving – When students have time to meaningfully absorb new concepts, their brains are concurrently making connections with other knowledge. This interleaving of multiple learning experiences leads to more lasting learning.

EMA’s goal is NOT to diminish the value of a live training format. In fact, if you review our events page or social media pages, you’ll see that Bruce Edwards continues to devote time conducting face-to-face training all over the globe. EMA online courses provide a unique alternative for students who don’t have the opportunity to travel or take time away from their office or family to attend a quality face-to-face training taught by true mediation experts in distant locations.

This blog may help.  

How do I become a certified mediator?

This is a very confusing and controversial topic and depends entirely upon where you wish to practice. 

In the United State, unlike other countries, there are currently no national requirements or standards for qualification to practice mediation. And although a few organizations are marketing themselves as the a national certification organization, that is completely misleading.

Many courts and other private service providers in the US do have requirements to be on their panel. But that is different from being certified to practice as a mediator in the US. If you are interested in mediating on a specific court panel or with a private service provider, we recommend that you reach out to them directly to learn more about their specific requirements (they all differ). We’ve had many students come to us and ask for course materials to provide to courts and panels and they have been successful in joining after taking an Edwards Mediation Academy course.  

Internationally, there are many different organizations that will provide you with a mediation certification.  However, as you can read in the attached blog by Bruce Edwards, the most important consideration for you should be the quality of the instruction in any course. Many programs are taught by those that have very little experience actually mediating and while they have taken courses or read books on the theory of mediation, it is very difficult to train someone in the moment to moment decision making without extensive experience sitting in the mediator’s chair. 

Once you successfully complete an Edwards Mediation Academy course, you are granted a certificate and lifetime membership. 

How can I get started in a career in mediation?

Your first step should be to take a mediation skills course that will teach you the process of mediation,  the principles of mediation, and, most importantly, how to apply those in the real world of conflict resolution. From there, continue to work on your softer skills: emotional intelligence and communication (in all its forms). Make a list of your strengths and those areas where you need to improve. From there, start an action plan.  

We do offer a few alternatives to help you as you go forward to develop your career: The very last module of the Mediation Skills Course is on Developing your Career.  Additionally, we have a separate course called Developing Your Career in Mediation which is focused on not just on career options but also works with you to develop the framework for a marketing and business plan.  

How long does mediation take?

The answer totally depends upon the mediation, the dispute that led to the mediation, the parties involved, and the level of emotion in the dispute. No two mediations are alike, therefore it is very difficult to answer that question.

Having said that, most court annexed mediations are shorter than multi-party commercial cases. Two party cases can often be resolved in a day or so but that is not always the case.  Larger multi-party cases can often take a year or more to resolve.  

Where do I go if I have other question about mediation or about your courses?

Please reach out to Susan Franson Edwards if you have any further questions. You may reach out by WhatsApp (+1 415 272 6085) or  by email.


Bruce A. Edwards

Bruce is one of the pioneers in developing mediation to resolve commercial disputes in the United States. He has been a professional mediator since 1986 and has mediated over 8000 disputes. Bruce was a co-founder and former chairman of the board of directors of JAMS. In 2023 he joined Signature Resolution to continue his mediation practice while pursuing his passion for delivering high-quality mediation training through Edwards Mediation AcademyBruce has consistently received recognition for his work as a mediator, most recently being accepted into the inaugural edition of Who’s Who in ADR by ADR Times 2022; once again recognized as a Best Lawyer in the ADR category by Best Lawyers® 2022 and recognized as a Global Elite Thought Leader and Mediator in the US by Who’s Who Legal, 2023.