The Florida Supreme Court certifies mediators in a number of different specialty areas. In order to become a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator, an applicant must meet the education requirement, complete a Florida Supreme Court approved mediation certification course in the area of certification sought, observe and/or co-mediate a number of mediation cases in that area and have good moral character. To become certified as a Family, Dependency or Circuit Court Mediator, a mediator must meet the minimum point requirements in all categories and obtain a total of 100 points according to the point system established by the Florida Supreme Court. View the temporarily revised point system chart for 2021 here which reduces the total point requirements to 70 points for family mediator certification and 60 points for dependency mediator certification.
This page contains a brief introduction to the requirements to become certified as a Family, Dependency and Circuit Court Mediator. At the bottom of the page you'll find a link to a more detailed explanation provided by the Florida Dispute Resolution Center that addresses other areas of mediator certification as well. As the below summary does not spell out everything in full detail, professionals are encouraged to view the link at the bottom of the page for the final word on mediator certification.
Individuals with a M.A., M.S., Ph.D., J.D., M.D., Ed.D., LL.M or possibly a similar advanced degree meet the educational requirement for certification as a Family, Dependency and Circuit Court Mediator. Individuals with a bachelor's degree may be eligible if they have completed a graduate level conflict resolution certificate program or already have extensive mediation experience. The link at the bottom of the page provides more information about earning additional points with a graduate certificate in conflict resolution or from prior mediation experience. The amount of points that are earned toward mediator certification depends upon the specific education and experience of the applicant. Applicants must obtain a minimum of 25 points to satisfy the education/mediation experience requirement.
In addition to meeting the education and experience requirements, applicants must also complete a Florida Supreme Court approved mediation training program in the area of certification that they seek and complete all certification requirements within two years of completing the mediation certification course. Except as permitted until December 31, 2021, training must be in a live format, and the Florida Supreme Court does not approve online mediation certification courses. An applicant earns 30 points for successful completion of a mediation certification course.
Another mediator certification requirement involves observing or co-mediating mediation cases in the area in which certification is sought and with a mediator certified by the Florida Supreme Court to mediate that type of case. In the mediator qualification point system established by the Florida Supreme Court, applicants earn five points for observing a mediation session and ten points for co-mediating a case. Observations are not counted toward mediator certification until the mediator begins the mediation course and co-mediations do not count toward certification until the course is completed. The mediator must observe and/or co-mediate with at least two different Florida Supreme Court certified mediators in the area of mediator certification sought by the mediator. Participating as a party or attorney in a mediation does not count as an observation or co-mediation. A minimum of thirty points must be earned in the mentorship category for Family and Circuit Court Mediation and a minimum of forty points is required for Dependency Mediation. The mentorship requirements for 2021 have been reduced and more details can be found at the links provided elsewhere on this webpage.
There is no requirement that mentorship be conducted in person. Observations and supervised mediations are permitted to be conducted by remote electronic means, either by audio or audio-visual communication equipment. Mediation certification applications may contain electronic signatures of mentors in relation to all mentorship activity claimed. When submitting a mentor's electronic signature, applicants must also include an email from the mentor verifying that the electronically signed mentorship form contains the mentor’s signature.
Applicants can also earn miscellaneous points which can be applied toward meeting the total point requirement if they 1) are currently licensed or certified in any United States jurisdiction in psychology, accounting, social work, mental health, health care, education, or the practice of law or mediation; 2) can demonstrate a conversational ability in a foreign language according to the Court's requirement, 3) have successfully completed certain mediation training programs (minimum 30 hours in length) which was certified or approved by a jurisdiction other than Florida and not approved by the Florida Supreme Court and 4) are already certified as a mediator by the Florida Supreme Court in another area of certification. A link to more details regarding how these points may be applied and the specific requirements for these additional points are found below.
Mediators must have good moral character. If there are good moral character issues, there is a special process established by the Florida Supreme Court to determine if an applicant would be barred from being certified as a mediator.
Please see How to Become A Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator for a more detailed explanation of the Florida mediator certification requirements for 2021 as well as after 2021.
IMPORTANT: Pursuant to Florida Supreme Court Administrative Court Order No. AOSC20-24 (and as later amended on December 16, 2020), requirements for Mediator training and certification have been temporarily modified due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Until December 31, 2021, mediator certification courses may be taught online and mentorship requirements have been reduced. Please click How to Become a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator for a more detailed explanation of the Florida mediator certification requirements for 2021 and after 2021.
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