17th Circuit Court
Alternative Dispute Resolution Office
Guidelines for Determining Approval of Advanced Mediator Training ADR Plan Oversight Committee for Kent County
The purpose of Advanced Mediator Training (AMT) is for approved mediators to improve their skills and knowledge in the practice of mediation. The AMT subcommittee of the ADR Plan Oversight Committee will assist the ADR Supervisor with decisions regarding approval of trainings under MCR 2.411(F)(4) and 3.216(G)(3) if there is question about qualification. The following is a guideline to assist in the decision-making and is not intended to be all-inclusive.
- Examples of AMT topics that would most likely be approved:
- Elements of mediation
- Screening cases for mediation
- Domestic violence
- Mediation theory
- New developments in the field of mediation
- Improving specific mediation skills
- Specialty mediation skills, e.g., transformative, victim-offender, guardianship, and special education.
- Negotiation theory
- Conflict theory
- Issues in family conflict resolution including family dynamics
- Programs that have received approval from SCAO
Most, if not all, of the above-mentioned topics offered by the following entities are approved:
- Dispute Resolution Center
- Michigan State Bar
- GRBA Family Law Section
- Zena Zumeta
- Michigan Council of Family and Divorce Mediators
- GRBA ADR Section
- Michigan Judicial Institute
- SCAO Office of Dispute Resolution
- Examples of topics that would most likely not be approved are:
- Substantive areas of the law
In addition, credit toward the 8 hours required each two years could be as follows:
- Up to two hours of self-instruction for reading a book, watching a video or on-line instruction whose subject matter pertains to the above-entitled AMT topics. The title and author must be provided to the ADR Clerk.
- Up to four hours of self-development for teaching or coaching. For each hour of direct teaching, a credit can be earned. For each four hours of coaching completed, a credit of one hour can be earned. Proof of activity must be provided to the ADR Clerk.
- At least two hours of AMT must be direct instruction in one of the approved topics.
The rationale for approving these additional activities is that the sub-committee could not differentiate between watching a video presentation and sitting in the audience of the same seminar. Certainly, attendance at the seminar is encouraged and earns the participant full credit toward the AMT requirement. However, the video presentation provides value, and it is reflected in the mediator earning less credit.
If a participant receives credit toward the AMT requirement for attending a seminar, the seminar facilitator ought to receive some credit toward his/her AMT. The ultimate goal is to encourage the development of advanced skills and knowledge through learning and practice.