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Texas has no state mandated requirements for mediator certification or licensing. Court appointed mediators are generally expected to meet the requirements of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 154.052, but the Code allows the court to waive the requirements at its discretion. In the absence of specific legal requirements, the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (TMCA) has established minimum training and experience standards for an ascending level of credentialing, from “Candidate for Credentialed Mediator,” through “Credentialed Mediator,” “Advanced Credentialed Mediator,” to “Distinguished Credentialed Mediator.” Court referred family mediation requires the advanced designation.
Texas Mediator Credentialing Association Requirements
Become familiar with the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics as published by the TMCA. Be sure you understand how mediation is practiced and that you have the patience and temperament to deal with people in conflict.
Find and complete a 40-hour basic mediation training course meeting the requirements of TMCA and the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable. The Austin Dispute Settlement Center (DRC) offers this training several times a year for $950 (check current fee). The Austin DRC website also offers links to other Texas DRCs and mediator resources.
Complete the required number of observations and co-mediations under the supervision of a TMCA credentialed mediator. This can be accomplished with a credentialed mediator in private practice or as a volunteer with an approved Dispute Resolution Center.
Apply for candidate membership with TMCA. As of 2010 annual dues are $50 for candidates who have not yet completed 20 mediations. Candidates who have 20 completed mediations or 125 hours in mediation, which can include up to 30 hours of observation, qualify for “Credentialed” membership. Dues are $100 per year at this level.
After obtaining “Credentialed Mediator,” complete an additional 20 hours of advanced training and conduct an additional 30 mediations. The Austin DRC offers advanced family mediation training once a year in 2010 and 2011 for $545. TMCA “Advanced Credentialed Mediator” dues are $125 per year.
Maintain your credentials by conducting a minimum of 3 mediations a year for “Credentialed” or 10 mediations a year for “Advanced,” plus a minimum of 15 hours continuing education each year.
Colleges and universities also offer mediation training in conjunction with degree programs and as continuing education classes.
Before enrolling in a private mediation training program confirm that the training meets the standards of TMCA and ask how you can meet the requirements for observation and supervised mediation.