Virginia's Judicial System


Certification Requirements

In Virginia, mediators may be certified pursuant to the Guidelines for the Training and Certification of Court-Referred Mediators established by the Judicial Council of Virginia. You must have earned a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree to qualify for certification as a court-referred mediator in Virginia. You may apply for a waiver of this requirement by submitting a letter to Dispute Resolution Services, describing your relevant work and life experience. The letter must be accompanied by a resume and two letters of recommendation that address your oral and written communication skills.  Additional information may be requested.  If certification is your objective, you should seek a waiver prior to beginning mediation training.

Mediators may be certified in four categories: General District Court (GDC), Circuit Court-Civil (CCC), Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (J&DR), and Circuit Court-Family (CCF). Some mediators are certified as both general and family mediators.

Following is a brief description of the certification requirements.  Please see the Guidelines for the Training and Certification of Court-Referred Mediators for a more detailed description of the requirements.

General District Court (GDC)certification requires at least 20 hours of Basic Mediation training, a 4-hour course on Virginia's Judicial System, two general mediation observations and three general co-mediations with a certified Mentor.  Mediators with GDC certification are qualified to mediate civil cases arising in the General District Court such as contracts, personal injury, employment disputes, small claims, or landlord-tenant disputes.

Circuit Court-Civil (CCC) certification requires at least 20 hours of Basic Mediation training, 20 hours of advanced civil training, a 4-hour course on Virginia's Judicial System, two circuit court mediation observations and five circuit court co-mediations with a certified Mentor.  Mediators with CCC certification are qualified to mediate civil cases arising in the Circuit Court such as medical malpractice, person injury, contracts, or condemnation. 

Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (J&DR)certification requires at least 20 hours of Basic, 20 hours of Family, a 4-hour course on Virginia's Judicial System, an 8-hour course on Screening for and Dealing with Domestic Abuse in the Mediation Context, two family mediation observations and five family co-mediations with a certified Mentor.   Mediators with J&DR certification are qualified to mediate cases arising in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, such as custody, visitation or support matters.

Circuit Court-Family (CCF) certification requires at least 20 hours of Basic, 20 hours of Family, 12 hours of advanced family training, a 4-hour course on Virginia's Judicial System, an 8-hour course on Screening for and Dealing with Domestic Abuse in the Mediation Context, two circuit family mediation observations and five circuit family co-mediations with a certified Mentor.  Mediators with CCF certification are qualified to mediate family cases arising in the Circuit Court such as equitable distribution.