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Become a Mediator

Basic Mediation Training

Most people looking to become mediators with Mediation West take the 30-hour basic mediation training from the Nebraska Mediation Association (NMA) to get their start. For more information about basic mediation training from NMA, click here. All of the following Basic Mediation courses have been pre-approved by the Supreme Court’s Office of Dispute Resolution:

  • Nebraska Mediation Association
  • University of Nebraska College of Law
  • Creighton’s Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Graduate program
  • Creighton Law/Werner Institute
  • UNO with instructor Cindy Tierney (instructor Katie Welsh's class was not submitted for pre-approval, but may meet the requirements; students can submit a copy of the syllabus to ODR for consideration)

Those who have taken a basic mediation training other than those listed above can seek to receive approval through the Office of Dispute Resolution. ODR will be looking for the following requirements in the training you participated in:

In order to determine approval of your Basic Mediation Training, additional documentation is required as follows:

Submit your forms and documentation together. Once reviewed by ODR you will be informed if any additional steps are required. If you have any questions during the application process, contact ODR at

Bridge Training

If there are additional deficiencies in your training that keep you from receiving ODR approval, Mediation West may be able to provide supplemental training or opportunities for role play opportunities, or click here to learn more about supplemental training offered through NMA that may meet your needs. 

Family Mediation Training

Family mediation training is an advanced training designed for individuals who want to work with families where parents have separated or are in the process of separating for the development of parenting plans for parenting minor children from two households. 

For most families, approaching a parenting plan from the perspective of how they can best co-parent builds a plan for family success. Families experiencing a higher level of conflict may rely on a mediator to help them develop a plan for parallel parenting. 

Mediators affiliating with Mediation West who want to work with families on parenting plans must work toward becoming Parenting Act-approved unless they are active members of the Bar. To become Parenting Act-approved, you will need to finish the training as specified below and apprentice with supervisory mediators. From your apprenticeship, you will need to submit the following to the Office of Dispute Resolution:

  • 3 self-evaluations from 3 different cases
  • 3 supervisory evaluations from at least two supervisors
  • 2 sets of client evaluations 
  • 1 IPS observation form
  • 1 parenting plan that you have written (for an actual case, or one you write for a fictional family if none of your mediations resulted in a full agreement) 

Because the requirements for becoming Parenting Act-approved are specific, all of our affiliates have attended the training offered by the Nebraska Mediation Association (NMA). If you have attended another training, you can request approval of your training by completing and submitting Form ODR-FMT-F-011 and the required supplemental documentation. 

If you are going to register for the NMA training and seek to become Parenting Act-approved, you must have attended a Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution-approved Basic Mediation Training within the last five years or had your waiver of that requirement approved by ODR using form ODR-PA-F-047 or have had your Nebraska Basic Mediation Training Equivalency Request approved as detailed above.

Attorneys who would like to become Parenting Act-approved can apply for a Waiver of 7.5 Hours of the 30-hour Nebraska Mediation Association’s Family Mediation Training by submitting Form ODR-PA-F-017. This allows the attorney to skip the sections on Nebraska law, while still benefiting from the remaining 22.5 hours of curriculum to broaden their perspective and improve their skills.

If you were previously Parenting Act-approved, but your status has lapsed, you can apply for reinstatement using form ODR-PA-F.