Become a Volunteer Mediator

Volunteer Mediator Training:
The first requirement for prospective volunteer mediators is completion of an approved basic mediation training program. PCRC does not provide basic mediation training. Instead, prospective volunteers are asked to to seek out and enroll in mediation training elsewhere. To meet PCRC’s requirements, the training must be a minimum of 25 hours long, must include coached role-play sessions as part of the curriculum, and must cover the basics of conflict resolution history and theory as well as fundamentals of a mediation process. We prefer courses which use a co-mediation model and approach mediation with a broad perspective rather than specializing in one field (e.g. divorce, real estate, etc.)

One mediation course that we recommend is offered twice a year (usually June and January) Community colleges offer courses in conflict resolution, dispute resolution or mediation. Another resource to help finding training opportunities is Association for Dispute Resolution in Northern California (ADRNC). Although ADRNC does not itself offer qualifying trainings at this time, their website lists a calendar of local trainings which may meet PCRC requirements for mediation training. This calendar is updated regularly.

Applying to PCRC:
Once you complete an appropriate basic mediation training, you can apply to become a volunteer mediator. The next step in the application process is to come to PCRC for an informal interview. During this interview you will be asked to about the training youÍve received and why you are interested in mediation, as well your ability to meet PCRC’s minimum standards for volunteer mediators.

Please keep in mind that PCRC may not be accepting new volunteers at the time that you apply. We attempt to keep our volunteer pool capped at a manageable number so that everyone on our roster has adequate opportunity to mediate. If we are full at the time that you apply, the volunteer coordinator will notify you and will keep your application on file until the next time that we have space available.

Please note that when selecting new mediators, PCRC gives preference to people who live or work in San Mateo County.

Joining PCRC’s volunteer pool:
Once you are accepted as a new volunteer mediator, you will begin work in our community mediation (Note: mediating in family programs requires specific training and some experience doing community mediations.) Your first step will be to observe at least one community mediation. After your observation, a staff member will discuss the mediation with you and if you feel comfortable moving ahead, you will be able to begin mediating. PCRC uses a panel of three volunteer mediators for each community mediation. We pair new mediators will more experienced volunteers, however we consider all mediators on the panel to have an equal role and an equal opportunity to learn from each other.

PCRC staff are committed to supporting our volunteers in providing a strong service to the community and in building their own skills and experience. Once a year you will be asked to re-commit to volunteering with PCRC.

Volunteer Opportunities Beyond Mediation:
PCRC offers other opportunities for volunteers to get involved. If you have questions about these volunteer roles please do not hesitate to contact our volunteer coordinator, 650-513-0330.