Become a Mediator

The Dispute Resolution Center of King County provides excellent training for people who want to learn to become facilitative mediators. The 40-hour Basic Mediation Training (BMT) is the first step in learning to become a mediator. The Basic Mediation Training class is an in-depth training which includes a combination of theory, demonstrations, discussion, and experiential practice. Experienced mediators assist with our trainings and coaches are on hand to provide real-time feedback and guidance. The DRC offers Basic Mediation Training at various times during a year. To see the schedule, go to Classes & Events.

The Mediation Practicum

After completing the Basic Mediation Training some people decide to apply to the DRC’s Mediation Training Practicum. The Mediation Practicum is a program designed to provide students the opportunity to delve deeper into the facilitative model through academic coursework and mediating live cases with highly skilled mediation mentors. The program is rigorous—students typically take approximately 18 to 24 months to graduate. Students work in small groups with professional mentors who provide both oral feedback and written evaluations at each step.

Practicum candidates are selected for this competitive program based on their answers to a written application, coaching feedback from the Basic Mediation Training, their interview and the DRC’s capacity. Students may be accepted into the Practicum if they have received mediation training by other accredited programs that teach the facilitative mediation model; however, these candidates are required to perform a mock mediation to evaluate their entry skill level.

Applications are now closed for Fall 2019.

If you are interested in receiving updates on the DRC’s Mediation Practicum, please sign up for our newsletter (at the bottom of this page).

For information about other organizations that may offer a Mediation Practicum, see below:

Mediating for the DRC

Upon graduation from the Mediation Practicum, students are qualified to mediate for the Dispute Resolution Center, but must apply to join the DRC’s roster of volunteer mediators. All of the DRC’s mediators volunteer their time and must mediate four times per year to remain on the active roster and keep their skills up to date. Active DRC mediators enjoy the following benefits from their association with the DRC.

  • Ongoing education and organizational support
  • Free in-services for skill development
  • Discounts on classes
  • Live case experience for your resume
  • Opportunities for additional skill development

The Small Claims Court Intensive

The KCDRC operates a Small Claims Court Program twice a year. It is a hybrid program that consists of 25-30 hours of online and in-person training modules to be completed over 2 months. The online modules are self-paced with recordings and exercises. Students will be evaluated throughout the program. Completion of the Basic Mediation Training or an equivalent program is a prerequisite. To be accepted to this program potential students need to be able to make a 1-year commitment to volunteer as a mediator in at least two Small Claims Court shifts (AM or PM) each month in one of the court locations around the county.

The Winter 2020 Intensive Applications are now open. See links below for more info and the application and necessary handout:

SCC Intensive Track Description Winter 2020

Winter 2020 Application

Handout on Deadlocks


Washington State does not have a mediator certification process through any authorizing or governmental body so the 20 Dispute Resolution Centers in Washington have developed an association, called Resolution Washington, to establish statewide standards and develop best practices. In addition, the Washington Mediation Association (WMA), an association of private mediators provides supplementary credentialing through their application process.