Mediation service provider ADR Group has launched a new pupillage scheme designed to give mediators hands-on experience as part of their standard training.
Believed to be the first of its kind, the scheme includes case advocacy and supervised mediation as part of its training package.
General manager Randoll Meadows said that under the pupillage scheme solicitors who trained and received accreditation as mediators were also expected to act as advocates in two cases and then to observe a mediation case.
He said that they could then register as an individual member of ADR Net, a national alternative dispute resolution network, and receive work from the ADR Group.
"It's all part of our attempt to make sure that high standards are maintained," he said.
ADR Net has more than 40 major law firms as members and about 300 trained mediators throughout the country. It is part of the ADR Group, which also includes commercial provider IDR Europe, ADR Net International and ADR Family Register.
ADR Group spokesman Andrew Fraley said that role play or simulated mediation on their own did not offer sufficient quality assurance to either the mediator or, more importantly, to the parties involved in the mediation.