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), Circuit Court-Family (CCF); and in two other categories for the duration of the Appellate Mediation Pilot Projects (1-1-19 through 12-31-20): Appellate - Court of Appeals (CAV), and Appellate - Supreme Court (SCV). Some mediators have multiple certifications.

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) certified mediators 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.

Training Requirements

  • 20-hour Basic Mediation training
  • 4-hour Virginia's Judicial System course

Mentorship Requirements

  • Two general mediation observations
  • Three general co-mediations

Circuit Court-Civil (CCC) certified mediators are qualified to mediate civil cases arising in the Circuit Court such as medical malpractice, person injury, contracts, or condemnation.

Training Requirements

  • 20-hour Basic Mediation training
  • 20-hour Circuit Court-Civil training
  • 4-hour Virginia's Judicial System course

Mentorship Requirements

  • Two circuit court mediation observations
  • Five circuit court co-mediations

Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (J&DR) certified mediators are qualified to mediate cases arising in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, such as custody, visitation, or support matters.

Training Requirements

  • 20-hour Basic Mediation training
  • 20-hour Family Mediation training
  • 4-hour Virginia's Judicial System course
  • 8-hour Screening for and Dealing with Domestic Abuse in the Mediation Context course

Mentorship Requirements

  • Two family mediation observations
  • Five family co-mediations

Circuit Court-Family (CCF) certified mediators are qualified to mediate family cases arising in the Circuit Court such as equitable distribution.

Training Requirements

  • 20-hour Basic Mediation training
  • 20-hour Family Mediation training
  • 12-hour Circuit Court Family training
  • 4-hour Virginia's Judicial System course
  • 8-hour Screening for and Dealing with Domestic Abuse in the Mediation Context course

Mentorship Requirements

  • Two circuit family mediation observations
  • Five circuit family co-mediations

Court of Appeals (CAV) certification can be accomplished through different combinations of experience and training. CAV mediators are certified to mediate Court of Appeals cases during the Appellate Mediation Pilot Project.

  • Must be a Virginia licensed attorney
  • Must be a Virginia Certified Mediator OR have completed 20-hour Basic Mediation training
  • Must have served as an appellate jurist OR have completed 2-hour Appellate Training plus
    • Circuit Court-Family Virginia certified mediator,
    • Service as a Virginia judge, or
    • 10 appellate litigations (at least 5 must include equitable distribution) completed in the past 10 years

Supreme Court of Virginia (SCV) certification can be accomplished through different combinations of experience and training. SCV mediators are certified to mediate Supreme Court of Virginia cases during the Appellate Mediation Pilot Project.

  • Must be a Virginia licensed attorney
  • Must be a Virginia Certified Mediator OR have completed 20-hour Basic Mediation Training
  • Must have served as an appellate jurist OR have completed 2-hour Appellate Training plus
    • Service as a Virginia judge, or
    • 10 appellate litigations completed in the past 10 years