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Continuing Studies

Mediation Skills: 40-Hour General Training

continuingstudies.wisc.edu/1012-C-LAAS See upcoming dates


Experience comprehensive, in-depth training in mediation skills. The 40-hour schedule meets or exceeds the national mediation training standard and the 25-hour training required by Wisconsin Chapter 767. Lectures, demonstrations, participatory exercises, and coaching teach the principles of mediation and help you develop the practical skills needed to successfully mediate in business, community, family and workplace settings.



Beginner to intermediate

CE credit

40 hours (4.0 CEUs)

Attendance at all eight days of the program is required to complete the training.

This 40-hour program provides comprehensive, in-depth training in a comfortable and supportive learning environment. Developed and taught by Michael D. Rust (JD, Marquette University), it offers a combination of lectures, demonstrations, and role-playing exercises to prepare you for the practice of mediation. An experienced dispute-resolution professional, Rust is also well known as an inspiring, thorough, and supportive trainer. The training includes ample time to practice skills as you learn them.

The program meets the recognized 40-hour professional training standard and is designed to fulfill the 25 hours of training Wisconsin Statute 767.405 requires for you to be considered a qualified mediator of divorce and child custody and placement cases. The training also includes content on the dynamics of domestic abuse and the effects of domestic violence on victims and children as required by WI 767.405. 

Why mediate?

Mediation is a unique approach to helping people or systems in conflict. Rather than advocating for one side or the other, the mediator guides the parties toward consensual agreements and resolution.

Who should participate in mediation training?

Mediation draws people from a wide variety of professions: education, human services, mental health, religious leadership, business, and law, among others. The unique experiences and perspectives make for lively discussions and a rich learning environment. Whether you’re looking for mediation training to expand your professional career opportunities or to enhance your existing skill set, mediation skills are invaluable in both your professional and personal lives.

The training covers the following topics:

  • Conflict and power dynamics
  • Mediation approach, process, principles, and models
  • Mediator roles and influences
  • Setting the stage and beginning a mediation
  • Listening, questioning, framing issues, setting an agenda, generating options, and building agreement
  • Interest-based bargaining
  • Caucus technique
  • Writing an agreement
  • Working with attorneys and outside experts
  • Cultural awareness
  • Ethics and standards
  • Building a practice and professional resources

At the end of the training, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the mediation process and role of the mediator
  • List the components of an effective mediation session
  • Identify effective listening and communication skills that enhance the mediation process
  • Respond to mediation challenges such as difficult behaviors and power imbalances
  • Summarize mediation standards of practice and mediation ethics
  • Understand what is needed to build a mediation practice

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 40
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units 4
American Psychological Association - Continuing Education Credit 40
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Substance Abuse Counselors - Continuing Education Credit Hours 40
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Marriage and Family Therapists - Continuing Education Credit Hours 40
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Social Workers - Continuing Education Credit Hours 40

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

Upcoming dates (1)

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Program Questions?

Contact Ashley Kuehl at ashley.kuehl@wisc.edu or 608-265-4267

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

Continuing Studies FAQs

Meet your instructor(s)

Michael D Rust

(JD, Marquette Univ.) is the executive director of the Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center in Oshkosh, WI. He is the past president of the Wisconsin Association of Mediators and past chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin Dispute Resolution Section Board.