II. The Process

1. Description and Education

Before beginning mediation and throughout the process, mediators should educate participants about the mediation process, distinguish mediation from other procedures, explain the respective responsibilities of the mediator and the participants, affirm the participant's willingness to participate in such a process, and fully explain any applicable policies, procedures, and guidelines.

2. Identification of Issues

The mediator should encourage and elicit sufficient information from the participants so that they can identify the issues to be addressed in mediation.

3. Appropriateness of Mediation

Both before and during the process, the mediator should encourage and assist the participants in evaluating the benefits, risks, and costs of mediation and the alternatives available to them. Where a mediator concludes that the participants are not informed of their rights, the mediator should encourage the participants to seek qualified legal, financial, therapeutic or other professional advice before or during the mediation process.

A mediator has a responsibility to postpone, suspend, or terminate the mediation process if one or more participants is unwilling or unable to participate meaningfully. The mediator should withdraw if the process is being abused or the mediator is unable to remain impartial.

4. Mediator's Disclosure

A mediator should disclose to the participants the mediator's qualifications, experience and any affiliation with the participants or biases relating to the issues.

5. Procedures

Mediators should describe and affirm to the participants the procedures to be followed in mediation. Such an understanding includes but is not limited to the use of separate meetings between a participant and the mediator, provisions for confidentiality (both to the process itself and to the use of private meetings within the process), the use of legal services, the involvement of additional participants, and the conditions under which mediation may be terminated.

6. Mutual Duties and Responsibilities

The mediator and the participants should agree upon the duties and responsibilities that each is accepting in the mediation process. This may be a written or oral agreement.

Go to: III. Impartiality

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