from Dr. jur. Imke Wulfmeyer, lawyer and mediator (BAFM / BM), head of mediation training Consensus Campus

The office closed, the business trip canceled, the face-to-face events canceled – what now? Stay at home and wait until the crisis is over – even if there is no end in sight yet?

Or could the time of crisis be used as a time for further training, so that you can really take off and complete mediation training?

As a trainer for mediation, I would particularly like to offer the participants of the ongoing training courses a format so that they can continue the mediation training started with a lot of fun and enthusiasm from the home office and call themselves a “certified mediator” in a timely manner.

As a lawyer, the question arises whether the Certified Mediator Training Ordinance (ZMediatAusbV) allows this at all. To be more precise: What does it mean when there is talk of “presence hours” in Section 2 (4)? Do the participants in mediation training necessarily have to meet in person at the training institute in order to meet the requirements of the regulation? Or can the term “presence” in the sense of the legal regulation also be interpreted to include live online lessons?

The Federal Government’s statement of 15 October 2019 deals with this question. As part of a small inquiry (Bundestag printed paper 19/13672), the FDP faction wanted to know from the federal government whether the mediation landscape in Germany was sufficiently prepared for digital developments and to what extent “the advantages and requirements of digitization” when prescribing the ZMediatAusbV had been taken into account by the federal government. In its answer (Bundestag printed paper 19/14014), the Federal Government first emphasized that the acceptance of online mediations is increasing significantly, but largely still mediation takes place in the presence of the parties. Specifically on the term “attendance hours” according to Section 2 (4) of the ZMediatAusbV states that the aim of this regulation is to ensure the personal interaction of the trainer with the participants in the training course. According to the Federal Government, however, this regulation does not preclude “completing training as part of a distance learning program, cf. insofar also Eicher, ZKM 2016, 160, 161. ”In this context, reference is made to specific providers of mediation training, which, so literally, means“ sustainable, future-oriented and part-time learning through “virtual classrooms”, chat forums and online seminars the basis of the ZMediatAusbV ”.

Consequently, the term “presence” as an element of the fact “presence hours” acc. Section 2 (4) of the ZMediatAusbV defines that the personal interaction between teachers and learners must be ensured. This interaction is identified as the goal of the regulator. Since this goal is also achieved in interactive live online lessons in virtual space, the Federal Government consequently states that learning through “virtual classrooms” based on the ZMediatAusbV is possible.

However, the Federal Government is of the opinion that completing the attendance hours as part of the training should not be “completely” replaced by participating in online seminars. When the FDP faction asked, the statement said: “Pure online seminars do not adequately prepare trainees for the demands of later professional practice, as this is predominantly characterized by exciting personal relationships in personal encounters. In order to train yourself in dealing with such situations, personal interaction with the trainers and with other participants in the training course is required. ”

What does this mean for Consensus Campus as a training institute for mediators?

  • The Federal Government has made it clear that blended learning concepts, which teach partly in the virtual classroom and partly in the physical classroom, meet the requirements of the Certified Mediators Training Ordinance (ZMediatAusbV).
  • Consensus Campus can thus offer all participants of the current courses to continue the training course to become a certified mediator (f / m / d) without interruption. The new blended learning concept (see “For current events: mediation training in times of coronavirus“) fully meets the requirements of the Certified Mediators Training Ordinance (ZMediatAusbV).
  • The current corona crisis shows that many practicing mediators do not dare to carry out mediations online, although the demand has increased rapidly overnight. This is understandable because in their mediation training they have learned nothing at all about empathic communication in virtual space, let alone tried it out in role-plays. Consensus Campus, on the other hand, is one of the first training institutes to offer an introduction to live online mediation as an integral part of every training course to become a certified mediator (m / f / d). Since the acceptance of live online communication among the population after the crisis will be much higher than before, a longer learning unit in the virtual classroom with small group work and case simulations will be integrated into each training course in the future.

Crisis time is training time – we start with our blended learning concept and look forward to an extraordinary learning trip with our aspiring certified mediators!