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Are you keen to help people in conflict resolve their disputes?

Are you interested in using your facilitation and communication skills to help improve the workplace?

Mediation programme summary

Mediation is an opportunity to resolve issues between people. It is a confidential, voluntary and informal process that involves two or more parties/participants in dispute, and is facilitated by impartial mediators. It is often associated with formal legal or disciplinary proceedings, but it should be considered in a broader sense – an informal, structured conversation supported by a trained third party. Partnering with Steve Hindmarsh Ltd., an external expert training provider experienced with the University of Oxford, we will train a pool of up to 12 certified internal mediators in MPLS who can help resolve disputes that arise in departments where at least one staff member from MPLS is involved. (Students are able to access the Student Resolution Service.)

We will adopt a co-mediation model where two trained mediators are involved in a case to provide mutual support and learning. The process involves mediators initially meeting with each person/party in the dispute separately before facilitating a joint session with all participants where they can speak to each other in an open, honest, and structured way, to try to reach their own mutually acceptable resolution. Any agreement reached would be determined by the participants.

Role of mediators and benefits for participation

We are seeking up to 12 volunteers who have the interest, skills, and capacity to join a new cohort of mediators in MPLS.

Benefits for mediators

  • Become a certified mediator with professional accreditation.
  • Join a supportive cohort of trained mediators.
  • Receive supervision and guidance throughout the programme.
  • Potential to make a real, tangible difference in the lives of people struggling through difficult situations.

Training

  • The training provided will be the National Certificate in Mediation Skills for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, run by Steve Hindmarsh Ltd. It is 6-day mediation training accredited by the National Open College Network.
  • The course is in-person and scheduled for full days (9:30am – 4:30pm) on 14, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30 November.

Skills and experience needed

Volunteers do not need to have any prior formal training or mediation experience. We are looking for empathic and non-judgmental communicators with the ability to relate well to staff at all levels and with diverse backgrounds – particularly those with:

  • A demonstrated commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion;
  • Willingness to learn and dedication to continuous development, reflecting on and enhancing practice over time;
  • Existing communication and interpersonal skills – able to actively listen, engender trust, and create positive, supportive environments;
  • Experience dealing with challenge and conflict constructively;
  • The ability to commit to this project, devoting effort to cohort/team building and mutual support.

Commitment

  • Availability to attend the 6-day in-person mediation course scheduled for full days on 14, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30 November.
  • Capacity to spend the equivalent of about 1-2 days per month on the programme, which includes taking one case per month and attending cohort meetings. Cases generally involve one-hour meetings with each of the parties/participants involved, and a half-day joint mediation session.
  • Able to join the cohort for at least the 2023-2024 academic year, and preferably beyond.

How to apply

Please complete this Expression of Interest Form. Deadline is 18 October 2023. The form includes the following questions:

  1. Why would you like to become a mediator?
  2. What skills and experience do you think you will bring this role (addressing the criteria listed in the call)?
  3. Do you have the support of your line manager or equivalent?

Short semi-structured informal discussions will be held with applicants to explore the role. We will aim to arrange these in the week commencing 23 October and select participants by 31 October.

The project team will select mediators based on the skills, experience and commitment identified above, considering the need to select a diverse group of mediators – across departments, job roles, demographics, seniority, etc.

If you are already a trained mediator and wish to join this cohort, please contact us at mediation@mpls.ox.ac.uk.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this opportunity further, please contact us at mediation@mpls.ox.ac.uk.