Tell me and
I forget;
Show me and
I will remember;
Involve me and
I will understand.


Artwork by Felicita Sala
Coaching for Mediator Accreditation (CMA)

Professionally, accreditation has become essential for establishing yourself as an accountable and successful Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation increases your capacity to

  • become nationally accredited 
  • conduct well run mediations
  • start to identify your style of mediating

It is suitable for a range of accreditations including NMAS (National Mediator Accreditation System), FDRP (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner) Registration, LEADR &IAMA Accreditation and accreditation with other RMABs. The focus is on you doing your best on the day of your accreditation assessment.

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation bridges the gap between your competencies at the conclusion your initial training and the competencies necessary for your accreditation assessment.

In very small groups or, if you prefer, in one-to-one coaching, I provide a guided process in which you

  • review your training course content
  • practice the skills acquired in your training
  • extend and consolidate your understanding of the concepts underpinning the accreditation competencies
  • practice each of the accreditation competencies
  • develop more effective listening
  • analyse your accreditation scenario from a mediator perspective
  • plan your approach to your accreditation session
  • rehearse the key elements of the accreditation role play

Coaching: from not knowing to knowing

During your mediation training you are likely to have shifted from unconscious unknowing of mediation to conscious unknowing, that is, from not knowing what you don’t know to knowing what you don’t know.

In Coaching for Mediator Accreditation you are likely to shift from conscious unknowing to conscious knowing, that is, from knowing what you don’t know to knowing what you know.


I welcome your phone call or email to discuss your initial coaching focus and objectives. If you would first like to find out more about Coaching for Mediator Accreditation please read on.

If you then decide to commence Coaching for Mediator Accreditation I will book you into a group program that suits your availability or, if you prefer one-to-one, I will book your first session.

Finding your way around Coaching for Mediator Accreditation

This page provides an overview of Coaching for Mediator Accreditation and has the following sections:

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Coaching with Margaret Halsmith

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation takes you well beyond accreditation to mediating effectively. It is informed by my broad and ongoing experience as both a mediator and an adult educator.

Good rapport significantly influences the efficiency, effectiveness and outcomes of your coaching experience. I aim to be supportive while being firm; friendly while maintaining clear boundaries. First and foremost I am there to listen generously to you so that I can design your coaching to complement your strengths.

I approach my role as guiding a process in which your role and mine are complementary. It is my responsibility to be professional and personable and focussed on you achieving your outcomes. Similarly your contribution is to be professional and personable and focussed on you achieving your outcomes.

As your coach I ‘walk’ beside and periodically ahead of you, assisting you toward effective and competent entry-level practice.

The images above show how your role and mine are complementary. For example, your role is to listen astutely as I speak tactfully. My role is to listen generously as you speak diplomatically in response to my succinct advice. Your role is to think constructively regarding what I have said tactfully so that you can decide rationally what to make of my succinct advice.

My ​aim is to provide opportunities for you to experience and re-experience selected moments in mediation and selected stages of mediation. I then assist you to integrate your mediation knowledge, skills and values so that as a candidate for accreditation, even if you are feeling the pressure, your stage by stage framework enables you to demonstrate each accreditation competency with at least entry-level practitioner effectiveness.

My approach is to identify your strengths; elicit and explain the context and purpose of each competency, demonstrate the competency in a variety of ways then coach you as you practice it.

I design your coaching according to the six principles of adult learning

  • internal motivation and self-direction
  • life experiences and knowledge
  • goal orientation
  • relevance
  • practicality
  • mutual respect

My coaching style is to assist you to build on your strengths. I aim to coach professionally and authentically in a way that is genuine, supportive and flexible. I am enthusiastic about the potential of every learning situation to become a productive one.


Coaching involves progressive, individualised recommendations of small changes in your practice by a credentialed and trusted advisor to guide you toward making a big difference in your competence and confidence


I welcome your email or phone call to discuss your coaching requirements. You can read about my experience and background in More about Coaching with Margaret. You can read recent Testimonials here.

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Your Benefits

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation is beneficial because it raises your certainty of achieving accreditation. Coaching also enhances your ability to conduct well run mediations and assists you to start identifying your style of mediating.

Coaching is beneficial when

  • you are ne​w to the concept and practice of mediation and would like some guidance to integrate your five day course into your practice
  • some time has elapsed since your five day course
  • you have decided on dedicated, efficient preparation time for your accreditation

Become nationally accredited

Accreditation is beneficial because it establishes you as a professional, accountable and effective entry level Mediator. Coaching for Mediator Accreditation is beneficial because it raises your certainty of achieving accreditation.

The Mediator Standards Board explains why it is important for potential mediation participants to choose an accredited Mediator.

Conduct well run mediations

Achieving accreditation leaves scope for further competence as an entry level Mediator. I conduct coaching that develops your practical mediation skills beyond preparing you for accreditation. I have found that fast track consolidation and development of competencies benefit from the reinforcement and refinement of the basic knowledge and skills acquired in your the initial five day training and/or academic study.

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation provides

  • skills practice
  • immediate feedback
  • understanding of purposes of each stage of mediation

Start to identify your style of mediating

I consider that one of the distinctive elements of progress as a Mediator is to gradually develop your own style of mediating. My coaching, therefore, also includes opportunities to start to experiment with a variety of approaches to each competency. I provide immediate and constructive feedback to assist you to start to identify your style.

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Comments from participants

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation participants explain what they appreciated:

Effective and motivating

  • learnt through success rather than through trial and error
  • learnt through adult learning principles and practice
  • practical and 'hands on'

Personalised within the small group

  • drew on my personality and expertise
  • good and stimulating balance maintained within the group

Increases the returns on time and money already invested in initial training

  • consolidated new learning
  • provided an indication of readiness for accreditation

You can read recent Testimonials here.


The International Coach Federation describes the benefits of coaching:

Professional coaching brings many wonderful benefits: fresh perspectives on professional challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence. And, the list does not end there. Those who undertake coaching also can expect appreciable improvement in productivity, satisfaction with life and work, the attainment of relevant goals.


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Your outcomes

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation further develops your competencies and your understanding of mediation. After participating in Coaching for Mediator Accreditation you will be able to select appropriate interventions more quickly, with more confidence and with more success in your accreditation role play and beyond.

The key outcome of Mediator Coaching for Accreditation is that you are significantly more likely to pass your accreditation. There are many other positive outcomes. You can expect a unique blend of the following personal outcomes, knowledge outcomes and practical outcomes:

Personal outcomes: puts the ‘professional’ into the practitioner

  • confidence and optimism in your mediator skills
  • connection with your personality
  • development of your approach
  • integrated, authentic approach that is true to you and to the principles and model of mediation

Knowledge outcomes: puts the meaning into the model

  • purpose underpinning each competency and skill
  • purpose of each of the stages of mediation
  • fundamental analysis of disputes
  • criteria for knowing when to move from one stage of the model to the next

Practical outcomes: puts the practice into the process

Artwork by Papershine

  • interventions appropriate to each stage of the mediation
  • identification of pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • tips for blank moments, impasses and participants’ awkward questions
  • coaching and feedback on your competencies in practice sessions
  • role playing of crucial parts of the assessment

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More about Coaching with Margaret

The Professional Development that I offer is motivated by my experience that the more internally consistent the practice of mediation, the more successful is the mediation. And, the more successful is the mediation, the more resilient is the practitioner.

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation is particularly motivated my observation that competence is significantly influenced by

  • trusting the model
  • practising the skills

You will find some information further below about my philosophy, my experience and my professional credentials.I welcome your email or phone call to discuss your questions.

As your Coach I observe your skills and competencies to explore and explain the concepts and values underpinning them. Demonstrations and practice sessions are interspersed with discussion that develops the rationale underlying your skills and competencies in the context of the mediation model.

Each coaching session focuses on the competencies of one or more consecutive stages of the mediation process, identifying which of the competencies apply throughout mediation and which are specific to the stage under discussion. Stages are linked by identifying the purpose of each stage relative to the purpose of the previous and subsequent stages.

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation is coaching that while increasing your capacity to become nationally accredited also develops your role as an effective mediator who

  • listens respectfully for interests
  • thinks compassionately of participants
  • speaks optimistically of resolution
  • facilitates diligently toward participants’ independence
  • concludes sincerely from each participant’s point of view

All your skills and competencies as a Mediator are significantly more effective when your authenticity shines through. As well as raising your competency, Coaching for Mediator Accreditation is designed to identify your strengths and to assist you to generalise them seamlessly throughout your practice. Both the overall approach and the specific interventions that you develop during coaching are distinctively yours so they immediately become part of your practice.

My philosophy

I value authenticity, tempered with respect for others.

In coaching as in mediation, I regard all people as

  • experts in their own lives
  • proactive and forward thinking
  • decision makers

In coaching as in mediation, I regard participants’ perceptions as

  • valid and reliable
  • reasoned
  • changeable

I am often heard to say of mediation and the same applies to coaching:

I regard each participant as right, uniquely right. I encourage each participant to regard each other participant as mediating to find a satisfactory, practical outcome in which each of their ‘being right’ has its place.


My experience

I have experience as a mediator, a coach and an adult educator. I have been a Mediator since the mid-1990s, mediating in a wide variety of settings.

I have also been a mediation Coach since the mid 1990s, coaching during and after training courses and academic courses. My approach to coaching is informed by my qualifications in psychology and education, over 10 years’ experience in tertiary education and almost 20 years’ experience as a mediator.

You can read recent Testimonials here.

I am very familiar with mediator competencies having

  • practised full time since 1996
  • provided Mediator Accreditation Coaching for National Mediator Accreditation and for LEADR 2007 – present
  • coached at very many five day training courses
  • chaired the committee which oversaw the development of the original NMAS (National Mediator Accreditation System)
  • toured with the Attorney General’s Department to advise on FDRP competencies
  • reviewed mediator competencies for LEADR and IMI (International Mediation Institute) 2007 – present
  • accepted a Vice-Chair position Standards Design and Implementation Committee – in the Independent Standards Commission of the International Mediation Institute.

I have considerable specialised knowledge of mediation as well as teaching experience having

  • contributed to NADRAC publications 2008 - 2013
  • written and taught university courses on Dispute Resolution in a number of faculties including law, business, psychology from 1996 – 2007
  • written the ADR chapter in the WA law handbook
  • written and delivered five day training courses on mediation to practitioners in many different settings  from 1996 – present
  • been a member of the editorial panel of the ADR Bulletin

My professional credentials

Professionally, I maintain and extend my knowledge and skills through CPD (Continuing Professional Development). I focus on practising with integrity. My values align with the LEADR Code of Ethics and the International Mediation Institute Code of Professional Conduct.

Your feedback is requested and welcomed.

My accreditations

  • Accredited Mediator NMAS [National Mediator Accreditation System; Australia]
  • Accredited Mediator Advanced LEADR [Association of Dispute Resolvers; Australasia]
  • Accredited and registered FDR Practitioner [Attorney General’s Department; Australia]
  • Accredited Mediator IMI [International Mediation Institute; The Hague, Netherlands]
  • Appointed Mediator under Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) and Principles 1998 -2008

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More information

You can read recent Testimonials here and read more about me and my practice here.

This page with the Coaching for Mediator Accreditation FAQs provides an overview of Coaching. More information is also available at Coaching for Mediator Practice and Coaching for FDR Practice.

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My Coaching for Mediator Accreditation FAQs answer the questions I am most frequently asked.

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Image Credit: Robert Woods

Coaching for Mediator Accreditation