What do Arbitrators, Mediators, Conciliators do?
An arbitrator, mediator, and conciliator often work in the legal services industry or in local and state governments attempting to resolve conflicts between opposing parties outside of the court system. They encourage and facilitate negotiations and dialogue between the conflicting parties with the goal of reaching acceptable agreements for both sides.
How to become an Arbitrator, Mediator, or Conciliator
Because an arbitrator, mediator, or conciliator needs to have expertise of a particular field in the industry they work at, educational requirements may vary. In some instances, a bachelor's degree is sufficient in their field of knowledge. However, many employees want the applicant to have an advanced degree, like a master's in business administration or a law degree.
Colleges and universities sometimes offer a 2-year master's degree, certificate program, or doctoral degree in conflict resolution or dispute.
An arbitrator is most often a retired judge, business professional (such as in insurance or other expertise), or lawyer. Independent mediation programs, postsecondary schools, and local and national mediation membership organization's can provide training that most states require before an applicant can practice in court-appointed or state-funded mediation cases. This usually means the completion of 20-40 hours of training classes.
Job Description of an Arbitrator, Mediator, or Conciliator
An arbitrator, mediator, or conciliator help parties in disputes reach mutual agreements through communication and dialoging. They attempt to satisfy disputants by clarifying needs, issues, and concerns and would usually conduct meetings in the initial process. They clarify procedural issues, like time requirements, fees, or witnesses. They would be responsible for setting up appointments, conducting interviews from witnesses or claimants, and reach conclusions through their knowledge of policies, laws, and regulations.
An arbitrator, mediator or conciliator would listen carefully to both sides of the opposing parties and strive to settle disputes outside of court in private meetings. There are differences in job requirements and duties between an arbitrator, mediator, and conciliator.
Mediators are neutral parties that help resolve disputes, however make no decisions. A conciliator also assists with disputes, but has no authority to call witnesses or seek evidence and they meet separately with parties concerned. Arbitrators hear disputes and make impartial decisions. They are most likely an attorney, retired judge, or business professional with a particular expertise.