International Ombuds Association
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Virtual Core Course: Mediation
Wednesday, November 01, 2023, 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM PST
Category: Core Courses


Registration & Fees | Course Description


1-Day Course | 4.5 Hours of Instruction

1 November 2023 

9:00 AM – 1:30 PM PT | 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM ET

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Registration - Max Occupancy of 30 People

Member Type

Early Bird Rates

 1 October 2023

Regular Rates

2 October 2023
IOA Members $375 USD $475 USD
Non-Members $675 USD $775 USD

Register Now

Course Description 

This highly interactive mediation course is designed to provide a theoretical and practical overview of the formal mediation process and mediator skills as they relate to an ombuds practice. Ombuds are often called upon to facilitate difficult conversations between members of their community. In this neutral role, an effective ombuds supports the face-to-face-efforts of each visitor to give voice to his/her concerns and interests and to understand those of the other in order to gain clarity about a productive outcome for both. While an ombuds is never a mediator in the formal sense of the role, by learning the fundamentals about the formal mediation process and related skills, the ombuds will enhance his/her facilitation skills and understanding of best design process options for such conversations.


  • Learn about the goals, principles and activities of the mediation process and to practice the skills needed to be an effective mediator.
  • Explore the similarities and differences between mediation and ombudsing and to consider all steps in bringing visitors together for an informal mediation (facilitated discussion). This includes how to present this as a visitor option, approach the second visitor, prepare both visitors to come face-to-face, conduct the facilitated conversation and consider if/when/how to help document any agreements reached and provide appropriate follow-up.
Prerequisite: Prior Mediation Training 


Learn more about Core courses.

This course is presented in English. Captions are available in English by default. Individual participants may choose to see their captions translated into one of the following languages: Arabic, Bangla (beta), Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish (beta), Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French (France), German, Hebrew (beta), Hindi (beta), Hungarian,  Italian,  Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian (beta), Polish, Portuguese, Romanian (beta), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil (beta), Turkish, Ukrainian, or Vietnamese.


Melissa Brodrick has been the Ombudsperson for Harvard’s Medical School, Dental School and T. H. Chan School of Public Health since 2010. Melissa has over 30 years of experience in conflict resolution as a mediator, trainer, facilitator and conflict coach. In her private practice she worked with academic institutions, healthcare organizations, Fortune 500 companies and other corporations, state and federal agencies, and non-profit groups. Prior to entering into private practice, she was a full-time mediator for the MA Department of Education, Director of the Children's Hearings Project (a pioneer parent-teen mediation program) and Executive Director of the MA Association of Mediation Programs and Practitioners. She also served for many years as a member of the MA Superior Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution and the Executive Board of the National Association for Community Mediation. She is the recipient of numerous awards in her field and holds and M.Ed from Harvard University and B.A. from Amherst College. 

Additional Details

Course Limit

30 participants

Professional Development Hours (PDH)

This course has been submitted for PDH. Approval pending. 


Email the IOA office at [email protected].

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