Family Mediation Training Course

“I was very happy with my decision to complete the 32 hour family mediation training with ARC. The instructors at all stages throughout the course material were able to refer to their own hands on experience gained as full time mediators over the last ten years which I felt was crucial to gaining a practical understanding of what family mediation involved & the wide ranging knowledge that was required.”

– Fiona, Solicitor (August 2019)

The Programme

The Irish Professional Mediators' Organisation


The primary aim of this course is to provide participant mediators with essential knowledge and skills to enable them to provide a competent and supportive mediation service to enable separating couples to address issues in dispute.

The programme assumes the trainees already have both basic training and some experience as mediators, or have participated in mediation role-plays such that they can show competence in basic mediation skills. The programme builds on these foundations with knowledge, insights and techniques that apply specifically to family mediation. These include understanding the unique psychological dynamics of families, assisting parties to analyse their household finances, gaining an appropriate knowledge of family law, awareness of child welfare issues that may arise etc.

The course is the first family mediation training programme to be accredited by the Irish Professional Mediators’ Organisation, set up in 2021. Note that course syllabus and pricing may vary in 2024.

Admission Requirements

The course is designed for mediators who have completed a foundational mediation training programme (e.g. MII 60 Hour programmes or IMI qualifying programmes) and wish to practise in the area of family mediation. The course is not suitable for participants who have not completed foundational mediation training as it assumes attendees have already acquired basic mediation skills.

Organisation; Arc Mediation, team of 3-4 trainers

Principal Trainer: Dr Róisín O’Shea, Dip BA (Hns) law, PhD, BL, (IMI Certified Mediator)

Other Trainers include : Dr Teresa Graham, Dr Sinead Conneely BL and Shane Dempsey (IMI Certified Mediator). All 4 trainers have attained Certified Mediator status in the Irish Professional Mediators’ Organisation.

Region; South East and Dublin, or national when delivered online

Duration; 32 Hours approx of lectures & roleplays
Course participants are also provided with several hours of supplementary video lectures by one of the training team on relevant Family Law topics.

Price; € 1,500 for online course (a non-refundable €300 deposit is required to book)

(price includes training materials and access to supplementary video lectures)

Upcoming Dates & Venues



Dates;  Next course will run on the following days

Day 1 – online – full day – Thursday 21st March 2024 from 9am to 6pm
Day 2 – online – full day – Friday 22nd March from 9am to 6pm
Day 3 – online – half day on Thursday 28th March from 2pm to 6pm
Day 4 – online – half day on Friday 29th March from 2pm to 6pm
Day 5 – online – half day on Thursday 4th April from 2pm to 6pm
Day 6 – online- half day on Friday 5th April from 2pm to 6:30pm


For Bookings, enquiries & details of future courses email, call (051) 348336 or use our contact form

Course Details

Day Module Details
Day 1

(all day)

Family Law (8 Hours) Module 1

·       Current family law practices and recent case law in the area of family law. Family law legislation, including Judicial Separation and Divorce and an overview and analysis of the Mediation Act 2017.

·       Domestic Violence legislation, including an overview and analysis of new developments  under the Domestic Violence Act 2018.

·       Child Protection legislation and procedure

·       Guardianship and the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015

·       Separation Agreements, the legal context.


Day 2

(all day)

Family Mediation Processes (8 Hours) Module 2

·       Mediation process and Mediator obligations under the Mediation Act 2017

·       The Agreement to Mediate

·       Dealing with the Family Home, division of Marital assets, Spousal and Child maintenance, pensions and tax implications.

·       Understanding issues of Succession

·       Negotiating and drafting agreements; the essential dos and don’ts

·       Mediation and the Courts


Day 3


Parenting (4 Hours) Module 3

·       Facilitating parents drawing up parenting plans and negotiating future arrangements for their children, in the best interests of the child and based on best practice informed by international research.

·       Child-inclusive mediation and hearing the voice of the child


Day 3


Children protection (4 hours) Module 4

·       Children’s wellbeing

·       Child protection legislation in Ireland

·       Child protection policies and procedures, and how to implement them

Day 4


Domestic Violence & Screening Process (4 hours)

·       Screening for domestic violence

·       Identifying domestic violence/abuse, mediating safely and protecting clients

·       Understanding Domestic Violence legislation in the context of mediation

·        Identifying and dealing with power imbalances


Day 4


Couple dynamics (4 hours) Module 5

·       The psychological dynamics of separation

·       The complexity of separating couple dynamics in mediation

·       Dealing with anger, frustration, loss in the mediation process

·       Positive steps to assist clients deal with the emotional context as they move though the process of mediation

The modules are described above for the course when delivered in-person over 4 days. Modules may be delivered on different days in an online format.  Preparatory work will be required prior to attending each day of training.

About Dr Roisin O’Shea

Roisin is a Partner in Arc Mediation and an award-winning former Irish Research Council scholar, who was awarded a Ph.D. in 2014 for her doctoral research on Judicial Separation and Divorce in the Circuit Court, Ireland. She is an expert in Family Law, and has significant experience as a mediator completing hundreds of cases since 2009 including family, work place and commercial mediations. She was appointed a Regional Leader in the field of mediation in 2018 by Waterford Chamber of Commerce, is an approved Skillnet trainer delivering courses on mediation skills to managers. She has published nationally and internationally on the topics of family law and mediation. Roisin has delivered training on family law and mediation to Bar Councils since 2013, graduated with a BL from Kings Inns and was called to the Bar in 2021.


Course Objectives

  1. To provide sufficient legal knowledge, including an over-view of the Mediation Act 2017, to enable participant mediators to understand and navigate the legal context of separating couples.
  2. To provide an overview of child-inclusive mediation, to include parenting in the best interests of the child, the legal context, child protection issues and children’s experience of family breakdown.
  3. To provide information on family mediation structures and processes
  4. To provide insight and knowledge on couple dynamics during the separation process.
  5. To provide insight and knowledge on Domestic Violence/Abuse and screening processes

Terms & Conditions for booking, attendance, cancellation etc are available on request.