The Basics of Mediation

A Live Interactive Training on Zoom


Winter 2023

Training Dates and Times

  • Orientation: Jan 18, Wed, 6:00-8:00pm PST
  • Jan 21-22: Sat & Sun, 9:30am – 6:00pm PST
  • Jan 28-29: Sat & Sun, 9:30am – 6:00pm PST
  • Feb 5: Sun, 9:30am – 6:00pm PST

Registration ends Jan 15, 6:00pm PST


CB Member, Early Bird – $720 | Full – $770 (After Dec 28, 6pm PST)
Public, Early Bird – $795 | Full$845 (After Dec 28, 6pm PST)
Nonprofit: $545

Register Here Become a CB Member

Spring 2023

Training Dates and Times

  • Orientation: Apr 26, Wed, 6:00-8:00pm PDT
  • Apr 29-30: Sat & Sun, 9:30am – 6:00pm PDT
  • May 6-7: Sat & Sun, 9:30am – 6:00pm PDT
  • May 13: Sat, 9:30am – 6:00pm PDT

Registration ends Apr 23, 6:00pm PDT


CB Member, Early Bird – $720 | Full – $770 (After Apr 5, 6pm PDT)
Public, Early Bird – $795 | Full – $845 (After Apr 5, 6pm PDT)
Nonprofit: $545

Register Here Become a CB Member

The Basics of Mediation Training

Earn Your Certificate in Mediation

Become a Certified Mediator with Community Boards’ 40-hour Basics of Mediation training. Ideal for people who want to learn to mediate and to enhance their conflict resolution skills.

Community Boards’ nationally-recognized The Basics of Mediation teaches a practical and proven step-by-step framework to become a successful neutral third-party mediator.

Participants gain the skills needed to handle a broad range of disputes and to communicate effectively. This live training introduces mediation and core conflict resolution skills for managers, HR professionals, attorneys, ombuds, social workers, community organizers, and those interested in expanding their professional and personal skill sets. These skills can be used to mediate conflicts that arise in the workplace, in community, and at home.

Live Interactive Training on Zoom

Our Zoom training is a highly engaging mix of discussion, role play, and coaching that builds participants’ skills step-by-step, and gives you the framework, practice, and confidence to mediate disputes.

Participants get access to supplemental training videos on YouTube and additional reading materials. Coached role-play practices are held in breakout rooms with immediate feedback and guidance. Each day is designed to be fun and engaging to maximize learning.

Training Topics

The Basics of Mediation training topics include:

  • Employing effective communication and active listening
  • Dealing with strong emotions
  • De-escalating anger
  • Addressing diversity
  • Balancing power
  • Breaking impasse
  • Managing a negotiation

The Basics of Mediation provides these professional benefits:

  • Gain credibility and professional expertise
  • Learn a highly desirable workplace skill set
  • Join a community of alternative dispute resolution professionals


Community Boards’ Basics of Mediation training meets the requirements of California Trial Courts’ mediation programs and fulfills the education and training requirements of California’s Dispute Resolution Program Act (DRPA). Upon completion, each participant receives a signed certificate.

After completing the training, participants are invited to join Community Boards’ volunteer Community Mediator team which provides opportunities to practice and hone mediation skills among a cadre of compassionate, skilled volunteer community mediators.


This course is approved by the State Bar of California for 40 MCLE credits including 4 credits for the Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society (provider #9323). $75 processing fee required. Make your MCLE payment here.

Become a Community Mediator
Community Boards’ Neighborhood Mediation Program provides a range of conflict resolution services to all San Franciscans. Upon completion of Basics, participants are invited to become a Community Mediator. By volunteering, participants both help people resolve their disputes and continue to expand and refine their conflict resolution skill sets.

Here are what others have said about Basics: Participant Testimonials


Donald Proby, Lead Trainer
Donald, currently a doctoral scholar in educational leadership with an emphasis on cross cultural conflict transformation, has been a mediator, restorative justice practitioner, and conflict resolution trainer for over 35 years. He has worked in government, social services, nonprofit leadership, and public and holistic health arenas.

Donald also works with multiple Bay Area organizations to advance peace and community building. Donald has been co-leading our Basics of Mediation training since 2011. His approach to adult education involves holding space where learners are encouraged to engage with their natural curiosity, explore, experiment, and master the content through transformative embodied experiences. Donald works to create an environment where risk taking is encouraged and the collective experience is engaging.

Karen H. Lipney, Co-Trainer
Karen is a trainer, mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, and is a co-trainer of the Basics of Mediation and Beyond the Basics. She draws on years of experience working for a national labor union and before that, as an attorney. In a career transition, Karen focused on mediation to expand her skills and experience. In 2014, Karen began to volunteer her time for Community Boards as a Community Mediator, Conflict Coach, and Facilitator. In 2016 she joined the staff as the Outreach Coordinator. Karen then worked as our ADR Programs Director from 2016-21. She is currently the Neighborhood Courts Program Coordinator & Consultant with Community Boards, as well as a mediator, conflict coach and facilitator for The Brigham and Women’s Hospital located in Boston. Karen was raised in San Francisco and giving back to the community is part of her family heritage.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Though it rarely happens, we reserve the right to cancel a training. Should we cancel, registrants will receive a full refund. We also reserve the right to substitute trainers or presenters. All other cancellations will receive a refund minus the appropriate cancellation fee described below.

Cancellation & Transfer Fees

  • Cancellations 11 or more business days before the training start date will incur a $50 cancellation fee. This fee will be waived one time if registration is applied to a future training.
  • Cancellations 6-10 business days before the training start date will incur a $150 cancellation fee. $100 of this fee will be waived one time if registration is applied to a future training.
  • Cancellations 5 or fewer business days before the training start date will incur HALF THE ENROLLMENT FEE. $100 of this fee will be waived one time if registration is applied to a future training.

Financial Assistance Application

Community Boards is committed to ensuring accessibility to all our trainings and workshops. Awards of financial aid are needs based. Our primary goals are to provide financial assistance and to maintain diversity in our pool of volunteer Community Mediators.

All information in the application is confidential. Please note that applicants may be requested to provide additional information.

Submit your online application: Financial Assistance Application Form.

Deadlines: Completed applications must be submitted no later than four weeks prior to the selected training date.

  • Winter 2023: Dec 28, 6pm PDT
  • Winter 2023: Apr 12, 6pm PDT

Be sure to join our email list for future updates on The Basics of Mediation and other training opportunities.

Connect with Us


Sarah Moss, Mediation and Training Coordinator