Resolution Processes


Mediation is a way for people or groups to make decisions with the help of a trained third party in a safe and cooperative setting. In mediation, people have the opportunity to discuss and resolve their differences and find a workable solution or plan that will help them move forward. The mediator does not offer a ruling, decision or opinion. The mediator does not give legal advice or take sides in the dispute. The mediator helps the people involved explore their ideas and options and make their own decisions. Mediation is voluntary, confidential and non-adversarial. For more information about mediation, please read this article.


Arbitration is a dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party reviews evidence, hears testimony and makes a decision. In binding arbitration, the parties agree in advance to accept the decision of the arbitrator. In non-binding arbitration, the decision is a recommendation that the parties may choose to follow, in part or entirely.


Ombuds (ombudsman, ombudsperson) are employed by companies, universities, governments and other organizations to provide independent, impartial and confidential services. Ombuds hear inquiries and complaints and ensure that everyone involved is heard without fear of retaliation or loss of privacy. They facilitate resolution of disputes or issues brought forward by employees or consumers, advocate for the needs of the clients or customers of the organization and bring systemic concerns to the attention of the organization.


Facilitation is a process in which a person whose selection is acceptable to all the members of the group, who is substantively neutral, and who has no substantive decision–making authority diagnoses and intervenes to help a group improve how it identifies and solves problems and makes decisions, to increase the group’s effectiveness. The facilitator has no decision-making authority but works with the group to support full participation, increase mutual understanding and shared decision-making. Facilitators may work in business, education, community or other settings with group communication, planning or dispute resolution needs.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is a process of assisted negotiation in which attorneys and their clients try to settle their differences without the involvement of a third party. The attorneys help their clients clarify issues and negotiate an agreement. Collaborative attorneys agree not to represent their collaborative clients in court.

Parenting Coordination

Parent Coordinators work with parents to help them carry out their parenting plan. They combine the roles of educator, conflict coach, mediator and arbitrator. They help parents learn appropriate communication and decision-making methods. They act as mediators to help them resolve disputes. When parents are unable to resolve disputes, the parenting coordinator will make decisions to help the parents better implement their parenting plan. The arbitration (decision-making) power of the parenting coordinator is limited to disputes about carrying out the parenting plan and other minor parenting issues. The parenting coordinator may NOT change primary residence, the amount of child support, or other key issues that only a court may decide.


Conflict resolution educators and trainers may be class room teachers, usually at the secondary or post-secondary level . They may also teach workshops or other community education programs. They may provide individual or group training or supervision for mediators or other conflict resolvers.