The Mediation Timeline: what are the steps in mediation?

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Have you wondered what the steps in mediation involve?

You may have heard mediation is a great alternative process to resolving a dispute that sits outside of the court system. Alternatively, you might be considering engaging a mediator or already in the thick of it!

This blog post gives you a deeper understanding of what to expect in a typical mediation.

Mediation can be broken down into 5 phases – each with a different purpose and objective.


 1. Preparation Phase

Before the mediation, the mediator will usually meet with you to answer any questions, set expectations, explain the process and build rapport. Depending on the circumstances, this could be in person or over the phone with each party separately or jointly.


2. Introductory Phase

This is when you’re in the room and the mediation begins. The first session is usually with all parties in attendance. There will be introductions and formalities exchanged before the mediator makes an opening statement.


3. Understanding Phase

This is the most important stage because it is when the mediator is helping parties to better understand the issues. Each party is given an opportunity to summarise their position in an opening presentation.

The mediator asks questions and facilitates discussion to try to ensure both parties acknowledge the other point of view.

At the end of this phase, you will have a clear definition of the problem(s).


4. Negotiation Phase

Now that everyone is on the same page and you know what the problem actually boils down to – it’s time to negotiate. At this phase, the mediator will help parties identify and explore options for settlement. The mediator will work with you to overcome any impasses that may arise in negotiations.


5. Agreement Phase

At this point, offers have been made and an agreement has been reached. The mediator will summarise the agreement is put in writing, which usually becomes legally binding.

There may be outstanding issues which the mediator and parties can suggest ways to resolve.


How to get started?

 Now that you have a better understanding of mediation, you may be wondering whether mediation is suitable in your specific circumstances.

 If you’re looking for a mediator or have any questions, contact The Accord Group at or call us at +61 2 9264 9506.



  1. Mediation is an alternative to legal disputes

  2. A typical mediation has 5 phases: preparation, introductory, understanding, negotiation and agreement

  3. Each step has its own purposes and objectives

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