The SIMI Competency Framework for Mediators


The SIMI Competency Framework for Mediators consists of a list of 18 competencies required of a professional mediator. It covers the following three main domains:

I. Mediation Knowledge & Process Management

II. Relationship Management 

III. Mediation Content Management 

Each competency lists certain skills and/or behaviours that are deemed essential for a mediator to undertake his role effectively (see Annex A below). The Framework is aligned with the core values and principles of mediation, namely neutrality/impartiality, confidentiality, effective conflict management and communication, etc.  

Why was it developed?

The Framework was developed to properly frame and communicate the following aspects of a mediator’s work:

  • Skills and behaviours to be demonstrated
  • Ethics to be upheld
  • Processes to be followed

The Framework establishes a set of clear and well-framed mediation standards for the mediation industry. This supports the development of professionalism and skills in mediators-in-training and allows existing mediators to benchmark their own competencies. The Framework will create greater trust in the profession and mediation will be seen as an effective and preferred mode of dispute resolution. 

List of Competencies under the SIMI Competency Framework for Mediators (Annex A)

Mediation Knowledge & Process Management




Core Values/Principles & Ethics of Mediation

  • Ability to understand the core values and principles, benefits of mediation, and its differences with other forms ADR.
  • Ability to understand the ethics of mediation*.

* These could include (but not be limited to) self-determination, impartiality, neutrality, avoiding conflicts of interest, mediator competence, confidentiality, quality of process, advertising and solicitation, fees and other charges, advancement of mediation etc)


Mediation Process/ Phases of Mediation


  • Ability to understand and manage well the 4 phases in a mediation session: opening, information gathering, problem solving and resolution, and closing.

Law & Legal Framework

  • Ability to understand the types of dispute resolution mechanisms, including various alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and their respective legislation (where applicable), e.g. Mediation Act and Singapore Convention on Mediation.
  • Demonstrate general understanding of the mediation industry domestically and globally.
  • Ability to understand the significance of recording of the mediated settlement agreement as an order of the court (applicable to jurisdictions where the governing Act allows this, e.g. Singapore Mediation Act 2017, Section 12).

Types of mediation

  • Ability to understand the different styles/types of mediation/disputes including but not limited to court annexed mediation, etc.

Conflict Management

  • Ability to understand causes and types of conflicts.
  • Ability to understand psychology and physiology of conflict; fight-flight theory, worldviews, etc.

Information & Communication Technology*


*Only for RTPs who wish to train mediators to conduct an online mediation service, given that not all service providers offer such an option.

  • Ability to understand the appropriate use of information and communication technology, to convene and effectively manage a mediation session.

Relationship Management




Communication Skills

  • Ability to understand and demonstrate active listening, reframing, rephrasing and empathy.
  • Ability to understand kinesics and apply it appropriately.
  • Ability to facilitate direct communication.
  • Ability to build rapport, confidence, and trust.

Cultural Fluency

  • Ability to interact with all disputants by showing openness, inclusiveness and sensitivity.

Managing Emotions

  • Ability to cultivate an environment of safety and trust (i.e. provide a safe and conducive environment).
  • Ability to bring parties back into the issues on the agenda and/or process.


  • Ability to understand and demonstrate withholding of personal judgement, values and beliefs.


  • Ability to understand and demonstrate fair treatment by giving equal opportunities for parties to be heard in a confidential setting as appropriate including during pre- and post-mediation meetings and during the mediation itself.

Team Player

  • Ability to work with a co-mediator (where there is one).
  • Ability to work with disputing parties and their representatives (where present).

Mediation Content Management





  • Ability to confidently convene and manage the entire mediation process including pre-mediation, mediation itself and post-mediation if any.


  • Ability to understand the 7 elements of negotiation (developed by Harvard Negotiation Project, Harvard University) OR other appropriate negotiation techniques.
  • Ability to understand interests and positions in a negotiation.
  • Ability to understand best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA), worst alternative to a negotiated agreement (WATNA) and zone of possible agreement (ZOPA).

Problem Solving

  • Ability to identify issues, interests, and formulate agenda.
  • Ability to collect and analyse information and assist parties to problem solve and to make decisions (analytical & critical thinking) with the use of open-ended questions to generate options and reality test the options.

Settlement Agreement

  • Ability to minimally vet and validate the terms of a draft settlement agreement.

Time Management

  • Ability to utilise time productively at each stage of the mediation.

Industry and domain knowledge

  • Willingness to acquire knowledge (where applicable) to mediate effectively.
  • This includes (where applicable) relevant knowledge in specialised sectors like shipping and maritime, medical and healthcare, financial products and services, construction, family and matrimonial, employment claims, etc.


Note on Mediator Self-Management 1

RTPs are encouraged to note that Self-Management is an important skill/behaviour a mediator should demonstrate. While not a training requirement and difficult to teach, RTPs/QAPs should consider how to encourage this quality via their training programmes. 

A non-exhaustive list of such qualities may include:

• Self-confidence (eg ability to code-switch when using the language of disputants).
• Self-development (eg perseverance and resilience in working with parties to develop solutions, humility, to be able to receive feedback)
• Integrity
• Other qualities (eg being meticulous in observing details of a case, being tactful)


Published in July 2023


1 The theme of Mediator Self-Management was initially included in earlier drafts of the Framework. Under this theme, competencies in the areas of self-confidence, self-development, integrity and other qualities were explored. However, at the final review of the Framework held with SIMI Partners on 22 May 2023, it was agreed that these competencies could not be taught specifically.  It was then agreed that Mediator Self Management would not be part of the Framework, but merely encouraged as reflected in a note.