Last month, we sent Imogen, our new Customer Service Administrator, on to our accredited mediation training course, the Interpersonal Mediation Practitioner’s Certificate (IMPC).
And, while she’s probably not going to be practising mediation for real in her new role, we do like new starters to experience first-hand what we’re all about, as well as what our flagship training course is actually like.
In addition, we also thought it would be beneficial for those currently interested in the course to hear about her honest experience of it, including her thoughts on the training methods, assessments, and even the venue.
So, without further ado, we put some of our most Frequently Asked Questions to her.
Here’s what Imogen had to say:
What sort of information were you given prior to the course?
I received a Welcome Pack four weeks before the start of the course, with further emails adding bits of information every week after. It was all very informative, with detailed descriptions of the training days, and brief introductions to the trainer and venue. It was very helpful and made me feel much more relaxed in attending the course.
What was the venue (Etc Venues Fenchurch Street) like?
The venue was excellent. It was clean, tidy, and modern, and the facilities were excellent. The staff were also very friendly and attentive, but the best part was the food! We were able to get breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the day, and there was a wide variety throughout the week.
What was your learner group like?
There were twelve learners in my group, me included. I was expecting nearly all of them to be from a private sector HR background but I was quite surprised to see there was more of a variety, including freelance consultants and housing officers. Everyone was really friendly and got on well together too, which was a bonus!
How was the trainer?
The trainer was amazing and instantly put everyone at ease. He handled the group well, aimed to get everyone involved, and provided loads of useful tips and feedback. And, as you’d expect, he was clearly knowledgeable about mediation too.
What sort of training methods were involved?
While I knew there would be role plays, I was still expecting lots of lecture-style teaching about the theory, but that wasn’t the case at all. The whole atmosphere was quite relaxed and most of the activities were interactive in some way, including lots of open discussion, group work and, of course, role plays.
And how were those role plays?
As soon as I was told that they would be involved, I was a bit nervous and apprehensive. It’s not something you do every day, so I imagine it’s outside of most people’s comfort zone! However, the trainer and the other learners were very supportive, which made it a lot easier. You realise straight away as well that it is essential for these types of skills and, once everyone realised that, we all just got on with it and helped to support each other along. It was actually quite enjoyable in the end!
Was that all there was to the assessment?
No, it was only the first half. We have to complete a written assignment too, reflecting on the things we learned and making it more subjective to you. For example, one of the questions asks you to identify your strengths and weaknesses in mediation, as well as a development plan going forward. The questions do go quite in-depth, but we have four weeks to complete the assignment which should be plenty of time.
Was it a difficult week then, all included?
It was tiring and intense with five days of solid learning, but it definitely felt beneficial and productive to me. And it never felt boring or laborious in any way, as there was a good variety of activities throughout the week. Again, it was all necessary too – there wasn’t a single part of the training that felt irrelevant.
Would you feel confident enough to take on a mediation case after completing this course?
Yes, I think so. I completed several role plays as a mediator on the course, which gave me lots of practical experience in using the skills, as well as the confidence to do it. I think the feedback I received from the trainer and the rest of the group helped to improve my confidence as well.
Finally, what was your overall impression of the course?
Very good, in general. The training was both beneficial and enjoyable, and I’ve definitely learnt some valuable skills that can be transferred to other areas, even if I’m not planning to use mediation any time soon. I can certainly see why the course gets good feedback from those who do actually want to use mediation in their professional roles!
And, of course, please do get in touch if you have any further questions about the training.