Working in multiple countries, in different contexts, interesting cultures and languages, presents opportunities like none other.  It allows trainers, like myself, to work with many fascinating people in their world, to assist them in reaching their learning goals.  One of the strengths of our Mediator Skills Training course and accreditation is that it is a fully portable and an internationally recognised qualification.

With over 70% of CEDR’s training courses being offered abroad in over 20 countries in the past 18 months, hundreds of professionals have gone through exactly the same course, been taught by a core body of highly skilled trainers (who are also experienced mediators), and have been assessed against the same key competencies.  Our international experience has allowed us to build a course which is adaptable and able to fit into academic frameworks or into practical intensive formats.  In practice this translates to a mediator that has received the CEDR Accreditation in Greece having been examined to a quality consistent to those in Ireland to Hong Kong to Sweden to Moldova.  Not only does this allow participants that have passed CEDR’s assessment to wear the title ‘CEDR Accredited Mediator’, but it allows business to be assured that those who have undergone the training have reached a quality consistent with other mediators internationally.

In a highly competitive and globalised marketplace, differentiating between you and the next person is key.  This is one of the reasons why our international work continues to flourish: Local mediators wanting to undertake a qualification that allows them to work across borders or assist in developing a competitive advantage against the next person.  A second reason is that cross-border business is increasing with the EU promoting an internal market in which the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons is ensured in which European citizens are free to live, work, study and do business.  This increase in cross-border commerce inevitably results in an increase in commercial disputes (see the EU Mediation Directive 2008).  An international organisation with offices in numerous jurisdictions may prefer a mediator to hold internationally recognised mediation qualifications; or a Greek company in Brussels may prefer a Greek-speaking mediator to mediate a dispute involving a Flemish company or vice versa.  Alternatively, an Italian company based in Bulgaria may prefer that the mediator is not from either countries, to reinforce, perceived neutrality – and many other examples.

In an era that many commentators have warned against the tension of ‘local’ and ‘global’, why not enjoy the benefits of both?  Working locally with the ability to operate globally is a win-win if there ever was one.

Ioanna Anastassopoulou, President, Hellenic Mediation and Arbitration Centre
A few words about the new cooperation

When the Hellenic Mediation and Arbitration Centre (HMAC)’s co-operation with CEDR and the Larisa Mediation Training Institute finally became official the first thing that came into my mind was Allen Saunders’s famous quote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. Shaping our future sometimes is all about leaving the present alone!

I still remember my enthusiasm when I first attended the CEDR Mediation Skills Training programme in Sitges, Spain. After the course, I was really excited to assist in the development of commercial mediation within Greece and in 2010 invited CEDR to hold their internationally-rated training here in Athens. To-date, CEDR and HMAC have offered high quality mediation skills training to the first 150 mediators in Greece.  Amongst the 150, there were many that embraced the spirit of mediation but two in particular deserve a special mention, Marina Arsenopoulou and Evi Bekiri.  These young women embraced HMAC’s mission and have gone on to become fervent ADR champions within Greece and the next chapter in our development is beginning.

With their assistance, we are very proud to announce HMAC’s cooperation with CEDR, the Larissa Bar Association and the Larissa Chamber of Commerce, to introduce the Larissa Mediation Training Institute. It’s not only about seeing HMAC’s ambitions come true, but through partnership with CEDR, we can be certain that a new generation of Greek mediators are trained to the highest possible international standards combined with an understanding of local know-how. We are all looking forward to this new era of mediation skills training in Greece and welcome you all to take part in this journey with us.


James South is CEDR’s Director of Global Training and Consultancy and has been mediating public and private sector disputes for 17 years. As one of the world’s most experienced dispute resolution trainers and consultants James is responsible for the development of CEDR’s leading courses in Mediation, Negotiation and Conflict Management for legal and business organisations, the public sector, universities and professional bodies.