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Durham University

Durham University Mediation Service

How the Mediation Service can help

We can help at the early stages of a conflict

Mediation can be used at any stage in a conflict situation however, the sooner people seek to resolve difficulties the better this is for all concerned. You do not have to wait until a conflict has escalated or until it has been happening for a long time in order to involve the service.

Mediation is a less stressful option

When mediation is used at the early stages of a conflict, it can be less stressful than instigating formal processes or continuing to experience conflict without taking any action to resolve it. Even when a conflict has been on-going for some time, mediation can provide a way for those involved to find a ‘win-win’ solution to improve their relationship for the future.

Mediation focuses on solutions

In mediation, decision-making remains with the individuals, those involved in mediation are guided by mediators to focus on future outcomes that are mutually beneficial to them, to improve their future relationship.

The outcome of mediation is an agreement between the individuals, with each person having practical actions identified, to help avoid the conflict continuing or reoccurring, enabling them to have a positive relationship going forward.

Once mediation has taken place and a solution agreed upon, Mediators in the University’s service contact the individuals involved on a future date agreed during the mediation, to check that the agreement is working. Further mediation and support can be provided if agreed by both parties.

We are an independent service

The Mediation Service is an independent service that enables people to resolve their differences informally. Mediation is entirely separate to any of the HR or student disciplinary processes which focus on conflict or disputes.

We maintain confidentiality

The Mediation Service maintains confidentiality at all times and information is not shared with HR, line managers, academic departments or colleges. Mediators will simply report to the person who makes a referral that successful mediation has taken place or that mediation on this occasion was unsuccessful. The discussions in all mediation sessions remain private. We ask all those involved in the mediation meeting to sign a confidentiality agreement which you can see here.

Our mediators are friendly and welcoming

All mediators are sensitive to the way in which conflict can make people feel. Individuals will not be judged for their actions. The Mediators help those involved to work through their differences and to focus on the future and consider what can be done to help the relationship.

Are you willing to take part in mediation?

If you are experiencing dispute with another member of the University community, you can access our service.