1. Preparation and mediator’s opening statement
At this stage the mediator introduces him/herself to the parties and gives an opening statement that sets the ground. This step also includes a brief description of the principles of mediation and the goals of the process. The parties and the mediator agree on the way the procedure will unfold and the ground rules to be followed.
2. Parties' statements and mediator's summaries
Each party presents the dispute from his/her perspective. Parties’ statements are noted and summarised back by the mediator, while providing an opportunity for the parties to hear each other requests and statements made
3. Identification and listing of issues (agenda setting)
The mediator identifies the issues that would be the major focus of the mediation process and on which the parties shall work in an attempt to find acceptable solutions in a co-operative manner.
4. Fact finding and legal framework
Parties are encouraged to disclose as much information as possible and jointly perform a fact finding procedure. In the process the mediator encourages parties to communicate directly with each other and seeks to clarify the legal rights to which parties are entitled. The parties’ interests and needs are further clarified.
5. Private meeting
Parties are provided with the opportunity to express opinions and give information privately to the mediator if they feel more comfortable doing so than in joint sessions. The private meeting can also assist parties to prepare to negotiate, generate options and ensure that particular proposals are realistic.
6. Joint negotiation
This provides the basis for joint problem solving, exploring the agreement and may be followed by further private meetings and joint sessions where necessary.
7. Final session
In the final session, the parties meet together in the presence of the mediator to discuss issues and possible options for resolution. The mediator facilitates final negotiations and fine-tuning of the agreement. Alternatively, the mediation may need to be adjourned or terminated.