FAQs About Continuing Education

Q: Do I have to earn continuing education credits to maintain my registration?

A: Yes, all Georgia-registered neutrals must complete 3 hours of continuing education (CE) for every annual renewal cycle.  Excess CE hours cannot be carried over to the following renewal cycle.  According to the Supreme Court ADR Rules, for a course to qualify for neutral CE, "There must be a nexus between the continuing education attended and enhancement of the neutral’s skill, substantive knowledge and/or professionalism as a neutral." Observations/co-mediations you must do to fulfill a registration requirement cannot count as CE, even if you are already registered.

Registration is available online through our website. An application checklist is posted there, as well.  For detailed registration requirements of neutrals, see Appendix B to the Georgia Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules.

Q: When do I have to take my continuing education courses?

A: There is an expiration date for CE courses. That is, if you are renewing for the first time, the CE you claim for renewal must have been taken since your original registration date. If you have renewed before, the CE you claim for renewal must have been taken since your last renewal deadline.

Registration is available online through our website.  An application checklist is posted there, as well.  For detailed registration requirements of neutrals, see Appendix B to the Georgia Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules.

Q: How do I earn continuing education for my registration renewal?

A: There are several ways to earn CE:

1.  The Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution maintains a list of CE opportunities that it learns of.  See our Continuing Education Listings.

2. Once you are a registered neutral, any approved training that leads to registration in another category can also count toward your CE requirement.  For example, if you are registered in General Civil Mediation, and you take an approved 6-hour course in Arbitration, that 6-hour course can register you in Arbitration and count as the 6 hours toward your 3-hour requirement.  Please be aware that observations and co-mediations do not count as CE.

3. If you must take courses to fulfill CE requirements in another profession, such as law, medicine, nursing, social work, or accounting, you can count those courses toward your neutral CE requirements as well, as long as you can attest that there is a "nexus between the continuing education attended and enhancement of the neutral’s skill, substantive knowledge and/or professionalism as a neutral."

4. Online and video seminars are now acceptable for neutral CE, subject to the same Supreme Court requirements stated here. Many professions offer online and video courses, and one can usually take them without being a member of that profession. For example, Georgia's Institute for Continuing Legal Education offers many online and video replays of its legal seminars, several of them on dispute resolution, that are available for rental by the public.

5. If you have served as a trainer, instructor, coach or speaker in an ADR-related seminar or training, you can claim double your actual instruction time as CE. For example, in a 6-hour seminar, you gave an hour-long talk on mediator ethics, you can claim 2 hours of CE on your next renewal.

Registration is available online through our website.  An application checklist is posted there, as well.  For detailed registration requirements of neutrals, see Appendix B to the Georgia Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules.

Q: Do I have to earn my continuing education all at once?

A: No, you do not have to earn all of your required CE hours in one seminar or class. You can earn them 15 minutes or a half-hour at a time if that is what is available.

Registration is available online through our website.  An application checklist is posted there, as well.  For detailed registration requirements of neutrals, see Appendix B to the Georgia Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules.

Q: What happens if I take more continuing education hours than I need?

A: If you take more than your required number of CE hours, you cannot carryover those excess hours to your next renewal cycle.

Registration is available online through our website.  An application checklist is posted there, as well.  For detailed registration requirements of neutrals, see Appendix B to the Georgia Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules.

Q: Am I required to work as a mediator/arbitrator/case evaluator in order to renew my registration?

A. No, there is no requirement that you work as a neutral or handle cases or disputes in your registration category in order to maintain or renew your registration. For example, if you are registered in General Civil Mediation, you are not required to mediate cases in order to maintain or renew your registration.

Registration is available online through our website.  An application checklist is posted there, as well.  For detailed registration requirements of neutrals, see Appendix B to the Georgia Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules.