Q: Is there registration/certification reciprocity between states?
A: There is no formal reciprocity system between Georgia and other states. However, ADR professionals who have been trained in or who have worked in other states frequently are able to register in Georgia based on their training and experience. Neutrals from another state may ask to be waived in for Georgia registration provided they meet the qualifications in the Supreme Court ADR Rules. See information below on ADR professionals who have trained and/or worked outside Georgia.
Likewise, other state dispute resolution organizations generally accept Georgia registration as a strong credential that satisfies their training requirements for the type of certification or licensing required to practice in their states.
For those who have been actively mediating court cases in another state, Appendix B (II) of the Georgia Supreme Court ADR Rules sets forth the requirements to apply for a waiver of the regular Georgia registration requirements:
Mediators from other states: A mediator from another state who (1) has received training which meets that state’s qualifications and, at the discretion of the Director, has had substantially similar training to that approved in Georgia; (2) has mediated for one year; (3) has completed a minimum of five mediations or ten hours of mediation during that time; and (4) meets the educational requirements of Appendix B may ask to be waived in for Georgia registration on the basis of that training. A mediator from another state who is waived in must be observed by a staff member of the court in which he or she intends to serve or submit a letter from the office of dispute resolution or director of the court program for which he or she served in the other state before applying for registration by the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. A mediator from another state who applies for registration will be required to take and pass a test on Georgia ethics provided by the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution as a prerequisite to registration."
If you are seeking the waiver based on your mediation work in another state, you will need to gather the information to document that you meet the above criteria (certificate of training completion, detailed information about the training as set forth above, copies of certification or registration in the other state, confirmation of the required number of completed mediations, letter from the Office of Dispute Resolution or director of a court program in the other state, etc.) You will need to submit all of these documents with your application for registration.
For those who have had training in another state but do not meet the above requirement, you may submit the information regarding your training to the office with your application. If the training is determined to be "substantially similar", you will still need to meet the other requirements for registration in Georgia including observations and letter(s) of recommendation. Domestic Violence Mediation, Delinquency Mediation, and Dependency Mediation training cannot be waived in from outside Georgia.
Please understand that while we welcome neutrals from other states, GODR is responsible for ensuring that every registered neutral has had training equivalent to that approved in Georgia. There are many very worthwhile training programs throughout the country, but we are simply unable to be as flexible as many applicants would wish.
For detailed registration requirements of neutrals, see Appendix B to the Georgia Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules.