During the mediation, the following will usually happen, but not always in this order:
- laying out of rules
- each party briefly tells the mediator their side of the matter
- the parties are given an opportunity to discuss the issues with each other
- the mediator may draw up a list of the issues and these may then be ranked in order of importance by the parties
- the mediator may have the parties withdraw into separate rooms and the mediator will talk with each party privately and confidentially
- anything that is said in either room is not communicated to the party in the other room except with the permission of the party concerned
- the mediator may move between the parties, communicating offers made by the respective parties
- after the separate discussions, the parties will come back together for further discussion
- if a settlement is reached, the mediator will draw up a Terms of Settlement document in consultation with the parties and this will be signed
- each party receives a copy of the signed Terms of Settlement.
If either party attends the mediation as a representative of others, then that party needs to have full authority (in writing if necessary) to sign a Settlement Agreement on behalf of everyone they represent.