Training Up An Internal Peer Mediation Team At Sellafield

Sellafield is a nuclear fuel reprocessing and nuclear decommissioning site, based in Cumbria, England.

This year, Sellafield worked with Timmy Kurtuldum, Mediation Manager at CiC to embed strategies that aim to proactively manage conflict within the workplace and support employees through the upcoming changes the organisation is undertaking.

Timmy created online support materials and in June ran a week long training to train Sellafield’ s new internal peer mediation team. Timmy worked closely with HR Operations to develop the support services associated with this.

Additional to training their in house team, CiC wanted to ensure that they helped Sellafield raise awareness and promote the mediation service across the organisation. To do this Timmy delivered “Ambassadors to Mediation” courses to senior leaders and Trade Unions across the different sites and a Conflict Resolution course to HR professionals. Both highlighted the importance of early stage intervention and the process and benefits of mediation. The sessions were delivered to ambassadors, key leaders and Union members to help promote the new service across the organisation.

CiC’ s Timmy Kurtuldum comments that many organisations are training teams of mediators with great success. These internal teams are ideally placed to deal with most issues at an early and less complex stage and help their colleagues attempt to resolve their conflicts in a safe and informal setting. Importantly, the non-threatening nature of mediation means it can be introduced quickly and early on before a dispute becomes more serious.

CiC will continue to support Sellafield with this programme by providing supervision for their in house team and CPD training and dealing with the more difficult and complex cases.

CiC’ s internal mediation Training

Mediation provides a simple, informal but structured method of avoiding any serious dispute cases.  It is a voluntary, confidential and informal process whereby trained mediators help parties/teams to resolve their issues and find a mutually agreeable way of working together moving forward. The parties retain ownership of the process. CiC offers a five day training course. This can be spread over a suitable time frame for the organisation to minimize time out of the office. The course is designed for peer mediation. This means the mediation is conducted in pairs which offers the advantage of support and also the opportunity to provide two representative people to suitably cover the conflict.  For example, if there is an imbalance in the levels of seniority of the parties in dispute, then the mediators can be teamed appropriately to cover this fairly.  It is important to remember however that internal mediators leave behind their usual job role when they are facilitating mediations and must remain impartial and keep everything confidential.CiC is registered with the Civil Mediation Council, thereby ensuring that all our Mediators and trainers follow an appropriate code of conduct and are sensitive to diversity, equality and anti- discrimination and confidentiality issues 

Within the programme, CiC provided support by:

  • – Creating and implementing mediation helpsheets, guides and videos for induction packages
  • – Creating an online toolkit for Managers with templates and support materials for signposting and referral to mediation
  • – Assisting with the advertising, application and assessment process of selecting internal mediators
  • – Identifying how this fitted into the internal policies and procedures
  • – Delivery and continual assessment of the 5 day peer mediation training programme
  • – Recommendations post training and follow up support
  • – Delivering an Ambassadors to Mediation Training to raise awareness of the new services
  • – At a later stage providing supervision for their internal mediators

Timmy Kurtuldum says “It was a really exciting time to be part of this big roll out and work so closely with Sellafield. They were proactive in their approach and open to all the recommendations we made for the programme.”