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Training for Neutrals

Any person who serves as a neutral in an agency's ADR program to resolve EEO complaints must be familiar with the EEO laws and process. In particular, the neutrals must understand the theories of discrimination (e.g., disparate treatment, adverse impact, harassment, and reasonable accommodation), and the remedies available (e.g., compensatory damages, back pay, and attorney's fees). The Commission, through its Revolving Fund program, provides agencies with EEO training for a fee. For more information about EEO training, please contact

In addition, any person who serves as a neutral in an ADR program must have professional training in whatever dispute resolution technique the agency utilizes in its program. The EEOC will accept as sufficient such training as is generally recognized in the dispute resolution profession. For example, the Interagency Shared Neutrals Program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services requires the following expertise: (1) at least 20 hours of basic mediation skills training; (2) at least three co-mediations with a qualified mediator or five independent mediations and positive evaluations from a qualified trainer/evaluator; and (3) at least two references from two qualified mediators or trainer/evaluators.

Here is a list of agencies that provide ADR training:

To obtain non-federal sources for ADR training, please examine the OPM ADR Resource Guide at

Training for Managers

In order to encourage the successful operation of ADR throughout the federal sector, all managers and supervisors should receive ADR training, either through an agency-conducted program or through an external source such as another federal agency or private contractor.

The training should include the following information:

  1. The ADR Act and its amendments, with emphasis on the federal government's interest in encouraging mutual resolution of disputes and the benefits associated with utilizing ADR;
  2. The EEOC's regulations and policy guidance with respect to ADR, 29 C.F.R. §§ 1614.102(b)(2); 105(f); 1614.108(b), and 1614.603;
  3. The operation of the ADR method or methods that the agency employs;
  4. Exposure to other ADR methods, including interest-based mediation, if this method is not already in use by the agency; and
  5. Drafting the settlement agreement, including the notice provision pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 1614.504 where the aggrieved party believes that agency failed to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement.

The Commission's Office of Federal Operations offers courses for managers and supervisors that include a module entitled "Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Federal EEO Complaint Process." As part of the course, the managers have the opportunity to view a mediation videotape. For more information, contact the Federal Training and Outreach Division at

ADR Video Tapes

The following agencies have produced video tapes concerning ADR-related topics. If you would like to view any of the following tapes, please contact the agency directly. A link to the agency's ADR web site or contact person is provided.

  • Department of the Air Force (
  • U. S. Postal Service - REDRESS Program, 202-268-7400.

Please note that EEOC has not adopted or otherwise approved of any standards and guidelines that are referred to.