Mediation Certification in Canada: What Are the Rules & Steps?

Posted by Kompass Professional Development on Aug 30, 2022 10:57:28 AM
Kompass Professional Development

Updated April 2023

Considering a career in mediation? Your first priority is to understand the types of mediation certification available in Canada, at both the regional and national levels.

It can get a bit confusing because technically, mediation is not a regulated profession in Canada. There is no legally mandated training or licensing process for mediators.

However, Canada does have a powerful organization that sets clear standards and guidelines for mediator training and professional practice. This organization is called the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada (ADRIC). It encourages mediators and arbitrators to self-regulate by offering a variety of designations that are highly respected across the country.

It comes down to this: if you want to be recognized as a competent mediator, you'll need to earn a designation from the ADR Institute.

So where do you begin? What rules and steps must you follow to become a certified mediator?

In this post, we break down the process from start to finish. Here's what you need to know.


entry-level mediation certification

ADRIC offers two types of professional designations for mediators. The first is an entry-level credential, called the Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) designation. 

This is the natural starting point for newcomers to the field. You don't need professional mediation experience to get certified.

Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) requirements include:

☑️ 40 hours of basic mediation training 

☑️ 40 hours of specialized mediation and related training 

☑️ Completion of 2 mediations (can be actual or supervised practice mediations, or co-mediations) 

☑️ Pledge to comply with ADRIC’s Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct 

☑️ Become a full member in good standing with ADRIC and your provincial affiliate 

☑️ Commit to continuing education 

☑️ Provide proof of Errors and Omissions Insurance with a limit of at least $1 million aggregate 

A quality mediation course should include instructor-supervised mock mediations. These will count toward the practice mediations required for certification.


Advanced mediation certification

The more advanced credential offered by ADRIC is called the Chartered Mediator (C.Med) designation.

You will need considerable professional mediation experience to qualify for this title. Practice mediations don't count. You must complete a set number of paid mediations and undergo a skills assessment by a panel of evaluators.

Chartered Mediator (C.Med) requirements include:

☑️ 80 hours of mediation theory and skills training  

☑️ 100 hours of specialized and related training 

☑️ Completion of at least 15 paid mediations as the sole mediator or mediation chairperson 

☑️ Completion of a skills assessment (your performance as mediator is assessed by three approved Chartered Mediators) 

☑️ Pledge to comply with ADRIC’s Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct 

☑️ Become a full member in good standing with ADRIC and your provincial affiliate 

☑️ Commit to continuing education 

☑️ Provide proof of Errors and Omissions insurance with a limit of at least $1 million aggregate 


Family Mediation Certification

Family mediators have their own professional association, separate from ADRIC, called Family Mediation Canada (FMC). 

If you want to conduct family mediations, you will need to complete the Family Mediator Certification Program. This program prepares candidates for the Family Relations Mediator and Comprehensive Family Mediator certifications. 

Requirements to become a Certified Family Relations Mediator (Advanced) include:

☑️ 80 hours of basic conflict resolution and mediation training 

☑️ 100 hours of further education and training in specific areas of family issues 

☑️ Completion of an approved 30-hour mediation practicum or two positive peer evaluations from experienced family mediators 

☑️ Videotaped role-play assessment along with a skills assessment 

☑️ Written final examination 

☑️ Mandatory continuing education 

☑️ Become a member in good standing of FMC

☑️ Maintain Errors and Omissions insurance with a limit of at least $1 million aggregate  

Note: Although regulations vary between provinces, family mediation and arbitration tend to be more regulated than other ADR practice areas. If your goal is to practise in this area, we recommend consulting the specific laws and regulations in your region.

You can begin by contacting the ADR Institute affiliate in your area. Click here to see a list of regional affiliates.

Provincial family mediation organizations also offer certification. For instance, the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM) offers the Accredited Family Mediator (AccFM) designation that is recognized by the courts and the provincial government.

Learn more here: Steps to Become a Certified Family Mediator in Ontario


mediation training programs

Once you know which mediation certification you want to pursue, the next step is to select an approved training course. 

Each designation requires a certain number of hours of in-class training. There are many organizations that provide mediation training, which can be applied toward your certification. 

There are online mediation courses, ground programs, full-time and part-time options. So, what should you look for in a quality program? 

Above all else, it's important to choose a mediation course that is recognized and approved by ADRIC (or for family mediators, an accrediting body like FMC or OAFM).

Graduating from an approved program will streamline your application for the Q.Med designation—your starting point as a new mediator.

If you complete a program that is not approved, ADRIC will have to independently assess the course. This could delay the approval process or result in the rejection of your application. 


Explore Accredited Online Mediation CourseS at Kompass

Kompass Professional Development offers an online Mediation and Dispute Resolution course you can complete in just 12 weeks. The course is accredited by ADRIC and taught by a certified mediator.

Training includes role-plays and mock mediations, and meets ADRIC’s basic educational requirements for the Qualified Mediator certification. This course is your first step toward becoming a certified mediator.

Kompass also offers a Family Mediation certificate that fulfills 64.5 of the hours needed for certification through FMC.

Click below to explore the training, see a detailed course list, or chat live with an admissions advisor. We're here to help.

Explore the Mediation & Dispute Resolution Certificate

Explore the Family Mediation Certificate


Topics: mediation

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