How to Become a Certified Family Mediator

What Background, Training and Experience do I need to become a Certified Family Mediator?



With the government of Ontario providing free in-court and subsidized out of court family mediation, the demand for good family mediators has never been greater.

At the same time, because many professionals are seeking to become family mediators, it is important to have a career plan before you commit to the course of study required to become a certified family mediator.

Riverdale Mediation periodically holds information sessions on how to become a Family Mediator. Our next confirmed session is scheduled for Thursday, November 30th, 2017, from 5-7 pm (details here). If you wish to be notified of future sessions, let us know at In the meantime, we hope this page provides information you will need to make this important decision.

The starting point for anyone seeking to enter the family mediation field is to visit the websites of the certifying organizations, which will provide you with the most reliable information about their membership and certification options and requirements.

Q & A


Q: Am I required to be certified to practice family mediation in Ontario?
A: Currently, no. But certification is an important qualification that distinguishes those who are suitably trained, qualified and insured from those who may not be. If you want to obtain work with one of Ontario’s court-connected family mediation programs, like mediate393 inc., you generally must be certified.

Q: Which organizations certify family mediators?
A: In Ontario there are four options.

  1. The Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM)
  2. The ADR Institute of Ontario (ADRIO)
  3. Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO)
  4. Family Mediation Canada (FMC)

To practice anywhere in Canada, FMC certification is required. Our training program is designed to meet the requirements for Ontario certification with OAFM, ADRIO and FDRIO.

Q: What kind of professional background do I need to become a certified family mediator?
A: Please check each organization’s requirements for certification:

  1. The Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM)
  2. The ADR Institute of Ontario (ADRIO)
  3. Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO)
  4. Family Mediation Canada (FMC)

Q: What courses are required to become certified?
A: Training for different designations is complicated. Each certifying organization has different standards, and they change from time to time. Please consult with the organization with which you wish to become certified to learn their specific requirements.

Q: Do mediation or ADR courses at universities, law schools or in LL.M. programs count towards the training requirements for certification?
A: It is possible that other courses, not designed to meet certification requirements, will qualify. It depends on the course content, and how much of it complies with the requirements established by the certifying organizations. If you want to know whether a specific course will meet some or all of the training requirements, contact the certifying organization directly. You will need to send in the agenda from the course you have taken, information about the trainers, and other requested details.

Q: What does the training cost?
A: Our courses are competitively priced, and we offer a discounted Foundation Course Package. Flexible payment arrangements are negotiable.

To link to individual courses for detailed information, including pricing, please go to Overview of Courses.

Q: What are the internship requirements?
A: Each certifying organization has a similar requirement for 100 hours of experience that is supervised by a certified mediator, along with a number mediated cases that have reached some degree of resolution. Click here for details about the Riverdale Mediation/mediate 393 inc. Internship Program.


Have more questions? Please visit the websites of the certifying organizations. If you have questions they cannot answer, feel free to contact us at