Internship at Riverdale Mediation

Our internship program is carefully designed to give you the hands-on learning, mentorship and supervised experience you need to become the best mediator you can be.

Designed to meet the requirements of the Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM), Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO) and ADR Institute of Ontario (ADRIO), our program equips mediation interns to become ready for their Ontario certification.

Your internship includes:

  • Self-directed learning that includes court attendances and observation in Family Law Information Centres and Mandatory Information Programs
  • Mandatory reading of relevant legislation, policies, and procedures
  • A period of observation
  • The opportunity to co-mediate with different mediators
  • Supervised lead mediator in appropriate cases
  • Planning and feedback before and after mediations
  • Supervised document drafting
  • Working on files with and without counsel
  • Exposure to parenting and financial mediations
  • Regular meetings with your supervisor, other interns and mediators.

Our interns are carefully selected based on our needs at the given time and our assessment of the suitability of the candidate for the kind of practice we have.

Successful internship candidates who are in the Riverdale Mediation Training Program can start the observation part of their internship after taking the Basic Family Mediation Training in May. This enables you to have some experience with the mediation process before taking the Advanced Family Mediation course in the fall.  All other candidates will be required to have completed their training prior to commencing an internship with us.

Interns must provide a criminal record check (to the Ministry of the Attorney General) and carry at least 2 million in professional liability insurance.

We expect high standards of professionalism of our interns. Our interns must be respectful of the confidentiality of the mediation process and the parties’ right to decline to have an intern present. Interns must read and understand our Policies and Procedures. It is critical that interns meet our standards for identifying, assessing and managing power imbalances and domestic violence in their work.

We strongly recommend that applicants take training with us in Screening for Power Imbalances and Domestic Violence prior to applying for an internship.

Internship Application

Note: We are not able to accept all internship applications. Taking training with Riverdale Mediation does not guarantee a successful internship application. Acceptance into the internship program does not guarantee that the intern will achieve 100 hours of experience and/or five mediated agreements. It is possible that an intern could complete an internship without having 5 mediated agreements. We reserve the right to require an intern to complete more than 100 hours of supervised time. A student’s completion of our internship program does not guarantee a recommendation for certification with a professional organization. We reserve complete discretion with respect to the intern’s progress and reserve the right in appropriate cases to terminate an internship.

Internship Program Structure

Our internship program is structured sequentially. The intern begins with a period of research and observation, followed by a period of co-mediation, and then, if the intern is approved, a period of lead mediation. All steps of our internship program are fully supervised by certified mediators. Interns are involved in all stages of a file, from initial contact with the clients and counsel, intake/screening interviews, pre-mediation preparation, mediations, follow up, drafting memoranda arising from the mediation, continued correspondence with parties and counsel, and file closing. Briefing and de-briefing takes place before and after each contact with the clients.

Note: we offer full (100 hours) or partial (50 hours) internships.

Duration of the Program

Our internship program is flexible and we will work, as best we can, with the intern’s own schedule. Those interns with more time will be assigned more cases, and those with less time can generally be accommodated as well. Scheduling mediations can be time-consuming and complex, particularly if there are counsel and multiple parties involved. Not all clients consent to the participation of an intern.

Internship Fee

Mediation interns pay a fixed fee, either in full or in installment payments. Please contact us for more information: [email protected]

Program Pre-requisites:

  1. Criminal Record Check approved by Ministry of the Attorney General.
  2. Mediation professional liability insurance with at least $2 million coverage in the aggregate and $1 million per claim.
  3. At least 21 Hours of approved Screening for Power Imbalances and Family Violence Training.
  4. At least 30 hours of approved Family Law Training for candidates who are not practising family lawyers.
  5. At least 14 hours of approved Family Relations Training for candidates who are not practising mental health professionals.
  6. For candidates who are not in the Riverdale Mediation Family Mediation Certificate Program, at least 21 hours of approved Advanced Family Mediation Training.
  7. Some of the above requirements may be waived at our discretion.

Program Benefits

We schedule quarterly meetings of all interns and the supervising mediators to discuss files, procedures, and experiences. Interns are provided experience with a full range cases, from parenting to property. Interns have access to some discounts for Riverdale Mediation courses. We provide on-going training for interns as well. Where applicable, interns may qualify for free admission to various court-based educational programs and events. We invite our interns to contribute the Riverdale Mediation newsletter and blog.


I wanted to thank both of you for your support and guidance throughout my internship with Riverdale/mediate393. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the roster mediators, including both of you (Hilary Linton & Elizabeth Hyde), for the past 9 months. The experience and knowledge I have gained from this internship had prepared me to venture out into mediation field. I am extremely enthusiastic about family mediation and look forward to the next stage of my career. Thank you again.

— Breanne Becker, 2015 intern