Riverdale Launches Novel Partnership with York University

Riverdale Mediation has offered family mediation ‘internships’ for almost 20 years. We are pleased to announce our new partnership with York University, offering access to our acclaimed mediation experience program to York’s top mediation students.

Equipping students for practice, and for certification with the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM) and the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO)— both Ministry of the Attorney General approved designations— our internship and mediator-in-training programs are excellent, affordable, and encourage new mediators to start building their own practices right away.

Our (Internship) Mediator-in-Training Program (MIT)*

*For graduates of the Riverdale Mediation Family MediationTraining Certificate and for graduates of designated college or university certificate programs.

Our (Internship) MIT 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.

We work with the three Ontario organizations that are approved by the Ministry of the Attorney General to certify family mediators for court-connected mediation:

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 MITs to become ready for Ontario certification.

We offer two MIT streams:


For students who have graduated from a college or university Family Mediation certificate program that has approved our internship, we offer a standard 100-hour family mediation internship, and


For students who have completed the Riverdale Mediation Family Mediation Certificate, we offer 60 hours supervised observation experience and several options for obtaining the remaining 40 hours of experience including the five mediated cases required by most certifying organizations.

Contact us for fee options at: rhodes@riverdalemediation.com

Important note: students who have only taken 21 hours of family law training will be required to upgrade to the 30-hour standard prior to starting their internship. We will provide this training at no cost to successful candidates.

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.

Your MIT includes:

First 60 hours:

  • Supervised, self-directed learning such as court attendances and observation in Family Law Information Centres and at Mandatory Information Programs
  • Required reading of relevant legislation, policies, and procedures
  • 60 hours of observation of closed, confidential family mediations
  • Planning and feedback with supervising mediators before and after intakes and mediations
  • Formal feedback, both individual and group, at designated intervals
  • Opportunities to be mentored by a number of mediators in both private and court-connected contexts, with represented and unrepresented parties, on parenting and comprehensive mediations
  • Discussion and continuous review of best practices in screening for power imbalances including family violence, mediator orientations and skills, intake procedure, caucusing skills, safety planning and safe termination of mediations, document drafting and more.
  • Formal written feedback using standardized evaluation tools
  • Report to certifying organization

Remaining 40 Hours & Achieving 5 Mediated Cases

Ontario’s certifying organizations require candidates to achieve 100 hours of supervised experience, including mediating or co-mediating on five cases which result in a written Mediation Summary Report.

Our MIT program is designed to provide students the opportunity to achieve these requirements while still complying with relevant Ontario legislation governing our work. We also seek to give our students the tools and experience they need to mediate their own cases and build their businesses.

We respect Ontario’s privacy legislation, and as such will not provide to any certifying organization any information or documents that could jeopardize our promise of confidentiality and privacy to our clients or those of our sister organization, mediate39e inc. We therefore do not offer copies of Agreements to Mediate nor redacted Mediation Summary Reports. Instead, we will provide certifying organizations with reports/letters in accordance with our Internship/MIT policy and any reporting letters requested by those organizations.

Secondly, we comply with the provisions of the Employment Standards Act.  The second, 40-hour portion of the MIT program presumes that the students are by that time ready to perform the tasks of a mediator, and as such we support our MITs in one of two ways, depending on whether they are graduates of a college or university family mediation certificate program or whether they are graduates of the Riverdale Mediation Training Program.

  1. The Standard Internship: for students who are graduates of a college or university program that has approved our internship. Students will co-mediate and mediate cases with consent of the clients and under the supervision of FDRP Med, AccFM and C. F. Med. mediators for certification with FDRIO, OAFM or ADRIO.
  2. The Practice Builder: for students who wish to begin building their own practices right away, we will supervise them in that work. We will endeavour to refer mediations to this group of Mediators-In-Training, but students are expected to have their own space and source of work which we will supervise remotely and in person, by way of meetings before and after the mediation, review of all drafting, and full consultation opportunities.
  3. The Employment Option: for students who wish to perform the tasks of a junior mediator on our files, we will provide the last 40 hours of supervised experience as students co-mediate and mediate our cases, as appropriate, pursuant to an employment agreement with us for those 40 hours.

Other students may wish to opt for 60 hours of observation and complete their 40 hours of co-mediation and mediation through the FDRIO or other Practicum.

Our MITs 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.

All candidates will be required to have completed their training prior to applying for an Internship/ MIT placement with us.

MITs 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 MITs. All must be respectful of the confidentiality of the mediation process and the parties’ right to decline to have a MIT present. MITs must read and understand our Policies and Procedures. It is critical that MITs meet our standards for identifying, assessing and managing power imbalances and domestic violence in their work.


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