Our Mediator-in-Training (MIT) Program 

Our 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:

We offer two MIT streams:

(a)

60 + 40 hours: 60 hours of observation experience, with a range of mediators, diverse issues and in both private and court-connected contexts, followed by 40 hours of working experience for successful candidates, during which MITS are expected to complete five mediated or co-mediated cases; or

(b)

25 + 40: for students with partial experience, either from another MIT provider or the FDRIO Practicum: 25-30 hours of observation with a range of mediators, diverse issues and in both private and court-connected contexts, followed by 40 hours of working experience for successful candidates, during which MITS are expected to complete five mediated or co-mediated cases

Contact us for fee options at: [email protected]

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 MIT. We will provide this training at no cost to successful candidates.

MIT Application

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

Your MIT includes:

First observation 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
  • 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

 40 hours of working experience & completing up to 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.

Students who are accepted into the final 40 hour program will be paid an honorarium for their hours of work co-mediating and mediating cases. During this phase of the program, MITs will perfom all the functions of a mediator, where appropriate, including drafting Mediation Summary Reports.

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 own practices.

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.

Testimonials

I would recommend the Mediator in Training program run by Riverdale Mediation Ltd. to anyone who is interested in pursuing a mediation practice. My training was superb! I was fortunate to gain experience through observation and co-mediating with highly qualified mediators. I improved on invaluable soft skills required to be an effective mediator, including the art of active listening, the art of reframing or paraphrasing and the art of validating. Trainees were also equipped with various screening tools as well as lots of useful resource material including safety planning kits and information regarding community partners.

— Avagene N. Skervin, Family law lawyer and Accredited Family Mediator

My MIT experience was a phenomenal time of learning. The environment that the mediate393 mediators created made me feel as part of the team. I was given numerous opportunities to work with clients and got constant feedback on how I could further develop my skills as a mediator. The result of this was me gaining mediation skills and becoming confident to go out and serve families. Thank you, mediate393, for the opportunity.

— Rita Makubuya, LL.B FDRP Med, Acc.FM

So far my experience has been great. I’ve observed a number of different mediators use their unique styles to handle different issues. I’ve learned the language to discuss very sensitive situations and acquired knowledge of resources that I can provide to people who may really need them. I have also met a number of other wonderful mediators in training; and now we support each other and share our experiences!

— Ryan Osbourne (Osbourne Collaborative Law)

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
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