What You Need to Become a Mediator in Canada: Study Paths & Accreditation
Jan 19, 2017
Mediation is ideal for resolving conflicts between employees or business partners
What is mediation? Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which a trained and experienced professional helps opposing parties reach a voluntary resolution to a dispute.
Mediators help both parties understand each other’s point of view, find common ground, understand their legal obligations, and work toward mutually beneficial solutions.
Mediation is helpful in family disputes, workplace and community conflicts, and can help settles issues outside of court (a cost-effective and far less stressful alternative for many people).
Are you considering entering the mediator profession? Wondering what kind of training program you should choose, or which associations to join?
This post offers guidelines for assessing mediation training, earning accreditation, and other considerations for becoming a mediator in Canada.
Selecting a Mediation Certificate Program in Canada
Prospective students will find mediation certificate programs offered at universities, career colleges, and professional associations across Canada, with variations in program length and scope of course content.
You will need a post-secondary degree or diploma to apply for mediation training, OR at least two years of related work experience.
Some programs are intensive, packing the fundamentals of alternative dispute resolution and conflict management into just day or two—while others distribute coursework over 10-12 weeks.
Some mediation certificates deliver a fixed package of courses, while others offer a mix of required coursework and voluntary electives, allowing students to zero-in on areas of ADR that are of particular interest (such as family mediation, or advanced negotiation skills).
When selecting a mediation certificate program, students should consider:
- the variety of coursework offered (and ensure it matches their specific learning goals)
- program flexibility: is training online, on-campus, or a combination of both?
- is the mediation certificate delivered by a trustworthy source? (Investigate the school or organization’s website to learn more about their history, graduates, etc. Book an appointment to speak or meet with a program representative before enrolling)
Mediator Accreditation Through The ADR Institute of Canada
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Institute of Canada is the country’s preeminent ADR professional organization. It sets the benchmark for best ADR education standards and professional practices, and has over 2000 members through provincial affiliates across Canada.
If you wish to become a mediator in Canada, it is highly advisable to become an ADR Institute member, and work toward accreditation. There are two professional mediation designations one can apply for through the ADR Institute:
1) Qualified Mediator (Q. Med.) designation
2) Chartered Mediator designation (this is the more advanced of the two, and has a more extensive list of mandatory requirements)
Basic Accreditation Requirements for the Qualified Mediator Designation
In order to attain the Qualified Mediator designation, candidates must become ADR Institute members and pay a yearly fee, plus meet specific educational requirements.
It is important to be aware of the training requirements BEFORE selecting a certificate program, to ensure the program you choose meets the standards, which stipulate:
1) The mediation certificate program must be at least 5 days in length (40 hours)
2) Training must take place continuously over the 5 day period, and NOT be broken up into separate workshops students pursue over a longer period of time
3) The 5 days of basic training must cover specific areas of study, which are:
- Interest‐based Mediation Process and Skills
- Conflict Resolution
- Communication Skills
4) The applicant must have also taken an additional 5 days of training comprised of advanced or elective courses. Examples include (but are not limited to):
- Resolving Difficult Workplace Issues
- Multi-party Negotiation Strategies
- Advanced Mediation
- Influence of Culture on Conflict Resolution Approaches
5) In addition to course requirements, candidates for the Q. Med. designation must demonstrate that they have carried out two mediations, either paid or unpaid. These could be “practice mediations” included in the training program and assessed by the instructor.
For a complete list of additional national designation application procedures and requirements, please take a look at this form issues by the ADR Institute.
It is important to note that ADR Institute provincial affiliates may impose additional requirements on local candidates who are seeking the Q. Med. designation. In addition to reviewing the national standards, you should check with your provincial ADR organization. You will find a list of provincial affiliates here on the ADR Institute website.
Are you looking for a reputable, thorough online mediation certificate program?
Consider the Mediation for Professionals Certificate offered by Kompass Professional Development. Course content includes both fundamental and supplementary material, and runs for 12 continuous weeks.
Get all the information you need by visiting the Kompass Mediation for Professionals Certificate program page. You will find a complete list of mediation courses, career paths, and the opportunity to chat live with a knowledgeable advisor.
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