Professional Mediator

What is a Professional Mediator?

Professional services advertisements often include statements akin to “come to the professionals”. The first time I ever heard an ad like this was for laser eye surgery. It left me wondering if people getting amateur laser eye surgery was a big problem. It isn’t. Medicine has regulatory bodies to ensure the only qualified people are offering services.

Mediation isn’t medicine. Professional Mediators may belong to other professional regulatory bodies, but in Ontario mediators do not have a regulatory body. Professional associations have been created to fill the gap. They help provide consumers of mediation services an indication of the minimum standard they should expect from a mediator.

Mediator Associations

Mediators in Ontario can decide on membership in any of three associations. Members agree to conform to the organization’s standards of practice. Each Association maintains a searchable roster of qualified individuals. Here is mine (Information about these organizations was taken from their websites and was current at the time of publication)

Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (ADRIO)

ADRIO is the Ontario division of Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada. ADRIO’s goal is to assist its members, and users of ADR services, by:

  • Providing information and education
  • Maintaining high professional standards
  • Providing a structure to ensure members adhere to high standards of professionalism
  • Assisting users of ADR services to locate ADR professionals, as required.

In addition to two mediator designations, ADRIO also offers designations for arbitrators.

Ontario Association of Family Mediators (OAFM)

OAFM promotes and governs the professionalism within the family mediation community via accreditation to family mediators. Their AccFM (OAFM) designation (see below) is sanctioned by the Ontario provincial government.

Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO)

FDRIO seeks to support and enhance the family dispute resolution profession and to increase public awareness about the many FDR options available to them.

In addition to specialist in Family mediation certification, FDRIO also offers specialist certifications in Parenting Coordination and Family Arbitration.

Professional Mediator Designations

Each of the Ontario mediator associations offers professional designations or certifications for members who meet their education, experience and insurance requirements. All organizations require qualification holders to fulfil continuing education and professional development requirements.

Qualified Mediator
After joining ADRIO members may apply for certification as a Q. Med. The Q. Med. designation denotes a professional mediator who has gained experience by performing real mediations after receiving basic training.

Chartered Mediator
C. Med. is ADRIOs senior designation. Members must have substantial experience mediating and have completed significant amounts of professional development. In order to be qualified C. Med’s must also perform a mediation supervised by an evaluator.

Accredited Family Mediator (OAFM)
AccFM is the designation granted by OAFM to members who have completed the required basic training and who have successfully completed an internship.

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner Specialist Certification in Mediation
FDRP MED is the mediation certification granted by FDRIO to trained mediators who have completed an internship. Applicants who hold the AccFM designation are automatically qualified.

Considering Hiring a Mediator?

The accreditations above ensure you are dealing with someone who has met the minimum requirements and has agreed to be governed by the code of practice of the organization granting the accreditation. If your mediator does not hold one of these qualifications, you should ask about their experience, training and insurance coverage prior to signing an agreement to mediate. If you have a workplace issue, I would be glad to help you out. If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to contact me. If I can’t help you, I may be able to refer you to someone who can.

How Can We Help

Wakely Mediation provides labour, employment and workplace mediation. Dave Wakely holds a Q. Med. designation from ADRIO and is a passionate advocate for mutually beneficial agreements. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you in your dispute, please contact us for more information.

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One Comment

  1. There is no formula for figuring out who the “best” mediators are – there is no governing body that determines minimal qualifications for a professional mediator. Even if there were, education and training don’t guarantee competence, because a “good” mediator also possesses certain internal attributes that aren’t necessarily learned in a classroom.
    I would say testimonials is the most valuable criteria for a mediator to be selected.

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