Family law alternate dispute resolution accreditation

The Law Society oversees the accreditation of lawyers who wish to act as family law mediators, family law arbitrators and parenting coordinators.

New qualifications for these roles came into effect on March 18, 2013 along with the new Family Law Act.

Lawyers who were previously accredited as a family law mediator by the Law Society or were acting as a family law arbitrator or parenting coordinator will have until January 1, 2014 to meet the requirements below and be accredited by the Law Society.

How to apply for accreditation

The Law Society has developed an online system for lawyers to apply to be accredited as a family law mediator, family law arbitrator and/or parenting coordinator under the new requirements, based on the requirements below.

You must record courses from the list of pre-approved ADR courses or request approval of an unlisted course. Once you have the hours required to be accredited, you must submit your request to be accredited.

Log in to submit your qualifications for review

Qualification requirements

Family law mediators

  • Sufficient knowledge, skills and experience relevant to family law to carry out the mediatory function in a fair and competent matter
  • 80 hours of approved mediation skills training, which must include, theory and skills training, drafting, how to conduct a mediation, the statutory framework of mediation, family dynamics and a minimum of 10 hours of role playing scenarios
  • 14 hours of approved training in family violence, which must include skills for identifying, evaluating and managing family violence and issues of power dynamics in particular relation to the dispute resolution process

Family law arbitrators

  • A total of at least 10 years, engaged in the full-time practice of law or the equivalent in part-time practice or as a judge or master
  • Sufficient knowledge, skills and experience relevant to family law to carry out the arbitral function in a fair and competent matter
  • 40 hours of training in how to conduct an arbitration, which must include, theory and skills training, drafting, how to conduct an arbitration, the statutory framework of arbitration, family dynamics and administrative law principles governing arbitrations
  • 14 hours of approved training in family violence, which must include, skills for identifying, evaluating and managing family violence and issues of power dynamics in particular relation to the dispute resolution process

Parenting coordinators

  • A total of at least 10 years, engaged in the full-time practice of law or the equivalent in part-time practice or as a judge or master,
  • Sufficient knowledge, skills and experience relevant to family law to carry out the with parenting coordination function in a fair and competent matter, this must include considerable experience dealing with high conflict families with children
  • 40 hours of training in how to conduct an arbitration, which must include, theory and skills training, drafting, how to conduct an arbitration, the statutory framework of arbitration, family dynamics and administrative law principles governing arbitrations
  • 80 hours of approved mediation skills training, which must include, theory and skills training, drafting, how to conduct a mediation, the statutory framework of mediation, family dynamics and a minimum of 10 hours of role playing scenarios
  • 40 hours of approved parenting coordination training, which must include, parent coordination skills training and theory, dealing with high conflict families and individuals, child development, interviewing children and the effects of separation and divorce on children, the effects of separation and divorce on adults
  • 14 hours of approved training in family violence, which must include, skills for identifying, evaluating and managing family violence and issues of power dynamics in particular relation to the dispute resolution process. 

Mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) credit

Once a lawyer has been accredited as a family law mediator, family law arbitrator or a parenting coordinator you will continue to be accredited provided you meet the annual CPD requirement. Of the mandatory 12 CPD credits, a family law ADR professional must complete six credits in dispute resolution skills training and/or theory to maintain accreditation in each calendar year.

Course providers

Course providers wishing to get courses accredited must log in to the CPD Provider Login and submit a request for approval. Current pre-approved providers will still be required to request approval for family law ADR courses.

More information

Report of the Family Law Task Force: Qualifications for Lawyers Acting as Arbitrators, Mediators, and/or Parenting Coordinators in Family Law Matters, September 2012

Insurance > Mediators and arbitrators (includes family dispute resolution professionals – mediators, arbitrators and parenting coordinators)

Questions or concerns can be directed to Member Services at 604.605.5311.