Become a Certified Specialist in Family Mediation, Family Arbitration and Parenting Coordination!
FDRIO is Ontario’s only organization that meets all of your professional needs in the family dispute resolution field. With the lowest annual membership cost and the lowest certification cost.
For family mediators: Our FDRP Med is fully recognized by Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General for court connected mediation services. And we offer a community of professionals in all areas in which you may wish to build your practice. And your training towards the FDRP Med will take you part way to your other designations, the benefits of your FDRP Med are clear.
For family arbitrators: our FDRP Arb is Ontario’s leading family arbitration designation. Join our community of industry leaders to be confident that your standards of practice are current; learn from experts with years of experience; and network with leading professionals from diverse fields to build your arbitration reputation and practice.
For parenting coordinators: our FDRP is the only professional designation serving Ontario Parenting Coordinators. As this challenging field grows and work opportunities increase, gain confidence and security from knowing your professional designation carries respect and integrity.
Most FDR professionals offer a variety of services, such as family mediation, parenting coordination and arbitration. At FDRIO you can earn all of your certifications without having to pay multiple memberships.
FDRIO’s certifications are:
- affordable ($300 for the first certification and only $100 for each thereafter).
- progressive, with all courses taught by leading FDR trainers and in accordance with current standards for adult education.
- designed for today’s professional realities, including flexible professional and educational backgrounds.
- accessible, with our approved courses accommodating multiple and contemporary learning formats such as e-learning.
- compatible, with harmonized certification criteria for different designations
- innovative, for example in our Advanced Family Mediation practicum/internship option.
FDRIO will recognize family mediation certifications from OAFM, ADRIO and FMC. If the standards of any other designation are equivalent to the FDRIO standards, they will be recognized as well. Applicants must provide proof of the existing designation along with FDRIO membership.
Exceptionally qualified and experienced professionals may be eligible, in FDRIO’s discretion, to receive a designation without meeting all the training and experience requirements. Please review the criteria set out for each designation on the appropriate website page.
All FDRP candidates must have a minimum of a university degree in a related field of study or equivalent (10 years) of relevant directly-related work experience in the human services field.
On our website we list the required courses for each designation and the courses or trainers that have been approved by FDRIO (forthcoming).
The administrative cost to apply for your first certification is $300. For every subsequent application the cost is $100. Those FDRIO members who hold one or more FDRP designations will then pay an annual membership fee of $200 compared to the regular membership fee of $150.
Members of our mediation, parenting coordination and arbitration sections, and all Certified FDRP Applicants, must carry professional liability insurance for all FDR services they offer with a minimum of $1,000,000 coverage per occurrence and $2,000,000 coverage in the aggregate. FDRIO has arranged extremely comprehensive coverage with competitive insurance coverage and rates through Lloyds of Canada; click here for the application form.
Members are responsible to arrange their own insurance and to ensure that it covers all their professional activities.
You must be a FDRIO member to apply. Please visit your member profile page. The application form can be accessed there. You will be asked to complete an application form, upload all supporting documents and pay the application fee. If your application is not accepted, we will refund 50% of the fee to you.
The family mediation internship requires 100 supervised hours of mediation experienced at least five mediated or co-mediated cases to a point of agreement. The optional Advanced Family Mediation Practicum may contribute up to 21 hours towards these requirements, depending on the course provider.
The PC internship is still being developed. The number of hours and structure of this new internship will vary from one provider to another, and also will be determined based on the prior skill and mediation experience of the student. It is intended that the Advanced PC course (optional) will become a practicum that will provide a number of hours towards the internship requirements. We invite members and others in the profession to contribute their ideas and experience to this task.
Visit the pages for each certification for full details.
Internships are provided privately by some family mediation service providers, individual FDR professionals and FDR training organizations. At this time FDRIO has not established standardized internship criteria or rules. Internships range in cost depending on the provider, the benefits provided by the program and the number of hours required. Contact the internship providers directly for more information. Visit the Internships section (forthcoming) of our website for a list of the internship providers known by us. This list is provided as a convenience only and is not an endorsement of nor recommendation for any particular internship provider.
Each trainer has their own schedule of courses. Each internship provider has varying availability of spaces in their program. Each intern’s ability to dedicate time to their training and internship will vary. On the whole, the training program takes about one year to complete and internships will take as long as another year.
The costs of training and internships also vary. Each trainer and each internship provider will price their services differently. We recommend that all candidates speak directly with the trainers and internship providers they are considering to make an informed choice.
It is important that every person who is considering a career in the FDR field do their own research and satisfy themselves that:
- they have the necessary qualifications training and background for the certification(s) they seek and;
- that the investment will be worthwhile for them.
The costs, both in dollars and in time, of achieving an FDRP designation are significant. Taking the training does not mean that you will find an internship; and achieving the internship requirements does not guarantee certification. The FDR field is growing and evolving as access to family law justice evolves. Fewer people are following traditional litigation paths; and fewer still have lawyers. As more people seek alternate ways of resolving the issues that must be resolved on separation, divorce or other major family changes, the demand for FDR services is growing. With this growth comes greater responsibility to the public and to Ontario’s families; and, simultaneously, greater opportunity for FDR service providers.
We urge you to read our Standards of Practice and Complaints Policy carefully, before making any decisions about your own career path. We urge you to consider your background, training, experience, and be satisfied that you have the pre requisites for a career in FDR. Speak with all the FDR organizations, colleagues and industry leaders. Learn as much as you can about the industry; what kinds of work is available and on what terms; and assess where you believe you can find an opportunity for your own skills and expertise.