Provincial governments throughout Canada rely on mediators to deal with disputes among litigants. Mediation in the Canadian court system is designed to allow both sides in a case to present their issues without bogging down court dockets. In some cases, mediators are used by family attorneys and local governments to resolve domestic disputes before they get to court. Every Canadian who wants to become a mediator should understand the education and certification process before seeking out jobs.
Register for courses in mediation theory, dispute resolution and psychology before starting a career as a mediator. The University of Waterloo offers a Certificate Program in Conflict Management that offers various levels of education for prospective mediators. Acquire at least 80 hours in mediation training and 100 hours in non-mediation education covering psychology, sociology and business administration to qualify for ADR Institute certification.
Apply for internships with family centers, student health centers and other facilities where mediation may be needed before completing your education. Certifying bodies like the ADR Institute of Canada require Chartered Mediators to complete at least 10 mediations to demonstrate competence. Volunteer to sit in with professional mediators and handle minor issues to meet this qualification.
Print off the requirements and code of ethics laid out by the ADR Institute of Canada for Chartered Mediators (C. Meds). Locate one of seven regional offices of the ADR Institute in your province to start the application process, as a regional ADR office will need to sign off on your credentials.
Acquire Errors and Omission insurance with at least $1 million of coverage before submitting your ADR certification. Errors and Omission coverage is designed to cover mediators in case their clients sue for services rendered. Shop around for Errors and Omission coverage from national insurers like Holman Insurance Brokers as you complete your education.
Study the ADR Code of Ethics closely to pass the evaluation process at the regional and national level. The Code of Ethics requires ADR members to be objective, honest and dispassionate in dealing with subjects of mediation.
Request a letter of recommendation from your regional office of the ADR Institute after meeting other requirements. Your regional representative will gather academic transcripts and information from former employers to present to the national board.
Perform a skills assessment with a Qualifying Mediator to show your mediation skills and commitment to the Code of Ethics. This mediation can be a videotaped dramatization or role playing with the evaluator depending on the availability of the applicant.
Send an application to your province's Ministry of the Attorney General to act as a court mediator. Court mediators are temporary workers drawn from a pool of fellow mediators to provide pre-trial mediation on civil cases. Continue to volunteer and pursue other mediator opportunities as court mediators work very occasionally.
- Pursue renewal of your Chartered Mediator certification every three years from the ADR Institute of Canada. The recertification process is similar to original certification with a review of past mediations as well as a skills assessment by a Qualifying Mediator.
- Seek additional certification from a provincial body like the Ontario Association for Family Mediators (OAFM). The OAFM charges between $95 and $225 per year for membership and provides continuing education resources to its members. While the ADR Institute of Canada is the primary sanctioning body, memberships in groups like the OAFM lend more credibility to young mediators.
- Photo by Luis Argerich (Flickr)