by Tammy Borowiecki, Director, Professional Development
*Updated for 2017*
This is the time of year members are considering applying for a professional designation, so I thought I would summarize the application process in simple terms.
The four designations - Chartered Mediator (C.Med), Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb), Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) and Qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb) - are awarded by the ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC). These designations allow members to convey their level of experience and skill in a way that is recognized internationally. You can find out more on our Designations page.
ADRIA administers the first part of the application process for our members and sends the applications and recommendations to ADRIC for final approval. Applications are accepted in March and September each year.
To apply for a Qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb) designation you need to have completed a 40-hour approved arbitration course and passed the exam.
ADRIA runs the National Introductory Arbitration course in Calgary twice per year and in Edmonton three times per year. On the last day of the course, you will view an arbitration hearing video and are provided with written evidence. You have 30-days from the last day of this course to write an Award on this case. The exam is pass/fail. A pass fulfills the requirements to apply for a Q.Arb designation.
No practical experience is needed to apply for a Q.Arb designation however you still need to go through the application process - a designation is not automatically issued simply by completing the course.
To apply for a Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb) designation you need to have completed and passed an approved Arbitration course as described above, plus you must have practical experience in arbitration. Specifically, you must have chaired at least 10 fee-paid arbitrations and provide at least 2 awards that you have written for review by the Designation Committee.
To apply for a Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) designation you need education, practical experience and reference letters.
The educational requirement is 80 hours of ADR training of which 40 hours must be a single, pre-approved mediation course. The other 40 hours can be a combination of courses, but must be in ADR and must be training, so you can't just take a psychology course or legal course or go to a conference.
ADRIA runs the National Introductory Mediation course in Calgary and Edmonton three times per year. Other pre-approved courses are offered at Mount Royal University and the Justice Institute of BC. If you are unsure if a course would qualify towards your designation, please contact the ADRIA office.
For the practical experience requirement, you need two real (actual) solo mediations (paid or unpaid), or two supervised mock mediations, or one of each.
For the real mediations, you are required to provide a 300-500 word summary of each mediation following the guidelines in the Q.Med application form.
For the supervised mock mediations, the supervisor must be on ADIRA’s roster of supervisors who have been approved by the designation committee. The supervisor must complete a review form and submit their approval to the office. The supervised mock mediations can be arranged through ADRIA for a fee of $350 (plus GST) each or you can schedule them privately as long as you use a supervisor on the roster.
For the references requirement you need two professional letters of recommendation and one personal letter of recommendation.
To apply for a Chartered Mediator (C.Med) designation you need education, practical experience, reference letters and a skills assessment.
The educational requirement is 180 hours of ADR training, including the same 40-hour pre-approved mediation course requirement as for the Q.Med. The other 140 hours can be a combination of ADR courses.
For the practical experience requirement, you need 15 solo, fee-paid mediations.
The skills assessment is a one-hour role-play observed by three assessors approved by the designations committee. Two of the assessors will act as the role-players and one assessor will observe and take notes. Approval by at least two assessors is required to pass the skills assessment. This assessment is conducted separately and apart from any classroom evaluation occurring as part of the students’ mediation training and must be booked through ADRIA. It is recommended that you schedule your assessment after you have met all of the other requirements for a C.Med designation as the assessment must be completed within two years of applying for your designation. The fee for this assessment is $475 plus GST.
Applicants who have their Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) designation and who passed the Chartered Mediator assessment as part of that application process, do not need to complete a new assessment for their Chartered Mediator (C.Med) application.
The designation application fee is $200 plus GST.
After you have been granted a designation, there is an annual fee to maintain your designation. The fee is $99 plus GST for Q.Arb and Q.Med designations and $178 plus GST for C.Arb and C.Med designations. The fee is payable to ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC) due annually on January 1st.
You must remain a full-member in good standing with the ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA) to retain your designation. Your membership renewal with ADRIA is due yearly from the time you obtained membership. Full membership renewal with ADRIA is $295 plus GST.
In order to be granted a designation, you are required to have professional liability insurance also known as Errors and Omissions insurance. ADRIC has negotiated a special rate with Marsh Insurance for ADR professionals. Rates start at $235 per year for Arbitrators and $145 per year for other ADR practitioners, including mediators.
You are also required to demonstrate Continuing Education and Engagement (CCE) in your field. Information on the Continuing Education and Engagement Program requirements can be found in your ADRIC member portal. Every three years, you are required to complete and submit a final report along with an administration fee of $94 plus GST.
Designation applications are accepted at the ADRIA office from September 1st through 30th, and then again March 1st through 31st, each year. Full details of the application process and the all the necessary forms are on our Designations page.
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