Family Business Specialty

Requirements for Registered Family Mediator Status Specializing in Family Business Mediation

Common issues that a Family Business specialist might mediate include:

  • Succession planning
  • Estate planning
  • Ownership issues
  • Relationship transitions for family business members
  • Dissolution issues

In order to meet the qualifications to be a Registered Family Mediator, with a specialization in Family Business, a mediator must fulfill all of the following requirements (A – F).

A. Education and Experience

All RFMs must meet one of the following four education and experience descriptions:

    • A Law degree or a Master-level
      degree in one of the following: Psychology, Social Work, Education, Mediation, Conflict Resolution or other related field
      25 hours of mediation experience
    • Bachelor-level degree, plus minimum 200-hour Conflict Resolution Training (including successful assessment)
      25 hours of mediation experience
    • Minimum 200-hour Conflict Resolution Training (including successful assessment)
      75 hours of mediation experience
    • Bachelor-level degree (in above related fields)
      75 hours of mediation experience.

B. Basic Mediation Training

In addition to, or as part of, the above qualifications, all Registered Family Mediators must have completed generic conflict resolutions courses, totalling a minimum of 35 hours, which have covered all of the following areas:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Interest-based Mediation
  • Mediation Skills


(Please note that AFMS puts on a 35 hour Basic Mediation course but courses from many other institutions are suitable.  The Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) course "Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts" is NOT a Basic Mediation course but is instead considered "Specialized Training" often used as part of Registered Family Mediator (RFM) membership qualifications.  All levels of mediator members with AFMS require a Basic Mediation course.)

C. Specialized Mediation Training

All RFMs applying for a specialty in Family Business must complete an additional 40 hours of specialized training covering appropriate topics from the following list. Candidates are welcome to submit details of relevant training that may not be included in this list.

    • Will and estate planning
    • Succession planning in family business
    • Multi-party mediation
    • Special issues in mediating family business agreements
    • Introduction to basic accounting
    • Strategic directions for family business
    • Business leadership issues
    • Family business ownership types
    • Corporate structures
    • Legacies in family business

D. Documentation

RFM candidates must submit copies of three (3) real mediation reports (with identifying details omitted) demonstrating the results of Family Business mediations. These reports should demonstrate a knowledge and competence to deal in a variety of family business issues.

Please provide sufficient detail of the mediations that you are submitting for review, to allow the review committee to understand the process and its outcomes.

It is AFMS policy that our mediators do not prepare agreements for client signature. The reports should have a clear indication that the provisional agreements reached by the clients are subject to their obtaining independent legal advice and will be non-binding until incorporated into a formal signed agreement. Reports should be signed by the mediator.

E. Malpractice Liability Insurance

All RFMs must submit evidence of applicable malpractice insurance coverage.

F. Ongoing Activity and Education

All RFMs specializing in the area of Family Business mediation must complete a minimum of 50 hours of mediation per year in this area.

In addition, RFMs must complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education in this specialty area every two years.


Alternative Qualifications

Candidates for membership who do not meet these qualifications may submit their relevant experience and educational qualifications to the Registrar for review.

Application Forms

To apply for Registered Family Mediator status, print and complete the Application Forms and return them to our offices along with the required fees.

Application Forms for Registered Family Mediator Status