Parenting Coordinator Specialty

Requirements for Registered Family Mediator Status Specializing in Parenting Coordination

Common issues that a Parenting Coordinator specialist would mediate include:

  • Daily routines and parenting schedule
  • Parenting time sharing arrangements e.g. calendar, holidays, special events, summer vacations
  • Discipline issues
  • Child care/babysitting
  • Transportation and exchange of children (drop off/pick up)
  • Medical, dental, vision care and other medical issues
  • Appointments e.g. Psychological counseling, testing and assessment
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Education e.g. School choice, tutoring, special needs issues

In order to meet the qualifications to be a Registered Family Mediator, specializing in Parenting Coordination, 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:

1.   A Law degree or a Master-level degree in one of the following: Psychology, Social Work, Education, Mediation, Conflict Resolution or other related field (such as Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology, Nursing, Religion, Philosophy);


25 hours of mediation experience; or

2.   Bachelor-level degree in one of the following: Psychology, Social Work, Education, Mediation, Conflict Resolution or other related field (such as Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology, Nursing, Religion, Philosophy


minimum 100-hour Conflict Resolution Training with Skills Assessment* 


25 hours of mediation experience; or

3.   Bachelor-level degree (in anything) or related Diploma (Social Work, Education, Corrections, Paralegal) plus Minimum 200-hour Conflict Resolution Training with Skills Assessment*


75 hours of mediation experience (co-mediating, shadowing a qualified mediator, volunteer mediation, mentorship); or

4.   Minimum 250-hour Conflict Resolution Training with Skills Assessment* and/or two reference letters**


100 hours of mediation experience.

Mediators who also practice collaborative law may use their collaborative law experience to maintain their RFM status but must initially qualify for this designation by undertaking mediation cases.

*A program with Skills Assessment would be a role play, exam and/or evaluation.

**A professional in a related field (how and why they conclude that you meet the required skills for this role). 


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 40 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 40 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 membership with AFMS require a Basic Mediation course.)

C. Specialized Mediation Training

All RFMs applying for a specialty in Parenting Coordination must complete an additional 40 hours of specialized training covering all of the following:

• 20 hours of Parenting Coordination training, that includes: role of a PC, jurisdiction, contracts, agreements, theory, approaches

• skills assessment*

• Another 20 hours covering the following:

• Advanced mediation skills

• Advanced communication skills

• Advanced negotiation skills

• Screening for family violence/partner abuse and power imbalances

• Child stages and development as related to separation and divorce and high conflict family dynamics

• Parenting Plans (theories, approaches, such as: co-parenting and parallel parenting, to utilize communication and scheduling plans)

• Interviewing children (approaches, forms)

• Child(ren)’s rights/voice of the child 

• Child support

• Provincial and Federal Legislation, case law as it applies to parenting issues

• High conflict mediation

• Cultural awareness / sensitivity

• Inclusivity / diversity 

• Drafting reports

• Parenting After Separation (PAS) program

• High Conflict (PASHC) program

• Knowledge and application of AFMS Code of Professional Conduct and ethics/liabilities and standards of practice

*In the absence of a skills assessment, the Registrar may accept, at their discretion, 2 letters of reference from professionals working in the field that clearly support the candidate has demonstrated the required skills and training of an RFM-PC as above.  

D. Documentation

RFM-PC candidates must submit copies of three (3) real mediation reports/case summaries (with identifying details omitted) demonstrating the results of Parenting Coordination mediations. These reports should, between them, demonstrate a knowledge and competency in dealing with common issues arising in high conflict parenting situations as listed above.  

It is AFMS policy that our mediators do not prepare mediation reports or 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 (ILA) and will be non-binding until incorporated into a formal signed agreement. Reports should be signed by the mediator.

Please note that the results of Collaborative Law files do not qualify as Mediation Reports/Case Summaries.

E. Malpractice Liability Insurance

All RFMs must submit evidence of applicable malpractice insurance coverage for Alberta.

F. Ongoing Activity and Education

All RFMs specializing in the area of Parenting must complete a minimum of 50 hours of mediation per year in this area. (Please note that Collaborative Law files qualify for the activity requirement.)

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 reviews.

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