Husband and wife meeting with counselor

Certificate in Family Mediation

The choices you help your clients make can change their lives forever 


The Certificate in Family Mediation gives you the skills and experience you need to confidently mediate conflict and assess for family violence, while completing the training requirements for the AccFM designation of the Ontario Association for Family Mediation—the largest accreditor of Ontario family mediators. The AccFM is formally recognized by the Ministry of the Attorney General, opening the door for you to work within the Ontario court system.

This program offers you enhanced mediation skills to work in:

Ontario family court appointed mediationOntario family court appointed mediation

Family mediation and negotiationFamily mediation and negotiation

Social workSocial work

Health care servicesHealth care services


Ontario’s only university-level family mediation program

Graduating from our Certificate in Family Mediation gives you an edge over other mediators in the field, allowing you to add a credible university credential to your resume. You also enjoy the benefits of learning from expert instructors, hand selected for their real-world experience and AccFM certification. Program content is supplemented by their firsthand knowledge in dealing with the types of challenging situations you’re going to face as an accredited family mediator, as well as the opportunity for you to network with likeminded peers in your program. You’ll also participate in dynamic role-playing sessions facilitated by seasoned coaches, allowing you to put your mediation skills to the test and improve your confidence.

Secure your internship with  York supports

The AccFM designation requires you to complete an internship with an accredited family mediator. Our certificate is one of the only programs in the field that sets you up for success in finding a placement by providing you with grades from skills-based assessment and evaluation, so you can provide tangible proof of your abilities to potential internship providers. The program also consists of many role-plays that take you end-to-end through family mediation, affording you many opportunities to develop and fine-tune the skills you need in an internship. We also connect you with support in finding an internship for up to four months after you graduate.

Program delivery

As of March 16, 2020, all our Continuing Education programs will be delivered 100% online. The School of Continuing Studies has launched and delivered many quality online programs over the years. This is not new to us, and there will be no interruptions or compromise in learning quality for those considering starting their studies with us.

Program delivery format is 100% Online

 Who should take this program?

The Certificate in Family Mediation is for anyone who is currently or prospectively involved in family dispute resolution, and especially those who want to gain formal certification. While many students in this program are lawyers and social workers, others work in healthcare, education, personal support services and trust management.

Taking into account the specific existing expertise of lawyers and social workers, these two groups are exempt from one course each, reducing the course load to four.

Family mediation courses / exemptions

 Hear from a graduate


This Certificate Program consists of five courses, listed below.  Each course combines lecture, interactive teaching models, exercises, and role-plays (where applicable), specifically designed for our Certificate.

Family Mediation (40 hours)

This introductory course exposes students to fundamental theory of conflict and its corresponding nature, causes and cycle. Students will also become acquainted with the history of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the dispute resolution spectrum, and the principle of informed consent. From there, students will engage in more nuanced learning as it relates to the nature of negotiation and related strategies, tactics and skills, as well as appropriate alternatives.

Screening for Family Violence, Abuse and Power Imbalances (21 hours)

Relationship separation is a critical juncture in people’s lives leaving some vulnerable to intimidation, pressure, emotional harm, abuse, neglect, serious injury or death.  Family Mediators must understand domestic violence and power imbalances within the context of family dynamics and family mediation services. Participants shall learn how to adequately screen for domestic violence and power imbalances; learn about the kind of cases appropriate for mediation and those that are not; how to support a client with a referral to other services;  how to safely terminate mediation; and, how to add safety measures to provide a safe environment for mediation.  Participants shall learn about domestic violence, power imbalances and abuse, and have the opportunity to practice what they learn through case study and role playing as a mediator.

 Family Law (21 hours)

This course examines marriage and divorce as it relates to the law-making systems in effect in Canada and Ontario. Students will go in-depth into the about principal issues in family proceedings (i.e. parenting, child support, spousal support, property) for the purposes of informing students on legal implications for mediated settlements for divorcing partners.

 Family Relations (21 hours)

This course explores through a theoretical framework of family systems theory the various considerations of child development, attachment, causes of conflict, and extension of the original family in the context of separation and divorce. Students will also deconstruct the politics of separation, examine historical traditions, and utilize various narrative and therapeutic approaches to facilitate processes of grieving and separation recovering.

 Advanced Family Mediation (20 hours)

This course focuses on the application of mediation skills and knowledge in a variety of contexts and primarily through experiential learning. Students will focus on demonstrating skills related to a variety of advanced topics such as high conflict families, conflict resolution models, advanced communication techniques, step-parenting and multi-party mediation, cultural diversity, mediation with persons with disabilities, and trauma informed practices.



Anisa AliAnisa Ali, M.S.W., R.S.W., Acc. FM (OAFM), Acc. CPM (OAFM)

Anisa has been the Family Mediator and Settlement Conference Facilitator for Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) Peel/York for the past 10 years. Prior to LAO, she worked for 8 years with the Ministry Of Attorney General Family Mediation Provider (Blue Hills Child and Family Services) at the Superior Court of Justice Newmarket, Ontario as a Family Mediator/Information Referral Coordinator. An accredited family mediator since 2002, she holds a Masters of Social Work degree from University of Windsor and a Bachelors of Arts from York University. She bring over 18 years of experience in the field of conflict resolution, mediation, negotiation and training.

Anisa volunteers as the current Chair of Peel Family Mediation Service and has been a Board member since 2011. For the past six years she has been responsible for Peel Family Mediation Annual Domestic Violence Symposium where she gather professionals and experts from within Ontario for day of enlightened training and networking.

Since 2015, Anisa has been a guest lecturer at York University Social Work (BSW & MSW) Family Mediation courses. She works on family mediation and domestic violence/power imbalance course development and training at Humber College ADR Program; Peel Family Mediation Services Internship training, Legal Aid Ontario training programs and community workshops within Greater Toronto Area and Kitchener-Waterloo area. Anisa also supervises BSW, MSW and Humber ADR students at her workplace throughout the year.

Intructor Neeraj GoelNeeraj Goel
Family Mediator / Family Lawyer

In practice since 2000, Neeraj Goel practices in Toronto as a family lawyer and family mediator. He helps couples who are cohabiting or getting separated to come to their own durable legal agreements. He has previously sat on the Board of Collaborative Practice Toronto and was a roster mediator with Mediate393. Neeraj speaks on family dispute resolution topics in various mediation, law school and professional development courses in Ontario.


Cindy Holovac Leithead has over 30 years of experience assisting individuals, families and groups with various disputes in negotiating and mediating and creating their own resolutions. As an accredited family mediator, Cindy’s private practice, CINDIAIN Resolutions Services, provides family mediation, child protection mediation, openness in adoption mediation, elder mediation, civil mediation and workplace mediation. She is on the ADRIO roster as an Independent Complaint Facilitator for Community Care Access Centres (CCAC). She is also the co-chair of the special section Family at ADRIO. Cindy is also on the roster at several court-based family mediation services in Ontario, as a mediator, internship supervisor, Information Referral Coordinator (IRC), and Mandatory Information Program (MIP) Presenter. Prior to commencing her mediation practice Cindy was a senior manager in the Ontario Public Service focusing on workplace issues and labour relations among staff and stakeholders. She has also worked with individuals and families specializing in domestic violence and substance abuse. For several years Cindy has been coaching and most recently instructing at York University’s School of Continuing Studies for the Certificate in Dispute Resolution and the Certificate in Family Mediation. She is also a Dispute Resolution Educator in the Advanced Certificate in Dispute Resolution. Cindy is also a coach for the Osgoode Hall Law Society, Mediation Clinic and Intensive Program at Small Claims Court.

Debra RodriguesDebra Rodrigues

Debra Rodrigues, a Registered Social Worker, has more than 30 years’ experience working with families. Deemed an expert in family matters by the Courts, she has presented at numerous conferences including the Ontario Courts of Justice Conference, Ontario Association of Family Mediation and Family Mediation Canada conferences. She has been professionally quoted in magazines and newspapers and has appeared on television programs. Her professional background is extensive: Director of PCCS Mediators & Counsellors, Family Mediator, Elder Mediator, Child Protection Mediator, Workplace Mediator, Custody and Access Assessor, Office of the Children’s Lawyer Clinical Investigator, Parenting Coordinator, Family Group Conference Coordinator, Capacity Assessor, Parenting Capacity Assessor, Arbitrator, Collaborative Family Specialist, Facilitator, ADR Consultant, Counsellor, Group Leader, Clinical Auditor, Child Welfare Trainer and as a trainer for a variety of public and private organizations. Currently Ms. Rodrigues is an instructor for the OAFM Child Protection Mediation program and for the York University Family Mediation Certificate Program and supervises mediation interns. Ms. Rodrigues passionately believes that mediation is more than just an agreement between parties but that it’s also an opportunity for renewing relationships, improving children’s lives and helping people cope with the stress and anxiety of separation.  She brings her vast experience to the course on Domestic Violence and explains that Domestic Violence in mediation comes with a large flashing yellow yield sign to assess before proceeding.

Jennifer SuzorJennifer Suzor, LL.B., AccFM, CPMed, AccEM

Jennifer Suzor is an experienced Family Law lawyer, mediator and trainer based in Windsor, Ontario. Having practiced in all levels of the Court for thirty years, Jennifer now focuses on neutral consultation and non-court dispute resolution, primarily mediation. Jennifer was certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Family Law in 2004 and has been accredited in family mediation, child protection mediation and elder mediation by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM). Jennifer has served as President of OAFM since 2013.

In 2016, Jennifer received the President’s Award from the Association for Family and Conciliation Courts, Ontario Chapter, in recognition of her volunteer work as Co-Chair of the Walsh Family Negotiation Competition and her vision of creating a series of events in Windsor called “Changing the Culture of Conflict Resolution in Family Breakdown Roundtable Dinner Series” for the Judiciary, Counsel, Psychologists, Social Workers and other family professionals. She is the President of Bridging Family Conflict, the service provider in Windsor for the Ministry of Attorney General subsidized mediation and information services.

Admission Requirements

  • an undergraduate degree; or
  • related college diploma with experience in human services.

Professional Associations

The Certificate in Family Mediation is aligned to each of the five training standards of the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM), Ontario’s largest accrediting body of family mediators. There are education, training and work-experience requirements that must be satisfied for certification as an AccFM (Accredited Family Mediator), and these include additional costs for membership in the organization and completion of an internship.

For all details on how to secure AccFM accreditation after program completion, please consult the OAFM page How to Become a Family Mediator.

Partner Accreditor

Ontario Association for Family Mediation

Other Associations

ADR Institute of Canada 

ADR Institute of Ontario

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – Ontario Chapter

Academy of Professional Family Mediators

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario

Family Mediation Canada

Program Policies


If you would like more information or have a question about the Certificate in Family Mediation, please Contact us

Term Session Price (CAD) Register
Summer 2020 Certificate in Family Mediation (July 6-August 13, 2020) $4,995.00 Register

Key Policies

More Information

Confidentiality and Financial Security

Given the experiential and practical nature of the courses and the application of Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) to York University, The School of Continuing Studies works to ensure that instructors and participants acknowledge and respect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information that may be presented in the context of instruction. Instructors will limit the amount of personal information that is collected, used or disclosed in their sessions, and will ensure that all identifying personal information (including proper name, address, etc.) is omitted from all written documents in order to protect personal privacy and confidentiality. Instructors should not bring or share personal or other confidential files or records with the class or allow students to do so.

We are committed to protecting your privacy and your financial security, and we do this in several ways:

  • Your credit card information is never received or stored by our system. Only your financial institution has access to your credit card information.
  • Your Student Portal is password-protected. To access any personal and academic information, you must enter your username and portal password.

York University Privacy Policy

How to Register

Online – Visit our website at to register in any course or program offered by the Continuing and Professional Education.

Fax – (For credit card payments only) Complete the registration form, including credit card information. Fax to 416-650-8042, with program-specific documentation (i.e., proof of degree).

Mail – Complete the Registration Form and mail to the Continuing and Professional Education.

School of Continuing Studies
Room 116, Atkinson Building
4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3
Tel: +1 416 736 5616 Email:
Fax: +1 416 650 8042 Web:

All applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is recommended.

The School of Continuing Studies reserves the right to alter fees, other charges, instructors, and course dates/locations described in this brochure.

Mailing Address and Change(s) in Personal Status

All correspondence, including your registration confirmation, grade report, and refund cheque, will be sent to the “mailing address” provided at the time of registration.

To maintain accurate student records, notification of any changes to your name, address, and contact information are required. To update your personal information:

  • go online to Contact Us and email all changes;
  • submit a written request to the Registration and Convocation Assistant Rumina Habib

All name-change requests must be accompanied by official documentation justifying such a change.

We will not accept telephone requests to change a name or address.

Education and Amount Certificates (Income Tax Receipts, T2202A)

Income Tax receipts will be available online in February of the following year. Please refer to the income tax guide for allowable deductions.

Session Transfer

Students must contact the Program Manager for permission to transfer to another session. Transfer requests are only granted for documented medical reasons.

Notification of Change or Cancellation of Classes

When necessary, the School of Continuing Studies may alter, postpone, or cancel classes. In these instances, students will be notified by e-mail, based on the information provided at the time of registration.

Cancellations or changes will also be posted on the School of Continuing Studies twitter account.

Cancellation of Courses/Programs - Fee Refund

The School of Continuing Studies reserves the right to withdraw or cancel programs/courses. Should a course or program be withdrawn or cancelled, the School will issue a full refund of fees paid.

University Policy on Student Conduct

  • Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterized by courtesy, collegiality, and mutual respect, and to refrain from actions that would be disruptive to such a relationship;
  • It is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour; and,
  • The instructor is the best person to decide, in first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class, and may, at their discretion, take steps that they feel are appropriate to resolve an issue or dispute.

In any case where a student feels that this policy has been violated, they are urged to notify the instructor of the course/program as soon as possible. Students may be asked to provide a detailed written description of their complaint to the instructor. The instructor may take measures they feel are appropriate to resolve the issue and/or may forward the complaint to the Program Manager for review. Please refer to the full policy document on the York University website at:


a) Grading for Certificate Programs:

Students registered in certificate programs will be evaluated using the following categories of achievement:

Grade % Description
A+ 90 – 100% Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques, and exceptional skill or great originality in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.
A 80 – 89%
B+ 75 – 79% Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques with a fairly high degree of skill in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.
B 70 – 74%
C+ 65 – 69% Good level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.
C 60 – 64%
D+ 55 – 59%
D 50 – 54%
F Below 50% Insufficient knowledge of concepts and/or techniques needed to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.
PASS Pass is awarded as a grade only to courses that have an experiential component. A student that has received a Pass has met the requirements of the course.
FAIL Fail is awarded as a grade only to courses that have an experiential component. A student that has received a Fail has not met the requirements of the course.
EXEMPT Exempt is awarded to those that have completed a comparable course elsewhere and have met all of the requirements for completion of that course.
DNA Did Not Attend – The student did not attend, did not withdraw, and did not submit course work.
DNC Did Not Complete – The student did not complete the course.

b) Grading for Academic Bridging and Math for Admission Waiver courses:

Students are required to complete all course work.

  • Students who fail to complete the course work will receive a DNC (Did Not Complete).
Grade % Description
A+AB+B 90 – 100%80 – 89%75 – 79%70 – 74% Academic Bridging Studies – Meets Admission Requirements
Elementary Mathematics – Students already admitted to YORK UNIVERSITY who earn a grade of “B” or better will gain automatic entrance to AK/MATH1710.06 and will be exempt from the pre-requisite test.
C+CD+D 65 – 69%60 – 64%55 – 59%50 – 54%
Academic Bridging Studies – Does not meet Admission requirements. Student cannot repeat the same Academic Bridging course but can enroll in the other Academic Bridging course.
F Below 50% Academic Bridging Studies – Does not meet Admission requirements. Student cannot repeat the same Academic Bridging course but can enroll in the other Academic Bridging course.
DNA Did Not Attend – The student did not attend, did not withdraw, and did not submit course work.
DNC Did Not Complete – The student did not complete the course.

Grade Appeal and Reappraisal and Petitions

Students may, with sufficient grounds, request a reappraisal of any “tangible” work required for a course/program. Tangible work may include written, graphic, digitized, modelled, video recording or audio recording formats. Students seeking a grade reappraisal must complete and submit the attached form, along with the original work and instructions for the assignment, to the Program Manager within 2 weeks of the date of issue of the letter of grade.

Students and instructors will be informed in writing of the reappraisal result and the reappraiser’s comments. The School of Continuing Studies will ensure the anonymity of both the student and the reappraiser.

Download a Grade Reappraisal pdf form

Financial Petitions

You may submit a financial petition if you experience a serious documented medical illness or a death of an immediate family member that causes you to drop courses. Financial petitions may be granted at the discretion of the University, and will be considered for a period of one year after the occurrence of the illness or death.

The Financial Petition form is located here:

Please complete the form and return it via email or via fax at 416-650-8042.

Register for this Program