Supervised Practical Experience Policy (SPEP)*

*formally known as Internship Policy

Through continued consultation with the Board and the Training Community, the Board of Directors Approved the SPEP in December 2020. The purpose of this Policy is to:

  1. Establish Family Mediation Practical Experience Standards (“Standards”) throughout Ontario for the practical experience required to attain accreditation from the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (“OAFM”).
  2. Ensure consistency in the supervised practical experience of Associate Members and their Supervisors.
  3. Create greater accessibility to Supervised Practical Experience opportunities from the perspective of both the Associate Member and the Supervisor by:
    1. Providing Associate Members with information, guidelines and certainty in expectations;
    2. Ensuring that the standards for the Associate Member are explicit, clear and honoured;
    3. Providing the Supervisor with role clarity, guidelines and expectations.


2. Subject to paragraph 4, to enter the observation and co-mediation phases of their Program, the Associate Member must have completed:

a. 21hours of Domestic Violence and Power Imbalance Screening;

b. 60 hours of mediation training.

3. Subject to paragraph 4, to mediate under supervision the Associate Member must have completed, or have a plan to complete:

a. 21 hours of Family Law, for those who require it;
b. 21 hours of Family Relations, for those who require it.

  1. A Supervisor, at their discretion, can commence phases of supervised practical experience at an earlier stage based on their assessment of the skill level and experience of the Associate Member.
  2. There must be a signed contract between the Associate Member and the supervisor, setting out expectations including the elements set out in section 9.


6. The Supervisor must be an experienced Accredited Family Mediator in good standing who has confirmed with the OAFM that they will follow this Policy.


  • Supervised Practical Experience programs are for a minimum of 100 hours and may be completed with one or more Supervisors.
  • Supervised Practical Experience must include a minimum of five (5) drafting opportunities with appropriate feedback, resulting in substantial and complex Mediation Report/MOU/Agreement (“Memoranda”), two of which must have derived from a non-simulated environment.
  • The contract between the Associate Member and the Supervisor must contain the following elements:
    1. Confirmation that the Supervisor shall follow the terms of this Policy;
    2. The number of hours being provided;
    3. The format of the hours, which can be provided in a simulated role play environment to a maximum of eighty (80) hours;
    4. Any fee arrangements for the Associate Member and expectations of the Associate Member and of the Supervisor, taking into account the requirements of the Employment Standards Act. A Guide to that Act can be found here on the Ministry website.
    5. The duration of the supervision and a termination clause;
    6. Confirming that sufficient opportunities will be provided for the drafting of Mediation Reports; and
    7. The 100 hours will include the following elements:
      • Observation
      • Co-mediating and leading a mediation;
      • Direct and indirect supervision;
      • A format for detailed self-evaluation;
      • Debriefing at all stages;
      • File Management; and
      • Drafting Progress Notes and Mediation Reports.

Note – When a partial supervision period is being provided, the breakdown of the hours and skills set out above must be specified on the Confirmation of Practical Experience Form.


11.The expectation of Supervised Practical Experience is that upon completion of the hours, the Associate member has the capacity to mediate independently. Consequently, at the conclusion of the supervision period, the Supervisor will provide an executed Confirmation of Practical Experience form to the Associate Member, signed by the Supervisor. This form will confirm:

  1. The period of supervision time that was completed, noting any need for improvement and any deficiencies in the Associate Member requirements;
  2. That there was discussion about the Standards of Practice;
  3. The breakdown of how many hours were observation, co-mediation, and lead mediation and whether in person or online;
  4. That the Associate Member demonstrated competency in:
    1. The application of Family Mediation theory and skills; and
    2. The ethical obligations and conduct required of an Accredited Family Mediator (AccFM);
  5. That there were satisfactory drafting skills employed by the Associate Member and that the Associate Member has authored the submitted Reports which comply with the following:
    1. No more than two (2) reports from an on-site mediation setting, unless a satisfactory reason for the use of on-site reports is provided by the Supervisor;
    2. Each agreement is initialed by the Supervisor.

You may download the Policy, and Confirmation of Supervised Practical Experience below and contact the office, if you have any questions.