As you may be aware, there are significant changes coming that affect family mediation in B.C. As of March 18, 2013, the new Family Law Act changes the substantive law, requires mediators to know about the present information to parties about other services that are available, and requires family violence screening.
Regulations to that Act, which take effect January 1, 2014, require that all mediators conducting mediation in relation to a family law dispute (which means every mediation to which that legislation applies) meet certain reasonably stringent training and qualifications, or be a member of an approved Roster. Only Roster mediators or those who meet the standards may mediate in relation to a family law dispute. If you are on Mediate BC’s Family Roster and have sufficient training in family violence screening, you meet the requirements. Please note that Mediate BC’s Civil Roster is not approved under the Regulation and those mediators need to qualify in some other manner. You can find more information on the specific requirements and other approved Rosters at the Ministry of Justice webpage – Family Law Legislation.
For your reference, those mediators who have previously qualified as a “Family Law Mediator” with the Law Society of B.C. may or may not meet the requirements under the new Act; you may wish to contact the Law Society to determine whether you will require any additional training to meet their new standards.
For those mediators who do not yet meet the new requirements, or for those wishing to learn more about the new legislation, there are upcoming training opportunities through Mediate BC, CLE and others. To learn more about the implications of the new FLA on family mediators you can visit Mediate BC – Training and Development. For information about family violence screening training you can visit CLEBC’s course listings page and JIBC’s family violence course page. CLEBC also offers courses on the detailed substance of the new FLA. If you need more information, feel free to contact the Roster Office at 604-681-6050.