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What Training and Qualifications Do Collaborative Divorce Professionals Have?

Minimum Standards for Collaborative Professionals
The Association of Collaborative Family Professionals (ACFP) (Edmonton) sets out the following basic requirements for a professional to hold himself or herself out as a Registered Collaborative Family Professional in family-related disputes:

1. As general requirements, a Collaborative Professional must:

a) be a member in good standing of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP)

b) be a member in good standing of ACFP (Edmonton)

c) subscribe to and comply with ACFP (Edmonton)’s mission statement, protocols, and policies

2. As minimum standards, a Registered Collaborative Divorce Lawyer must:

a) be a member in good standing of the Law Society of Alberta

b) have completed a two-day Introduction to Collaborative Divorce training course, which includes training in interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice

c) have completed a 30-hour training course in interest-based negotiation

d) have completed a 40-hour training course in mediation of divorce and family conflicts

e) meet the continuing education requirements set by the Board for Registered Collaborative Divorce Professionals

Upon meeting the standards set out in 2(a) and completing the introductory training referred to in 2(b) and one of 2(c) or 2(d), the Collaborative Divorce Lawyer may be registered in a “qualified” status upon providing ACFP (Edmonton) with an undertaking to complete the remaining requirement (either 2(c) or 2(d)) within one year. The clients and all members of the team on each collaborative file shall be notified of the qualified status.

3. As minimum standards, a Registered Collaborative Mental Health Professional or Coach must:

a) hold a Mental Health Professional licence in good standing with his or her profession’s governing body, with insurance as required by the governing body, in one of the following:

  • Registered Social Worker
  • Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  • Registered Psychologist

or have such other professional qualifications as approved by the Board on an individual basis.

b) have a background, education, and experience in:

i) family-systems theory, including:

  • individual and family life cycle and development
  • assessment of individual and family strengths

ii) assessment and challenges of family dynamics in separation and divorce

iii) challenges of restructuring families after separation

iv) understanding individual function in mental health, including mental illness, addictions, and personality disorders

v) for Child Specialists, expertise in child development, clinical experience with a specialty focus on children, and an in-depth understanding of children’s unique issues in divorce

c) have completed a two-day Introduction to Collaborative Divorce training course, which includes training in interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice

d) have completed at least one 30-hour training course in mediation or interest-based negotiation

e) have an accumulation or aggregate of 15 hours of training in any or all of the following areas:

  • basic professional coach training
  • communication skills training
  • collaborative training (beyond the minimum 12 hours of initial collaborative training)
  • advanced mediation training

f) have completed a minimum of three hours of training or a review of the written equivalent, aimed at giving the Mental Health Professional a basic understanding of family law in Alberta

g) meet the continuing education and professional association requirements set by the Board for Registered Collaborative Mental Health Professionals

Upon meeting the standards set out in 3(a), (b), and (f) and completing the introductory training referred to in 3(c), the Mental Health Professional may be registered in a “qualified” status upon providing ACFP (Edmonton) with an undertaking to complete the requirements of 3(d) within one year and the requirements of 3(e) within two years. All clients and all members of the team on each collaborative file shall be notified of the qualified status.

4. As minimum standards,  a Registered Collaborative Financial Professional must:

a) hold a professional licence or designation in good standing with his or her profession’s governing body, with insurance as required by the governing body, in one of the following:

  • Certified or Registered Financial Planner
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Certified Management Accountant
  • Certified General Accountant
  • Chartered Financial Consultant

or have such other professional qualifications as approved by the Board on an individual basis

b) have a background, education, and experience in:

  • financial aspects of divorce
  • cash management and spending plans
  • retirement and pension plans
  • income tax
  • investments
  • real estate
  • insurance
  • property division in separation and divorce
  • individual and family financial planning concepts

c) have completed a two-day Introduction to Collaborative Divorce training course, which includes training in interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice

d) have completed at least one 30-hour training course in mediation or interest-based negotiation

e) have an accumulation or aggregate of 20 hours of education or equivalent practical experience in the financial fundamentals of divorce to provide a basic understanding of family law in Alberta, including:

  • divorce procedures
  • property — valuation and division
  • pensions and retirement plans
  • budgeting — income and expenses
  • child and spousal support
  • income projections
  • financial implications of different scenarios for settlement

f) have an accumulation or aggregate of 15 hours of training in any or all of the following areas:

  • communication skills training
  • collaborative training (beyond the minimum 12 hours of initial collaborative training)
  • advance mediation training

g) meet the continuing education and professional association requirements set by the Board for Registered Collaborative Financial Professionals

Upon meeting the standards set out in 4(a), (b), and (e) and completing the introductory training referred to in 4(c), the Financial Professional may be registered in a “qualified” status upon providing ACFP (Edmonton) with an undertaking to complete the requirements of 4(d) within one year and the requirements of 4(f) within two years. All clients and all members of the team on each file shall be notified of the qualified status.


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