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Education & Designations Standards Task Force

Are Our Training and Designation Standards High Enough?

This was an important question considered by the ADRIA Board of Directors in recent years, as part of their ongoing advocacy efforts for the profession.

Concerns have been raised regarding the Q.Med and Q.Arb designation standards, particularly in terms of the manner in which they are perceived by the public, and by the designation holders themselves. ADRIA has long supported entry-level designations for new practitioners, and has maintained that the Qualified designations can be an important secondary qualification for occupations such as Law, Social Work and HR. This must be balanced, however, against our obligation to protect the public, and our goal of creating a professional ADR community in which our practicing members will progress their training and experience to achieve Chartered status.

To explore these questions in depth, the Board has assembled a Task Force to examine ADRIA's training and designation standards, including the ADRIC national courses, national designation requirements, and best practices elsewhere. The task force was asked to make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding the extent to which ADRIA should maintain or raise the Alberta training and designation standards (where allowed under ADRIC guidelines), and/or to what extent the ADRIA Board should advocate nationally for change.

The Terms of Reference can be viewed at:

TOR Education and Designations Standards Task Force July 2017.docx

The Task Force Final Report was delivered to the ADRIA Board of Directors in 2019, and was reviewed in detail over the months that followed. To keep ADRIC and the Affiliates informed, the Board prepared the following summary of the Task Force findings and recommendations:

Task Force Report - ADRIA Board Summary

Additional steps were taken in early 2020, but interrupted by the pandemic. ADRIA is now in the process of distributing the Board summary and full Task Force report to ADRIA, ADRIC, and Federation committees that are empowered to recommend or initiate changes to national training and designation standards. Our shared objective is to raise training and designation standards over time, to tie these to recognized competencies, and to promote public awareness, confidence, and demand for ADRIC's national desginations, particularly Chartered.

The Task Force members were:

Tammy Borowiecki, Q.Arb, C.Med

Dora Dang, Q.Arb, C.Med

JB Isaacs, C.Arb, C.Med

Judith Lake, C.Med

Florence Lye, C.Med

Rachel McDonald, C.Med

Lorraine Nordstrom, C.Med

Amin Poona

Marti Ryan, C.Med (Co-Chair)

Michelle Simpson, C.Arb, C.Med

Jennifer Warren, C.Med (Co-Chair)

The Board again thanks the Task Force Co-Chairs and its members for their comprehensive and detailed report, and for their dedication to the profession.  The Board has accepted the Task Force’s Report as direction for the necessary work that lies ahead, or that is already underway.  When the Board meets it will continue to be informed by the Task Force Report and membership feedback as it further develops its strategies, and approves plans or initiatives that support its vision. 

The Board has consistently supported, and will continue to actively support initiatives that enhance ADR training, raise designation standards, and create incentives that will encourage members to advance their skills and credentials.  Promoting and raising designation standards, with a focus on competencies and protecting the public, are central to the Board's strategic objective of regulating the profession.  That said, both the Task Force and the Board are aware that many issues lay beyond ADRIA's direct control.  Change will require a sustained and incremental approach, involving numerous partners over time, both provincially and nationally.  These efforts will require every member's continued input and support. 

Anyone wishing to review the complete Task Force Report and attachments can send an email requesting access to

Feedback on the work of the Task Force, or suggestions that should be brought to the attention of the Board of Directors, can be sent to   

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