Family Dispute Resolution Practice (FDRP)

Family Dispute Resolution Practice (FDRP)

What is a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)?


A Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) is an independent person who helps people affected by separation or divorce to resolve their disputes.

FDRPs come from a variety of backgrounds, including:
  • Law
  • Social work
  • Psychology
  • Dispute Resolution/Mediation


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Transcript: What does a family dispute resolution practitioner do otherwise known as an FDRP? Well an FDRP is an individual who assists people who are either going through separation or divorce to resolve their disputes. FDRPs come from a variety of backgrounds such as law, psychology or social work.


Why become a registered FDRP?

  • Enable and empower people to make difficult decisions.
  • Further your practical skills in a likely area of growth.
  • Diversify your practice and potential revenue streams.
  • Add a postgraduate qualification and expand your career prospects.
  • Issue Section 60I certificates.



What is this? A section 60I certificate is a prerequisite to going to court if the dispute is not resolved after a family dispute resolution conference.


How do you become a registered FDRP?

Curriculum component (four subjects)

FDR1 Family Law and Mediation*

This subject forms the foundation of the family dispute resolution (FDR) subjects. In this subject you will be introduced to family law and the place of mediation within family law. You will acquire the requisite knowledge to enable you, as a family dispute resolution practitioner (FDRP), to contextualise and appreciate each party’s unique situation within the family law framework, and assist each of them to understand your role and their respective roles in the process.

This subject also discusses where mediation sits on the dispute resolution spectrum and how the process assists in the resolution of family disputes.

By the end of the subject, you will have completed all the requirements under the National Mediation Standards to apply for assessment and subsequent accreditation.

  • Overview of Australian family law
  • Obligations of a family dispute resolution practitioner
  • The dispute resolution spectrum
  • Conflict analysis and pre-mediation preparation
  • Mediation models
  • Facilitative mediation process
  • Communication skills in mediation
  • Common issues in mediation
FDR2 Children’s Matters, Family Law and Family Dispute Resolution

“What is true about family mediation is that first and foremost, it is about families, and secondarily, it is about mediation and dispute resolution processes. Family mediators help families change from what does not fit to what will work better.” – A Taylor, The Handbook of Family Dispute Resolution: Mediation Theory and Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2012) 3.

An understanding of families involves an introduction to the meaning and purpose of the family system, and how the family is impacted through separation. This subject introduces the student to the nuances of working with conflicted families. We will focus on understanding how family groups function and how they are affected by conflict. In particular we will explore how children exposed to parental conflict can be impacted.

  • defining and understanding families
  • emotional impact of separation on family members
  • children's needs and best interests
  • family law and children's matters
  • parenting plans and parenting orders.  
FDR3 Advanced Family Dispute Resolution

This subject explores some of the advanced concepts surrounding mediating with families, such as recognising and managing ethical dilemmas, screening and assessing family and domestic violence, and managing the complexities of working with perpetrators of violence.

It is important that family dispute resolution practitioners (FDRPs) are able to assess whether their clients and cases are suitable for dispute resolution processes such as mediation and conciliation. It is also important that they are able to identify matters such as power imbalances and cultural issues that may impact on their clients’ ability to negotiate effectively within these processes.

From a broad-based perspective, this subject also encompasses wider factors such as gender, disability, race, ethnicity, religion, language, level of education and the effect of intergenerational differences.

  • family violence, child protection and the law
  • screening for violence, risk assessment and safety planning
  • techniques for managing volatile clients and situations, and
  • ethics in family dispute resolution.
FDR4 Case Management in Family Dispute Resolution Capstone**

FDR4 is designed to be the clinical subject to underpin the theory of family dispute resolution practice. By the end of this subject you will have an understanding of the family dispute resolution case management principles. By completing this subject you will have the opportunity to manage family dispute resolution cases within simulated workplace experiences. You will take the carriage of four matters of various complexities that you will manage from intake, through to assessment, education, and referral, culminating in conducting the mediation.

Successful completion of this subject will provide 30 hours of clinical placement under the FDRP practicum requirements.

  • Introduction to family dispute resolution case management
  • Intakes (and variations)
  • Assessment for suitability
  • Information and referrals for mediation
  • Property matters in family dispute resolution
  • Child support assessment formula
  • Preparing for and conducting mediation
FDR5 Virtual Simulated Practice

This subject is designed to provide students with the virtual simulation practice in family dispute resolution setting. This subject will consist of the items of practical coursework. During this subject, students will be required to lead or cofacilitate on three matters concerning the following matters: children matters and property matters. These matters will be conducted over four full days over three weeks. As part of this subject, students will also be required to conduct intake assessment and mediation session as well as document the agreement at the end of each matter. Students will also be required to analyse their own mediation sessions as well as observing and providing their feedback on other mediation sessions and complete professional reflection. Successful completion of this subject will provide remaining 20 hours out of 50 hours of clinical placement under the FDRP practicum requirements.

Successful completion of both FDR4 and FDR5 subjects will enable students to complete their practicum component requirement.

Subject structure

This subject will be conducted over 9 weeks with 5 days online face to face sessions to be spread over 4 weeks.Each student will be allocated three matters and will be required to conduct an intake for each of the matters as well as a mediation session. Students will also be required to complete several assessments associated with the matters such as written agreements, intake assessment forms and matter analysis. The online face to face sessions will be conducted in the following weeks:

  • Week 2 – 1 day online face to face;
  • Week 3 – 1 day online face to face;
  • Week 4 – 2 days online face to face; and

Students will be allocated in the groups of four and assigned a supervisor/coach for the assessments and feedback and a mentor for support.

Practicum component
Even though students are not able to start their practicum until they successfully complete their coursework, students are strongly encouraged to start looking for practicum as soon as they enrol in the course. Whilst students are required to find their own practicum you can find details of accredited family dispute resolution practitioners at Family Dispute Resolution Providers Register and Family Relationships Online which may assist your search.

**FDR4 will cover 30 of the 50 hours of required practicum. Students are responsible for securing their practicum placement for the remaining 20 hours.

  • Apply for accreditation with the Commonwealth Attorney-General


    How is the course delivered?

    The duration of each subject is six weeks long and is comprised of:

    • online readings
    • module coursework and assessments
    • teleconference discussions with the subject leader and classmates
    • mandatory workshops delivered online


    Why choose us?

    Why choose us?
    • You are guaranteed up to 30 hours of your required practicum
    • You can apply for a FEE-HELP loan to assist with fees
    • Be guided by leading presenters in their field who will provide essential updates and individualised feedback along the way.
    • Learn the best range of skills with interactive workshops, webinars and written work
    • Complete your study within six months