Professionals in the construction industry with a drive to excel and bolster their careers have a plethora of avenues in which to achieve such goals. One such avenue is the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators or CIArb. The CIArb is one of the most widely recognized and esteemed organizations of its kind and it comes as no shock that construction professionals from around the world strive to become eligible for the various memberships available.
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators currently has five types of memberships that are available for construction professionals through applications if he/she meet the prerequisites for membership. The majority of the memberships have two available routes that encompass the prerequisites construction professionals must achieve to be considered eligible. The education route or the experienced practitioner route. Additionally, as each membership type increases in benefits, the prerequisites for eligibility also exponentially increase.
The first type of membership is the “Associate” membership (ACIArb). Construction professionals vie for this membership to demonstrate commitment to professionalism, integrity, and excellence. The educational route prerequisites require candidates to, at a minimum, complete one of CIArb’s introductory courses or receive an equivalent qualification from a recognized course provider. While the experienced practitioner route requires candidates to have a minimum of six-months experience in dispute avoidance or dispute management and to provide a reference for that experience.
The second type of membership, the “Member” membership (MCIArb), is vastly more difficult to achieve than the first. Construction professionals’ endeavor to attain this membership in order to indicate the high level of knowledge and/or experience in dispute resolution. Applicants wishing to achieve Member status through the educational route are required to have completed one of the following: Module 1 training and assessment components, successful completion of CIArb’s Accelerates Route to Membership (ARM) programme, or completion of an equivalent course from a recognized course provider. Alternatively, the experienced practitioner must have a minimum of five-years of experience in arbitration, construction adjudication or mediation in a lead/sole capacity, including settlement agreements, the management of proceedings, and attend hearings which have resulted in the publication of a reasoned award of decisions. In addition to the strict experience requirements, applicants must also provide references.
The third type of membership is the “Fellow” membership (FCIArb). This membership is considered to be a representation of peak professionalism, and construction professionals strive to achieve this level of membership to demonstrate the highest levels of knowledge, skills, and behavior. Applicants wishing to achieve Fellow status through the educational route are required to have completed one of the following prerequisites; completion of Modules 2 and 3 as well as passing a peer interview, completion of an Accelerates Route to Fellowship course (inclusive of award writing) as well as passing a peer interview, completion of an equivalent course from a recognized course provider in addition to a peer interview, and lastly completion of CIArb’s diploma in international commercial arbitration, Module 3, as well as a peer interview. On the other hand, the experienced practitioner route requires the same parameters of experience as the Member level with certain disparities. The minimum requirements are increased from 5 years’ experience to 10 years’ experience and applicants must also possess a knowledge of law of obligations and evidence at the first-degree level, or an understanding of law relevant to the applicant’s mediation practice. The applicant must also have experience in writing directions and final, reasoned awards or decisions/experience writing mediation agreements, heads of agreements, or memorandums of understanding.
The forth type of membership is the Chartered Arbitrators (CIArb). The Fellow membership is the highest level achievable by non-members of the CIArb. Moving forward, this membership require applicants to be an existing Fellow of CIArb in addition to providing evidence for numerous stringent requirements such as, but not limited to, detailed understanding of the Arbitration Act 1996, or equivalent, and ability to research, understand and apply legal principles, ability to write an award, actual conduct of an arbitration, as well as evidence of the applicant’s compliance with the Institute’s relevant Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements in the three years preceding the application.
The final membership covered in this article is the Corporate membership. The Corporate membership is reserved for organizations and simply provides organizations with essential tools, networking opportunities, and support from CIArb.