College of Contract Management United Kingdom
College of Contract Management
United Kingdom

ADR Courses and CIArb Opportunities | The CCM UK


ADR Courses and CIArb Opportunities


ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is a different way of solving disputes between two parties without having to go to court. This means that the parties would avoid both the stress and the costs of attending court. Arbitration is one of these methods, a trained third party, (potentially at the CIArb) will handle the dispute resolution and make the decisions. Other types of ADR include mediation and adjudication.

The whole process of ADR has not been around as a stage before court proceedings for that long. In the United Kingdom, the Alternative Dispute Regulations came into force in 2015 as an attempt to encourage widespread use of ADR. Parliament also implemented regulations stating that traders should point consumers in the direction of appropriate ADR services. This would help them when there is a dispute.

This article will tell you more about what the different types of ADR are, the courses that you can take, and the opportunities with the CIArb.


Types of ADR 


Mediation ADR


Mediators are trained to help settlements be made between parties. They do not make the decisions, but rather, they help minimise hostile behaviour and help the parties find a common ground. This is one of the best first steps to take to solve a dispute because it is free or low cost and you get the chance to talk. If the dispute was less severe or is not too complex, this would be the best step. Of course, mediation does not always work for everyone but it is a great way to try and find a solution. The mediator will guide the session and help both parties reach an agreement.


Adjudication ADR


Adjudication applies specifically to construction contracts. This is different from mediation in many ways. Firstly, it is a statutory mechanism that those in a construction contract have the right to enforce. It is contained in the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, under section 108. Many parties decide to use adjudication when there has been a dispute regarding delays within construction work. In addition, unsatisfactory work, extensions for time, and more. The adjudicator’s decision is then binding on the parties.


Arbitration ADR 


The arbitration involves a third party to settle a dispute who is qualified as an arbitrator. The arbitrator has to be unbiased and therefore does not sway the decision making in favour of one specific party. They look at the evidence provided by the parties and use their expertise in a specific area to make a decision.


Alternative Dispute Resolution Principles


  • ADR is often voluntary, if they do not agree to it, the party may take them to court.
  • An arbitrator’s decision is binding until legal proceedings confirm.
  • Mediation or other ADR should be uncoerced.
  • ADR professionals should be impartial (unconcerned about the outcome of such discussions).
  • There are a wealth of ethical standards to abide by.
  • Additionally, there is an empathise on the confidentiality of the parties.
  • ADR such as mediation should be available for everyone.



ADR Courses


There are many different ADR courses that you can take. Some will offer you membership to CIArb, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

The College of Contract Management offers a Claims Preparation and Dispute Management Course. This is a certificate course that will allow you to learn some of the topics of preparing effective claims, dispute resolution methods, and ways to avoid disputes. It is specifically for those who work in the construction industry so that they can avoid litigation and legal costs.

Knowing essential things such as the law of contracts, alternative dispute resolution, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration will also be included in the 4-day training course. It is taught by experts in the field.

Not only will you learn everything you need to know to begin your journey into ADR, but you will also be able to apply directly as an associate member of the CIArb. The claims preparations course is also accredited by the CMI, Chartered ICES, CIArb and QSi.

Other ADR courses that The College of Contract Management offers is the CPD course in Construction Disputes and Avoidance.

This is a 10-hour programme that will let you into the basics of dispute resolution and give you the required CPD hours for construction industry memberships.




CIArb Opportunities


The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators is the world’s leading body for dispute resolution. They offer a few different types of membership. 


Associate Membership


The associate membership requires you to have 6 months of experience in dispute avoidance or management or a CIArb course or equivalent from a recognised course provider. The College of Contract Managements ADR courses such as the certificate would be suitable for this membership.

You will be able to have ACIArb by your name if you get this membership.


Full Membership


The full membership will allow you to have MCIArb by your name. For this membership, you need 5 years of experience or a number of qualifications. Many individuals often join full membership after they have obtained associate.


Fellow Membership


The fellow membership (FCIArb) can lead to a Chartered Arbitrator status once they have passed the peer review. They will then be highly equipped to work as a chartered professional either for a law firm or self-employed or another industry such as the construction industry.



Why Being a Member of CIArb Is Beneficial


There are many benefits of training for membership with the CIArb. Firstly, it can that you are an accredited arbitrator or mediator. Being accredited or chartered will be highly influential in your long term career. If you are not yet an accredited or chartered professional, it shows that you are committed to developing your skills. For full-time employment as a mediator or an arbitrator, you will often need to have some form of high validation that you are competent, and the CIArb membership can do this for you. They are the most popular business for training ADR and their memberships are highly reputable.

Being a member will also allow you access to Kings College London’s library. Furthermore, networking events will be available. The benefits do not stop there as members have access to e-Library, resources, and savings on professional indemnity insurance.



ADR Courses Can Be Useful For Many Career Sectors


Some of the main sectors that use alternative dispute resolution methods are construction, insurance, and family disputes. Many more industries are starting to use ADR as it is known to be effective for the right kind of situation and more effective in terms of a fast resolution due to the delays of court hearings.




ADR is especially useful in construction because of the fast-paced nature of construction works. If a construction company wanted extensions of time for the work they carry out, they would not be able to wait for a court order. Instead, ADR can help them to settle the dispute quickly.

Many construction workers go on to work in the claims area of construction. This is because they are experts in the operations of construction projects and it is a great advancement for their career, including an increased salary. If you wanted to develop your construction career into the claims area, then a Claims Preparation CPD course may be one of the best places to start. It will allow you to make sure that you are interested in the area. It is a short course with only 10 hours. Then, you could take the certificate course once you become familiar with the practices.


Family Disputes


Family disputes are usually more effectively dealt with, with ADR methods. Not only does it try and stop the severity of the dispute early on, but it can also have less negative effects than taking it to court. It also allows for more conversations and resolution for the family than it would in court. For example, cases such as disputes on which partner would have custody of their child if it was first dealt with ADR then it could help the family get along better in the long run.




The mediator or the arbitrator to resolve an insurance claim will have to be highly experienced in the business area. They may be helped by lawyers to present the parties case, but they will be unbiased experts. Sometimes using ADR is most important for insurance disputes because confidentiality is important for the business, as well as reducing costs where possible.



It is clear from the range of different areas that ADR can be used, there would be no lack of variety in this career area. This means that a lot of the time experienced people in these industries will progress to become involved in ADR.


What Skills Does an ADR Specialist Need?


In order to work in Alternative Dispute Resolution, you need a variety of key skills. Many of them you will learn by taking ADR courses but you will also learn key skills from experience.


Soft Skills 


One of the first types of skills you need is interpersonal skills. You have to be fantastic at listening and communicating with people who are potentially hostile and not too happy to cooperate. In addition, emotional intelligence is important because you have to understand the feelings of both parties and direct the conversation accordingly. 

Furthermore, problem-solving skills are some of the most important skills when you are trying to find a solution for two parties, especially if your role is an arbitrator.



Hard Skills


There are also hard skills you will need. If you are an arbitrator in an advanced area you would likely need some expert experience. An individual who has never worked in the construction industry would be unlikely to be involved in arbitration or adjudication without experience first. That is because complex areas need those who have sorted out similar disputes before.

Understanding of the law would also be a required skill for some roles, with many mediators and arbitrators having learned some law in their ADR courses. For example, the certificate in Claims Preparation that the College of Contract Management offers includes the law of contract. Many other ADR professionals have completed a law degree previously, but this is by no means essential as anyone can begin their journey into the career by taking the relevant courses.





This article has outlined what ADR is, the basic principles, and the various ADR courses that you can take. It also informed you of the CIArb memberships and the benefits of them. Additionally, it discussed the many industries that ADR can be used within, therefore offering a wealth of variety for your career. Finally, it explained what skills would be advantageous for a career in ADR.

Here at the College of Contract Management, we can help make your interests in Alternative Dispute Resolution into a career. If you are interested in construction dispute resolution, I would advise taking the certificate course and becoming an associate member of the CIArb before progressing your career further. If you have any questions, get in contact with us.