The ADR Institute of Canada has obtained national trade mark protection for the new designation “Q. Arb” to recognize qualified arbitrators. In French it is “Arb. B” for Arbitre Brevete/Arbitre Brevetee. This will allow persons who are institute members to note their recognized qualification on business cards, stationery, marketing and promotional material. The designation is now being offered on a provincial application level with applications to be completed and submitted for review. If the application is accepted by a regional review committee the applicant is then given this recognition after the acceptance has been approved by ADR Canada’s Manager of Designations. There is a right of appeal to a national committee for those who are turned down in their application. No interview is required for Q. Arb.
Q. Arb has a parallel in the Q. Med designation which has been available for a few years for Qualified Mediators. Unlike the Q. Med designation a Q. Arb does not require a person to have any actual experience doing arbitration. Q. Med also requires more than the 40 hours of training required to be a Mediator member of the Institute. There is a total of 80 hours of ADR training required for Q. Med.
A person to be recognized as an Arbitrator member of the ADR Institute is required to have taken a recognized 40 hour training course (such as the course offered by Murray Miskin), or to have equivalent training and/or experience. To qualify for Q. Arb specifically requires a recognized course of the institute or a regional affiliate to have been taken. If the course has an examination and has been taken in the past 10 years it is recognized as sufficient but if the course does not include an acceptable exam or was taken over 10 years prior to application an open book Q. Arb exam must be taken. Those who take the Murray Miskin course qualify because an accepted exam is included in the course, but if the Miskin course was taken over 10 years ago the Q. Arb exam must also be taken. Additional to training a Q. Arb must pledge to abide to ADR Canada’s Code of Ethics, be a member in good standing of the Institute, carry liability insurance and pay an annual fee for the designation. There is a continuing education requirement that must be met on a points basis every three years. There is a fee to apply to be Q. Arb and an annual renewal fee.
Is it worthwhile to obtain the Q Arb designation? That is a personal decision based on your own situation. For those who are interested in arbitration but not in being arbitrators it is not needed. It is really there for people who wish to become established as arbitrators. If, for example, you are a fairly experienced arbitrator it would be better to apply for the higher ranking designation of Chartered Arbitrator or C. Arb, which includes a requirement to have conducted at least 5 paid arbitrations and has an interview requirement. An established arbitrator may not want to bother to get either designation but it certainly does not hurt to have whichever one you may be qualified to obtain. For a new Arbitrator it is very helpful to show you have the credentials to be an arbitrator in order to get assignments which bring experience and income. It is also worthwhile to be insured if you are doing any arbitration or mediation work. We are encouraging current and recent students who take our arbitration course to immediately both join the ADR Institute, have insurance and apply for Q. Arb designation. Practising Ontario lawyers can get specific errors and omissions insurance for ADR work or be covered automatically under their lawyer insurance policy if the work is done through their law practice.
For further information contact the ADR Institute of Canada or your Regional/Provincial branch. In Ontario it is adrontario.ca