Ontario Arbitrator Training Course

The last Arbitration course was in October 2017.

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Murray Miskin has been the principal trainer of arbitrators in Ontario, Canada since 1985. He teaches a 40 hour course which has been the standard for qualification of arbitrators in that Province. This program is not just for lawyers but it has been accredited on a renewal basis, by the Law Society of Upper Canada for all 3 required hours toward the annual Professionalism Requirement for lawyers with additional hours counting as 34.5 substantive hours, far more than the continuing education requirement. Students receive a Certificate from the ADR Institute of Ontario upon completion which reflects the minimum level of training to become a practicing Arbitrator member of the Institute. Graduates are also qualified to applied for the Q Arb designation from the ADR Institute which confirms that they meet the standard of “Qualified Arbitrator”. We encourage course graduates to join the ADR Institute and to take follow up courses and to get arbitration experience which adds to their qualifications. We have been asked about how to get work as an Arbitrator and confirm that marketing of ADR Services is a major element of the training. We see arbitration as an expanding area of conflict resolution and ADR service demand over the next several years. We are now offering Ontario courses in Toronto with a one week, Monday to Friday 9 to 5 format. This format has worked well since  2012, when we switched from the format of evening classes twice weekly.

FAQs answered: You do not need to be a lawyer or have any pre-requisite training to take this course, it is not required that you attend every class to pass the course, the content is applicable outside Ontario but is mostly based on Ontario laws which are similar to those of other Canadian jurisdictions, access to Toronto classes is easy by car or subway, no this is not labour or family arbitration but it will be discussed, yes there is work for Arbitrators and that work availability is expanding, and no there is not much homework or requirement to spend much time working on the course outside of classes. It is a 40 hour course meeting Ontario and national standards. An ADR Institute of Ontario Arbitration Certificate is provided to each student after graduation with no additional charge. Those who complete the course and wish to apply for Q. Arb status after joining the ADR Institute may do so at their own expense.


The Comprehensive Arbitration Training Course as taught by Murray Miskin is the standard in Ontario for Arbitrator training. The course began thirty years ago in January 1985 organized by the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies for the Arbitrators’ Institute of Ontario. It was the official course of the institute until the process changed in 1997 to having approved courses for both arbitration and mediation. The Arbitrators’ Institute in the 1980s consisted mainly of engineers and others involved in the construction and real estate industry. The course originally was called Arbitration II and it was an advanced course of 25 hours instruction taught by Murray Miskin and offered to lawyers and experienced non-lawyer arbitrators. Others who wanted to take the course were required to take an introductory course of 25 hours instruction taught by Howard Levitt and later by Genevieve Chornenki called Arbitration I, which provided basic legal and arbitration background. Arbitration II was taught by Murray Miskin until the spring of 1997 and was the course seen as qualifying persons to act as arbitrators in Ontario. That course was accepted by the Arbitrators’ Institute of Canada and its provincial branches in the late 1980’s as the Canadian model for such training. In 1997 the Institute which had grown much larger with the rise of mediation and mandatory mediation and arbitration starting in 1990 for auto insurance accident benefit claims. The Arbitrators’ Institute became the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Ontario and changed the course structure for Arbitration to be more like the structure of its approved Mediator training with more practical exercises and small group activities. Murray Miskin continued teaching and also personally administered the new combined 40 hour course which replaced both Arbitration I and II. As the course included the Arbitration I requirements there was no longer a prerequisite for entry. The current course attempts to strike a balance between the needs of lawyers training to be arbitrators or counsel at arbitration and those of other professionals wanting arbitration training who also require legal procedure background that most lawyers already possess. Paralegals and internationally trained law students have found the course very helpful.  Experienced litigation lawyers taking the course have commented positively on their learning experience and the benefits of discussion of issues by a group which includes both legal and non-legal perspectives. The course has been enriched by the added small group exercises in negotiation of arbitration agreements, challenging potential bias in an arbitrator and strategizing on a party’s behalf. The process of making a decision and backing it up with reasons is carefully explained. The highlight of the course continues to be a full class mock arbitration hearing. The Arbitration and Mediation Institute changed its name to the ADR Institute of Ontario several years ago and continues its approval of this course for certificates which it issues. The Toronto course location at the Le Germain Hotel is in easy walking distance of the subway and GO Train with lots of parking, good hotels, evening entertainment and restaurants in the area too.  A full gourmet lunch is provided each day in addition to refreshments.


There is no specific pre-requisite for taking this course. Usually almost half of the students are lawyers, law clerks or law students with most of the rest being professionals or business people. Many students are accountants, engineers, architects or real estate brokers and appraisers. Many students are people who have retired or hope to retire but still earn good income from occasional work where they can apply the skills and experiences developed in their careers. Some of our students have been able to obtain full time jobs and even judicial appointments with this course being a qualifying factor. Many people are looking for a career change and arbitration may be a path to take if you have the right background or contacts to give you a reasonable chance of being selected as arbitrator Construction disputes are generally resolved by arbitration rather than court as are commercial lease renewal rent and other disputes. Ontario’s new condominium law took away the right to sue for disputes so that if mediation can not settle a dispute arbitration is the next step. There are many other areas where arbitration is becoming the primary method of resolving disputes which can not settle by mediation or other means. Arbitration is becoming more prevalent in family law disputes and we focus on avoiding problems with the “Med-Arb” process which has become popular in Ontario family law.   Please call Shannon at the Miskin Law Office Extension 112 with questions or to submit your name to be contacted with further information. The course is also of great assistance as a skill and confidence builder for non-lawyer Mediators who benefit from more legal training and the added ADR perspective which comes from Arbitration. For mediators who are not lawyers the course gives the legal background and understanding of civil justice geared to the ADR process which is required to become a roster mediator of the Ontario Courts. Special attention is given to the Courts of Justice Act and the Rules of Civil Procedure. Lawyers benefit by gaining an understanding of how non-lawyers deal with legal issues and situations which makes them better communicators. The classes, which mix lawyers and non-lawyers and people from vastly different backgrounds as students, challenges each student to take a different approach than they normally do in dealing with others. The Ontario Government has made the course available to employees who need training to include or simply understand Alternative Dispute Resolution in their work.


  • Gerry LeMay says:

    Are the classes for arbitrators done only in Toronto?

  • Raj says:

    Dear Murray Miskin,

    It was a pleasure to have come across this informational website. I am curious as I am a Australian accredited Lawyer with the intent of practicing in Ontario if I would have to undergo any special prerequisite requirements prior to commencing work as an arbitrator? Also, in Ontario will I be able to obtain work in tribunals if I am qualified as an arbitrator?

    I have gone through the website and it doesn’t disclose the full fee of the course. Will you be able to give the fee for the course.

    I am interested in taking the course but I will be writing my entrance exams in October and might not be able to attend during the October months. Would this impede my ability to obtain a certificate or will there be another date this course will be offered at?

    Thank you for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you.

  • Murray says:

    Raj, Thanks for checking out our site. We seem to get a number of Australians here. There are many Canadian law students in Australia’s law schools which are respected in Canada. The certification as an arbitrator for those taking my arbitration course is recognized in Ontario, Canada and you certainly are qualified for it being an Australian lawyer. The cost to you for the next course would be about $2000 if you register with a deposit. There will be later courses after the one starting this September probably with the next one in April 2012 at soonest.

  • Murray says:

    The class is only offered in Toronto. We have considered requests by groups for training outside of Toronto and will consider proposals. Feel free to contact us if you have a group of 10 or more.

  • Gordon Berger says:

    Are there any other course dates in 2012 other than those in March and April?

    • Murray says:

      Gordon, there will be other courses in Toronto later in the year but the dates are not yet set. We are also looking at national courses and working towards a Vancouver course in June. As soon as we have additional dates and locations they will be posted here as will registration info.

  • dami says:

    Dear Murray Miskin,

    I would like to enquire if this Arbitrator training course is open to people living abroad because I would like to take part in the week of march 5 and April 16 2012, but I stay abroad and would need to give time allowance for visa purposes can I sort of register my interest or be permitted to register since registration is not yet open?

    Hope to hear from you soon

    Kind Regards,


  • Wafa says:

    Dear Mr Murray,

    Is registration now open for this course? Are there any conditions related to citizenship or residence in Canada to be eligible for the course?


  • Tony says:

    Is your course recognized for credit with ADR Ontario? If so, when is the next scheduled course date and location? How long is the course? What is the cost of the course? I look forward to your response.

    Thanks, Tony

    • Murray says:

      Yes the course is approved and the ADR Institute of Ontario (ADR Ontario) recognizes people who have completed the course as qualified arbitrators who may join. You get an institute certificate when you complete the course. The next course will be in Toronto for the week on April 16, 2012 with classes from 9-5 Monday to Friday. We will post registration information as soon as it is ready with the cost.

  • Hisham says:

    Dear Mr Miskin,

    I am working in the contract administration area for heavy construction project, and I was wondering if this specific course can help me and increase my knowledge. In addition, by completing the course, are there any chance to become a member of any association? Can I provide arbitration services as arbitrator or I need to obtain other certificate?



    • Murray says:

      Hisham, The arbitration course I teach is all you need to become an arbitrator member of the ADR Institute of Ontario. There are many opportunities through the institute to attend further programs to learn more and there is also an active construction group which has regular meetings and activities. The main qualifier to be an arbitrator is experience and that is something you would probably get over time. Good luck and I hope to see you in the next class.

  • Tara says:


    I was just wondering how I go about applying/registering for the training? I wasn’t able to find it on the website. Should I just call your office?

    Thanks so much

    • Murray says:

      Hi Tara, I am not planning to handle the registration for the upcoming courses and we are waiting for confirmation of when they are ready to start registering students to confirmed dates. As soon as registration is open we will post a link and advise people who have left their contact information with my office.

  • Murray says:

    To update my response to earlier comments there is now a Toronto course set for the week of June 11th. No matter where you are from you can take this course if you can be in Toronto that week. Registration is open at this website. At this point there are no courses scheduled outside of Toronto or for later dates. Once this course is over we will schedule further courses.

  • Anastasia says:

    Are university graduates able to take this course who are interestedin becomining mediators or arbitrators?

    • Murray says:

      Yes we have had a number of recent graduates take the course and they have enjoyed it and are glad they took it. Some of them were prelaw students who felt it gave them a good understanding which could help them in their further studies.

  • Ashlee says:

    Hi there,

    I am have been a process server for the last 7 Years. I have my P.I license as well. I am looking to expand my services and eventually become a mediator and arbitrator. Will this course allow me to be able to offer those services once completed? and if so what else could I take that would give me some more experience?

    • Murray says:

      Ashlee, the course does qualify people who take it to be arbitrator members of the ADR Institute. You should also take a separate mediation course if you want to be a mediator. It may be hard to find work to get yourself established but we do a lot in the course that deals with marketing of ADR services.

    • Murray says:

      Ashlee, thanks for registering. See you in June.

  • Melony says:

    I was wondering what is the difference between your training than doing a certificate in dispute resolution at York?

  • Melony says:

    Also once you become an arbitrator do you only work alone in order to find connections or are there big corporations that hire for this field as well?

    • Murray says:

      Melony, you have two questions. First, the York program does not include arbitration content. The program is based on the faulty idea that arbitration is not alternative dispute resolution. The focus of the program is almost totally on mediation.
      As an arbitrator you need to network with other arbitrators which may help with getting appointed to 3 member tribunals and referrals due to conflict or otherwise. You should not work alone. Corporation do not generally hire arbitrators because if they did the person would lose their independence. There are some jobs for arbitrators if that is what you want but most arbitrators are self employed or work with groups of practitioners to market their services together.

  • shekhar says:

    I am a lawyer and interested in arbitration course. Apart from fees what would be the living and food cost. I am from India.

    • Murray says:

      The course fee includes an excellent and large lunch with a different meal every day. You would have to arrange your own breakfast and dinner outside of class and costs are variable depending on what and where you eat. We recommend the nearby Cambridge Suites Hotel for accommodation but if you stay farther away from downtown Toronto but on the subway line it will be convenient and a lot cheaper or look for the best deal at the Expedia website. If you are interested in Cambridge Suites contact the hotel directly and see if they will give you the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) rate since you would be there for an event at their facility. With a suite it is not a full kitchen but it gives you some facilities to prepare simple meals. If you just want a room you should check the King Edward Hotel which is also very close to the OBA 20 Toronto Street facility.

  • adam says:

    I am a Somali accredited lawyer with the intent to practice arbitrator in Toronto. I have been practicing for 10 years, holding Master degree from Singapore and pursuing PhD in ICA , It would be great if you could provide me with the process of becoming licensed Arbitrator in Toronto.

  • Asmita Sharma says:

    My name is Asmita Sharma from India and I am in the final year of my LL.B. degree. I will be moving to Canada next year and wish to work as an arbitrator in Canada.
    I wanted to know what all requirements I need to meet to be a qualified arbitrator in Canada? Do i need to clear the Bar Exams before enrolling in the course?

    Please Suggest.

    Looking forward for your reply.

    Thank You

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