Adjudicator Application Process
Do you have 10 years or more experience in the construction industry and an interest in dispute resolution? Consider applying to become a certified ODACC Adjudicator. Anyone who wants to hear construction adjudications under the Construction Act must be an ODACC certified Adjudicator.
No, all disputes referred to adjudication under the Act must be heard by a certified ODACC Adjudicator.
No, all adjudications under the Act must proceed through ODACC. Pursuant to the Code of Conduct, Adjudicators must share the full fee for all construction adjudications in Ontario with ODACC in the percentage approved by the Minister of the Attorney General and as set out on the ODACC Website, whether the Adjudicator is appointed by ODACC or selected directly by the parties.
To be eligible to receive a Certificate to adjudicate, a potential adjudicator must meet the criteria as set out in s. 3.(2) of the Regulations:
3.(2) An individual who meets the following requirements and qualifications is eligible to hold a certificate of qualification to adjudicate:
- The individual has, in the Authority’s view, at least 10 years of relevant working experience in the construction industry.
- The individual has successfully completed the training programs provided under clause 8 (a), subject to subsection (4) of this section.
- The individual is not an undischarged bankrupt.
- The individual has not been convicted of an indictable offence in Canada or of a comparable offence outside Canada.
- The individual pays to the Authority the required fees, costs or charges for training and qualification as an adjudicator.
- The individual agrees in writing to abide by the requirements for holders of certificates set out in section 4.
Examples of relevant working experience in the construction industry may include experience working in the industry as an accountant, architect, engineer, quantity surveyor, project manager, arbitrator, or lawyer) (s. 3.(3) of the Regulations). Applicants will be required to present a letter of reference from someone who can attest to the applicant’s construction experience.
ODACC is responsible for training Adjudicators and has developed training programs in partnership with the Stitt Feld Handy Group. There is an online and in-person component to the Program. Adjudicator applicants must complete both the online and in-person training components before applying for certification. For more information and to register for the Program, please visit the following link: https://sfhgroup.com/odacc-program/.
The fees associated with the certification process are as follows:
- Training fee: A fee of $995 plus HST will be payable to ODACC by adjudicator applicants for the Program.
- Qualification Examination Fee: A fee of $250 plus HST is payable to ODACC by adjudicator applicants who complete the Program and wish to complete the application process to receive a Certificate to adjudicate.
For more information on certification process fees visit the following link: Fees Payable by Adjudicators to ODACC.
Adjudicator Training Program
ODACC is responsible for training Adjudicators and has developed a training program in partnership with the Stitt Feld Handy Group. The training program is called Construction Adjudication and ODACC Orientation Program (The “Program”). There is an online and in-person component to the Program. The online component can take between two to six hours to complete. The in-person component takes place over two full days. Those who wish to apply for certification must complete both the online and in-person training components before applying for certification. All training in adjudication is helpful but no alternative training or experience can alleviate the requirement to complete the Program. For more information and to register for the Program, please visit the following link: https://sfhgroup.com/odacc-training/.
Submitting Applications for Certification
After completing the Program, adjudicator applicants may apply to ODACC for certification. ODACC will not accept any applications from adjudicator applicants before they have completed the Program (both the online and in-person training). In order to apply, an adjudicator applicant should email ODACC at email@example.com stating the date that the adjudicator applicant completed the in-person training Program and that he or she would like to receive an application package. The adjudicator applicant will receive two documents; an application package and evaluation questions. Details of both documents are set out below. The completed documents should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Application Package will ask adjudicator applicants for the following information:
- Contact details.
- The hourly rate at which the adjudicator applicant would like to conduct adjudications. Each Adjudicator sets his or her hourly rate at one of the following: $250/hour, $400/hour, $500/hour, $750/hour, or more than $750/hour. Once certified, Adjudicators will be able to modify their hourly rates.
- The fixed fee rates for which the adjudicator applicant is willing to conduct adjudications. The adjudicator applicant can select all, none, or some of the fixed fee rates ($800, $1,000, $2,000, and $3,000). For more information on fixed fees please see https://odacc.ca/en/claimants/adjudication-process-2/.
- The languages in which the adjudicator applicant is able to adjudicate.
- Whether the adjudicator applicant is a member of the ADR Institute of Ontario. For information about the ADR Institute of Ontario please click on the following link: http://adr-ontario.ca/members-practitioners/join-adrio/ .
- The number of years of relevant working experience in the construction industry.
- The adjudicator applicant’s construction experience.
- The adjudicator applicant’s experience as a neutral in adjudications or arbitrations.
- The adjudicator applicant’s experience as a party in adjudications or arbitrations.
- The geographical areas that the adjudicator applicant is willing to adjudicate in without charging for travel time or disbursements.
- Payment of $250 plus HST for the Qualification Examination Fee.
- The Adjudicator Declarations, which include but are not limited to, assertions that the adjudicator applicant:
- is eligible to be a certified Adjudicator as set out in s. 4 of the Regulations;
- agrees to comply with the Code of Conduct, a copy of which can be found at the following link: Code of Conduct. https://odacc.ca/en/adjudicators/code-of-conduct/; and
- will obtain the requisite insurance. All certified adjudicators must have Errors and Omissions insurance for their work as an adjudicator of at least $5 million per occurrence and in the aggregate.
- A resume that provides details about the adjudicator applicant’s 10 years (at least) of relevant working experience in the construction industry. The resume should be in paragraph form and should not be longer than two pages.
- A letter of reference from someone who can attest to the adjudicator applicant’s construction experience.
Answering evaluation questions is mandatory for all applicants who wish to be certified as ODACC Adjudicators. Adjudicator applicants will be asked to answer test questions, draft sample determinations and prepare a short video (among other things). ODACC will assess the responses to determine, among other things, whether the adjudicator applicant is able to write clear, concise Determinations based on the evidence presented to him or her.
Results of Application for Certification
ODACC will review all applications and determine which adjudicator applicants receive a Certificate. ODACC’s decision will be based on the applicant’s qualifications, the demand for adjudication services, and the answers to the Evaluation Questions.
Some applicants will be approved to be added to the Registry if and when the demand for adjudication requires ODACC to increase the size of the Adjudicator Registry. These applicants will be placed on a waiting list. If and when an applicant is moved from the waiting list to the Adjudicator Registry, the applicant will be notified. ODACC will not be able to estimate when an applicant on the waiting list will be placed on the Adjudicator Registry. If the need for Adjudicators increases, ODACC will decide which adjudicator applicants to add to the Adjudicator Registry based on ODACC’s responsibility to maintain a suitable Registry (as opposed to the order in which the applications were received or approved).
Adjudicator Appointment and Certification
Certified Adjudicators will be notified via email once they are added to the Registry. Once certified, Adjudicators will have to:
- Create an online profile on ODACC’s Custom System. Their profile will be displayed in the public Registry and be accessible to Parties and their Representatives who search for Adjudicators.
- Send ODACC confirmation of their Errors and Omissions insurance.
- Participate in yearly continuing training programs. Further details will be made available at the following link: Continuing Training Programs.
Further details about the above steps will be communicated to Adjudicators via email. Adjudicators will be added to the roster list based on approval date.
No. The Program is mandatory for all applicants who wish to be certified as ODACC Adjudicators. No alternative training or experience can alleviate the requirement to complete the Program.
Adjudicator applicants may submit applications at any time after completing the Program.
Yes. The evaluation questions are mandatory for all applicants who wish to be certified as ODACC Adjudicators. No alternative training or experience can alleviate the requirement to complete the Evaluation.
ODACC will certify as many applicants as are needed to adjudicate in Ontario. There is no pre-determined number.
No, there is no cap on the number of Adjudicators on the Registry.
Not everyone who applies will get on the Registry. Adjudicator applicants must answer test questions and draft sample Determinations (among other things) and ODACC assesses the responses to determine whether adjudicator applicants are able to write clear, concise Determinations based on the evidence presented to them.
The disputing Parties can select the Adjudicator of their choice (presumably based on the Adjudicator’s background and billing rates). If the Parties cannot agree on an Adjudicator, an Adjudicator will be appointed by ODACC on a rotating basis. For information on the Adjudicator selection process please see: Adjudicator Selection.
Yes. The disputing Parties can select the Adjudicator of their choice (presumably based on their backgrounds and billing rates). If the Parties cannot agree on an Adjudicator, an Adjudicator will be appointed by ODACC on a rotating basis. For information on the Adjudicator selection process please see: Adjudicator Selection.
ODACC does not know how many adjudications will occur in Ontario each year.
No. Adjudicators will not be employed by ODACC. Adjudicators will be independent contractors.
Yes. ODACC expects that most (if not all) of the Adjudicators will have other work.
ODACC will attempt to collect retainers from the Parties and will pay the adjudicators on the 15th of the month after conclusion of the adjudication or after the fees are received, whichever is later.
Yes. Adjudicators will be able to modify their hourly rates and change their decisions about which fixed fee rates to accept for adjudications.
Certified Adjudicators must obtain Errors and Omissions insurance for their work as adjudicators of at least $5 million per occurrence and in the aggregate. This level of coverage is the market norm for people conducting arbitrations.
Yes. Adjudicators who also plan on being involved in ODACC cases in a capacity other than as an Adjudicator (such as a representative, lawyer, expert, or advisor) will be listed on the Adjudicator Roster and may be selected by the parties, but ODACC will not appoint them to cases where the parties do not agree on an Adjudicator. The reason is that parties should not be placed in a position where someone on the other side of an adjudication in one case could be appointed as their Adjudicator in a future case (even if there is no conflict of interest).