Previous and Ongoing Training

The required training must have been received within five years of the conduct of the arbitration in which the arbitrator certifies that he or she has been trained, unless he or she has conducted at least two family arbitrations a year on average during those five years. This means that family arbitrators with existing screening training and experience may already meet the Ministry's requirements.

Ongoing training

In addition, family arbitrators must undertake ongoing training of 10 hours over any two-year period, of which half must be on domestic violence or power imbalance issues.

Suggested other training

An arbitrator not familiar with legal processes should consider taking courses on how to be an arbitrator, as well as the required courses on Ontario family law for non-lawyer arbitrators.

Such courses are offered from time to time by dispute resolution organizations and by academic institutions such as universities and community colleges. Some private instructors also offer reputable courses.

Formal training in family arbitration will make the task of arbitration easier, increase the chances that the arbitration will be correct and helpful to the parties, and reduce the risk that awards will be set aside or overturned on appeal.

It may also help to attract business, as parties can ask about the credentials of potential arbitrators in deciding whom to choose. In addition, formal training can help arbitrators avoid more serious mistakes that might give rise to potential claims for negligence.