ADR Chambers sets out rules and system for qualifying as Ontario Construction Act adjudicators

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

ADR Chambers has set out the rules for becoming an adjudicator under the Ontario Construction Act, and has invited individuals interested in the adjudication opportunity to sign up for a two-day program in Toronto as part of the qualifying process.

ADR Chambers is the only Authorized Nominating Agency that can select adjudicators to resolve disputes if the parties do not agree on their own about who should serve in the role. Adjudicators will resolve cases once the adjudication provisions in the new law take effect for projects which have either started or reached the procurement stage after Oct. 1.

With its effective monopoly on qualifying adjudicators, ADR Chambers and its related Ontario Dispute Adjudication for Construction Contracts (ODACC) service has true gatekeeper control and power.

In a statement, the organization says “all adjudicators for ODACC must hold a valid certificate of qualification to adjudicate issued by ODACC.”

The organization has set out a two-step application process, including attendance at a mandatory in -person two day training program costing $995 plus taxes. “All training in adjudication is helpful but no other alternative training or experience can alleviate the requirement to completed ODACC orientation program,” ADR Chambers says in its statement.

The orientation program also includes an online component.

“The in-person component will be offered on Sept. 10 and 11, 2019, and again on Sept. 18 and 19, 2019 in Toronto,” ADR Chambers says. “For those who cannot attend on either of these dates, we plan to offer it again later in the Fall in Toronto and Ottawa. The program fee is $995 plus taxes.”

Each in-person class will be limited to 40 people. The registration form can be obtained at this link. Completed registration forms should be sent to contact@adr.ca, or you can register online at https://sfhgroup.com/odacc-program.

In the second stage, adjudicator applicants “must complete the ODACC online quality evaluation process, and may be required to submit a video to demonstrate their ability to conduct adjudications. The fee for this evaluation is $200 plus taxes.

“After the completion of the evaluation process, adjudicator applicants must provide ODACC with a completed application form, adjudicator declarations, and a resume that provides details about the adjudicator applicants’ 10 years (at least) of relevant working experience in the construction industry. The application must also include a letter of reference confirming the adjudicator applicant’s experience in the construction industry.”

ADR Chambers says the  Adjudication Application Form can be found by clicking on the following link: https://adrchambers.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Application-ODACC.pdf.
“The adjudication application form and accompanying documents must be submitted to authority@odacc.ca. ODACC will then review all applications and determine which applicants are entitled to receive a Certificate. Determinations will be made based on qualifications, need, and the results of the evaluation process.”

In the immediate future, it is likely there will be little demand for adjudicators as it will take some time for projects qualifying under the Ontario Construction Act to reach the stage where disputes arise requiring adjudication.

Experienced adjudicators from the United Kingdom said earlier that, when Great Britain introduced similar similar resolution provisions about a decade ago, it took some time for the first cases to arise, in part because of discomfort by participants in going first.  However, other observers believe there will be less resistance in Ontario.

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