The latest update from CIArb Education & Training looks at Introduction Courses and Assessments, Pathways Courses and their centralised assessment, plus other recent developments.
Questions from the membership are answered below.
View the restructure proposal in detail.
Introduction Courses and Assessments
The one-day Introduction courses have always been popular and a very good way for potential new CIArb members to meet each other and current Branch members. Will this change in any way? Introduction courses will continue to be run in exactly the same way, to the same standard. What has changed is the assessment method from a written assignment to an online multiple choice assessment.
The pass mark for the online multiple choice assessment for Introduction courses is 55%. Is this a new development?
The pass mark for assessment after an Introduction course has always been 55%. What has changed is the assessment method from a written assignment to an online multiple choice assessment.
Can you tell us how the fees have been calculated? The fee to take the previous form of assessment, a written assignment, was £96. The fee for online assessment has been calculated to reflect the expense incurred by 12 Bloomsbury Square in commissioning the writing and moderating of questions to assure their quality and rigour, and the ongoing administration of the system to ensure its fitness for purpose.
Branches will now be at liberty to set their own fees for the Introduction courses that they run, according to what the local market will bear, with no need to incorporate any element relating to the costs associated with assessment. So, if Branches lower their fees for courses, candidates will not incur any extra costs.
The new Pathways system comprises fewer Modules and is going to take less time to complete. Can you explain the reasoning behind this decision?
The new Pathways system has been designed to meet the learning and practice needs of busy candidates who have elected to undertake a professional, not an academic, training.
The content of each Module has been designed and written by recognised experts in their field and scrutinised and approved by a panel of moderators also comprised of industry and practice experts.
The topics covered in the Modules have been developed to give greater strength and depth to the overall content. The length of time allocated to the completion of each module has been identified by researching the time invested by current candidates in their own private study.
The intention is to give the opportunity to complete the full professional practical qualification process within a 12-month period, a realistic timescale from both a commercial and a professional standards perspective.
Can you outline how, under the new Pathways system, non-lawyers can progress whilst ensuring they have a suitable grounding in law?
The revised full 3-Module Pathways system is intended for non-lawyers who want to train with the Institute and have the opportunity to achieve Fellowship. It has been designed such that the relevant law is covered at the relevant point in the training.
Whilst an understanding of the law is essential, there are other elements which are also important to cover early on in the courses and the new approach takes a balanced view to cover all of these:
- Modules 1 for Arbitration and Adjudication include content on the law relevant to practice and procedure in each of those disciplines. They are designed to equip a new non-lawyer Arbitrator or Adjudicator with the legal and practical knowledge necessary to their further development and higher qualifications. Module 1 for Mediation concentrates on ensuring that all candidates have the necessary skills and qualities to practise as effective mediators.
- Module 2: Law of Obligations, Contract and Tort and Module 3, which includes the Law of Evidence, will further and deepen non-lawyer candidates’ legal knowledge at the appropriate points in their training alongside the necessary practical skills.
Candidates with a law degree continue to have the opportunity to take the Accelerated Route to Membership (ARM). Candidates with a law degree and significant experience in practice may elect to pursue the Accelerated Route to Fellowship, as before.
I am already part of the way through the old Pathways system. How will I be affected by the new developments?
As the new modules are introduced into each region, the old Pathways courses will be phased out. There will be some dovetailing of the old and the new.
Guidance will be provided to Branches as to the timing for this in due course. 12 Bloomsbury Square will ensure that Branches and candidates are informed at the appropriate time and that candidates are not disadvantaged.
Centralised Assessment of Pathways Courses
What is the reasoning behind the Institute deciding to introduce centralised Assessment with common set dates? Centralised Assessment will ensure that there is absolute consistency and fairness in the assessment process for all candidates across the globe thus ensuring there is a global standard.
The system will enable Branches to plan their training diaries in line with pre-published exam dates and therefore busy professionals to plan and organise their study time accordingly. The timetable published on the website is a draft example only.
The Assessment timetable proper will take account of all relevant major festivals and holidays as far as is possible. Branches will also have the option not to run courses where assessments will coincide with religious festivals.
What are the most recent developments in the progress of the project?
The Education and Membership Committee has decided that the role of Regional Pathway Leader(RPL) be approved, that RPLs be invited to attend a briefing workshop to find out about the detail of the new modules and that they should subsequently train their local tutors in delivering the new material.
This process will begin in May with the first phase roll out in the UK and Europe.
What else has been happening in Education and Training?
The Accelerated Route to Fellowship course (ARF) will now be a three-day course comprised of two days of teaching and one day for the Award Writing examination. This will align the format with centralised assessment so that ARF candidates can sit the Module 3 examination after the two-day course.
The Education and Membership Committee approved the core curriculum for the Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration. This will be used as the benchmark for all Diploma courses going forward.
We are also strengthening our Education and Training team- new team members are joining 12 Bloomsbury Square.
View the full Training & Qualifications programme restructure proposal.