The infrastructure industry, both nationally and internationally often faces disputes due to the conflicting interests of the contracting parties. FIDIC as the global body responsible for setting standards, policies, best practices as well as in its role of providing guidelines on national and international construction projects, offers effective mechanisms of dispute resolution and dispute avoidance.
Although there are various standards and policies established within the infrastructure industry, adjudicative processes are of particular interest to FIDIC Credentialing Limited (FCL) given its mandate to provide certification to persons. In the particular context of this article, adjudication and dispute resolution will be the focus given the recent opening the FCL’s adjudicator certification programme.
Adjudication refers to a process of dispute settlement where a neutral third party, usually an expert on the subject matter of the dispute, examines the facts presented by both disputing parties and provides a decision based on balanced and fair review.
A dispute could be adjudged either by a single adjudicator or by setting up a Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB) composed of three members.
This method of dispute resolution is commonly used in the infrastructure industry and dates back several decades. It is worth noting that the decision provided in an adjudication process is binding and not merely persuasive.
However, where a displeased party seeks to overrule the decision, the final decision of the court will take precedence.
This field of expertise is fast becoming the preferred method of ADR or dispute resolution in the infrastructure industry as it has been proven to be an effective and time saving method in resolving disputes and avoiding more costly forms of litigation.
FIDIC is a global body committed to upholding the highest industry standards. This includes ensuring, as best possible, that the adjudicators appointed for the disputing parties in the infrastructure industry are rigorously assessed. FIDIC will appoint an Adjudicator following the request from the disputing parties. The appointed person must be an FCL Certified Adjudicator and registered on the FIDIC President’s list of Approved Adjudicators.
FCL offers certification to Adjudicators on an annual basis. This certification assesses the competencies of applicants with a focus on their adjudication skills and industry knowledge. This includes an assessment on their knowledge of FIDIC Standard of Contracts, dispute resolution skills, and experience on dispute boards.
The strategic partnerships established between FIDIC and eight Multilateral Development Banks in the last few years further increases the applicability of these FIDIC standards, and policies. It also seeks to strengthen the global infrastructure industry by promotion benchmarks that are easily applicable across the board.
As a result, there is an increased opportunity for qualified adjudicators with in-depth knowledge of FIDIC contracts and experience in dispute boards to become certified as international Adjudicators with expertise in both the 1999 and 2017 editions of the FIDIC Contracts.
FIDIC Credentialing Limited has opened the next session of the Certified Adjudicator programme for September 2021. To get certified, apply here: https://fcl.fidic.org/our-programmes/adjudicators/