GAFTA Trade Diploma

The GAFTA Trade Diploma assessment exam is now available to eligible candidates on an on-demand basis.

The Criteria

In order to take the GAFTA Trade Diploma Exam candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Have attended and passed the 4 GAFTA Professional Development courses, or
  • Have attended and passed the 6 GAFTA Distance Learning Programme modules, or
  • Have applied for and have been granted exemption from GDP and DLP


Please note that completion of either route of Gafta Training is not sufficient preparation alone for candidates to ensure success in the Trade Diploma Examination. The majority of successful candidates have 10+ years experience in the trade, and have extensive knowledge of contract law. In order to pass the examination, it is essential that candidates are fully familiar with the Principles and Process of Arbitration. The purpose of the exam is for candidates to demonstrate they are ready to become Gafta Arbitrators. An understanding of Commodity Contract Case Law and the Arbitration Act 1996, in addition to Gafta Arbitration Rules No. 125 is essential. Fluency in writing legal essays is required.

It is recommended that candidates read an introductory book into the subject of arbitration before attempting the exam. Examples include:

  • The Principles and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration by Margaret L. Moses
  • Redfern & Hunter on International Arbitration, Student Edition by Alan Redfern and Martin Hunter

The Exam

Time Allocated: FOUR HOURS...with an additional 15 minutes for reading. Candidates should aim to spend about an hour on each part.

PART A: carries 20% of the overall marks

Provide a short answer to the TEN general trade knowledge questions in this section. You should aim to spend about 4-5 mins on each answer.

Part B: carries 40% of the overall marks

Draft a reasoned explanation of what issues are raised by the facts of the contractual dispute set out in this section. There is no simple right/wrong answer; we are seeking to identify your reasoning abilities.

In answering the question we are looking for evidence that you understand the legal issues that relate to the facts outlined. I.e. what impact the various actions outlined by the buyer and seller have on the legal principles of contracting. For example, people said things and did things that affected their legal position; you should tell us about those things and how they affect the legal position.

Try to avoid saying how you would have done things differently, or advise how the parties could have avoided the problem, unless you have a specific legal context in mind and, try to avoid taking sides with the buyer or seller. You will not gain any marks for providing the seller/buyer with advice.

The purpose of the question is for you to demonstrate your ability to analyse the law and provide us with evidence that in a future arbitration scenario you could use your knowledge to make valid judgments in a legal dispute.

Part C: carries 40% of the overall marks

Note: Students will find it difficult to succeed in this section of the exam unless they are fully familiar with the principles of arbitration. Be sure to fully understand Gafta Arbitration Rules 125.

Review the given Arbitration award and comment on it under the following headings:

  • Style… is the award clear and does it allow the parties to understand the findings
  • Facts… are the facts relevant/have all relevant facts and evidence been included
  • Findings… have all relevant issues been answered
  • The law… is the award correct on its interpretation of the relevant legal issues
  • Award… is the Award fully reasoned, in respect of who has been successful/the award of damages/fees and expenses
  • Suggested changes… are there any changes you would suggest to this Tribunal that they should make.

The pass mark overall is 70%... ALL three sections must be passed.

The Fees

GBP250.00 exclusive of VAT

The Location

The exam can be taken at GAFTA London, or by arrangement, at a GAFTA member organisation office. Please note that candidates who opt to take the exam anywhere other than GAFTA London may be charged an administrative fee towards the cost of room hire and/or invigilation. Additional charges will be agreed with candidates in advance.

Briefing Papers Provided for the Exam

For Part B: GAFTA FOB CONTRACT 119 (2014 ed)
For Part C: GAFTA NO 101 CONTRACT (CIF Rye Terms) (2014 ed)

Resitting the Exam

Gafta’s Arbitration Committee has stipulated that a candidate can only take the exam twice in a two year period. Therefore, if you retook the exam 6 months after your initial attempt and were again unsuccessful, it would be a further 2 years before you could sit the exam again.



March 2017

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Commodity trading in uncharted waters: implications of regulatory change

08/03/2017 11:00 - 19:30 View

The Future of International Financial Regulation for Grains, Energy and Commodities seminar in Geneva

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GPD Commodity Dispute Resolution

16/03/2017 08:00 - 17/03/2017 17:00 View

GDP Commodity Dispute Resolution course over two days in Singapore

GPD Commodity Dispute Resolution - Networking Reception

16/03/2017 17:30 - 19:30 View

Networking reception - for delegates in Singapore.


GPD Commodity Dispute Resolution

16/03/2017 08:00 - 17/03/2017 17:00 View

GDP Commodity Dispute Resolution course over two days in Singapore

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Know Your Gafta Contracts - Networking Reception - Delhi, India

27/03/2017 17:30 - 19:30 View

Evening Networking Reception in Delhi, India

Know Your Gafta Contracts

27/03/2017 08:00 - 17:00 View

Understanding English Law and using Gafta contracts

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