Arbitrator Diploma Exam

exam Arb dip background The Gafta Arbitrator Diploma is the next step* to becoming a Gafta Arbitrator, following successful completion of one of our structured training programmes.


The exam is aimed at professionals who:

  • Want to work towards becoming a Gafta Qualified Arbitrator
  • Are looking to progress their career within the grain trade


The Gafta Arbitrator Diploma is open to candidates who:

  • Are members of Gafta
  • Have passed the four Gafta Professional Development (GPD) courses OR passed the six Gafta Distance Learning Programme (DLP) modules within the last 5 years
  • Have applied for and have been granted exemption from GDP or DLP by the Gafta Arbitration Committee**
  • In-house lawyers working for Gafta members are eligible, but those working primarily in private practice are not


The Arbitrator Diploma takes 3 hours and 15 minutes and is an online-based paper. The paper is divided into 3 sections:

Part A is a series of general knowledge questions designed to test your understanding of the industry.
Part B is an essay question based on a hypothetical scenario, designed to test your ability to analyse the legal issues and demonstrate your ability to use your knowledge to make valid judgments in a legal dispute.
Part C is an arbitration award analysis question. You must review the award document, comment on and discuss it.

Candidates must achieve 65% in every section of the exam in order to pass.


Exam fee: £300 exclusive of VAT
Application for exemption from training: £250 + VAT

*Taking the Arbitrator Diploma exam does not automatically qualify you to be Gafta Arbitrator, you must satisfy all requirements
**There is no possibility to apply for exemption from the Gafta Arbitrator Diploma Exam, only from training

The process:

  1. Notify Gafta that you wish to take the exam
  2. Gafta will check that you meet all the requirements
  3. Notify Gafta where you would like to take your exam. Gafta can host exam candidates at the London and Kiev offices. All other locations must have a Gafta member host who is not your employer
  4. Gafta will confirm who will be hosting & invigilating your exam (for exams not held at Gafta only)
  5. Confirm a date and time for your paper – you must give Gafta at least 1 week’s notice

Contact to discuss your exam requirements


  • For Trade Diploma and Arbitrator Diploma: Candidates who fail the exam can arrange to re-take once. Retakes must be taken within 12 months of the first paper. Candidates who fail the retake paper must wait 24 months before attempting the exam again
  • For Appeal Board exam: Candidates who fail the exam must wait 12 months before they are eligible to retake
  • Candidates must be employees of Gafta members or be members in their own right
  • Candidates must not use their own personal computers/laptops to take the exam
  • Candidates who opt to take the exam anywhere other than Gafta London may be charged an fee towards the cost of room hire and/or invigilation. Additional charges will be agreed with candidates in advance
  • Exams cannot be arranged until the relevant training has been passed
  • If there is a training requirement for the exam, training must have been completed within 5 years of your exam date
  • Exemption decisions are final
  • Exam papers must be written and submitted in English. Candidates are partly assessed on the standard of written English exhibited

Becoming a Gafta Qualified Arbitrator

For candidates wishing to become a Gafta Qualified Arbitrator, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed and passed the Arbitrator Diploma exam
  • Have 10+ years’ experience in the grain trade
  • Be a Gafta member or be employed by a Gafta member
  • Not work for a professional law firm (in-house trade lawyers will be considered)

Please see the Gafta Arbitrator Qualification page to see how to progress from the Arbitrator Diploma to Qualified Arbitrator status.

Once they have, they must contact and fill out an application form. The application will then be considered by the Gafta Arbitration Committee.