Upholding Standards: The Crucial Role of CPD in Adjudication Competency

By Dr Samer Skaik


In the dynamic world of building and construction, the adjudication process stands as a swift and decisive means to resolve payment disputes. However, as this mechanism grows in prominence and utility within Australia’s Security of Payment (SOP) legislation, the competency and decision-making quality of adjudicators have come under increasing scrutiny. Recognizing the pivotal role of these professionals, Queensland has taken a proactive step by mandating Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. This blog post delves into the implications of these requirements and their role in enhancing the adjudication process.

The Rising Tide of Judicial Intervention

Recent years have seen a growing willingness of Australian courts to intervene in the adjudication process, primarily due to concerns over decision-making quality and adherence to legislative requirements by some adjudicators. This has led to a heightened focus on improving the competence of adjudicators to ensure not only the swift resolution of disputes but also the fairness and accuracy of the decisions made.

Queensland’s Leap: Mandating CPD

In a bid to elevate the quality and reliability of adjudications, Queensland has recently implemented CPD requirements for all registered adjudicators. This initiative demands that adjudicators engage in predefined educational activities and accrue at least 10 CPD points annually to maintain their eligibility. This policy underscores a commitment to continuous learning and upskilling, ensuring that adjudicators are well-versed in the latest legal principles, practice and procedure, and ethics.

Adjudicators’ Perspectives and Policy Effectiveness

The introduction of mandatory CPD has been met with general support from the adjudicator community, albeit with mixed views regarding the content and dynamics of CPD activities. A qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with registered adjudicators in Queensland reveals key factors influencing the effective implementation of the CPD policy. These include the requirements for adjudicator registration and renewal, the adjudication panel size, and the criteria for adjudicator appointment. Understanding these factors is crucial for refining the CPD policy and ensuring its successful integration into the adjudication landscape.

The Path Forward: Enhancing Adjudication through CPD

As Queensland and other jurisdictions navigate the evolving landscape of construction adjudication, the continued refinement of CPD requirements will be vital. Emphasizing legal training, ethical conduct, and procedural know-how through structured CPD activities can significantly enhance the quality of adjudication determinations. Moreover, monitoring the performance of adjudicators and ensuring they meet the high standards set forth by the policy will be key to maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the adjudication process.


The mandating of CPD for adjudicators marks a significant step in ensuring the continued excellence and reliability of the construction industry’s dispute resolution process. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and adherence to high standards, the building and construction industry can look forward to a more robust, fair, and efficient adjudication system. As the policy evolves and adapts, it will undoubtedly serve as a model for other jurisdictions looking to enhance the competence and integrity of their own adjudication processes.

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