The Pupillage Scheme of the Worshipful Company
of Arbitrators

The Company’s educational objectives are looked after by the Education and Pupillage Committee of the Company. We support education at all levels in private dispute resolution, particularly through the Company’s Pupillage Scheme. This Pupillage Scheme is unique in the UK and is a flagship programme of the Company.

The Pupillage Scheme offers practical experience and mentoring to those progressing their private dispute resolution careers, whether in arbitration, mediation or adjudication and whether in the UK or internationally, whether or not this involves further professional qualifications or not. The Pupillage is a two year programme, although this may be extended by a further twelve months. It is spent shadowing a third party neutral who may practice in the areas of arbitration, mediation or adjudication or a combination of these. The principal objective is to provide practical experience of procedural matters and hearings and awards in arbitration and decisions in adjudication and the opportunity to observe and then assist at mediations.

We plan to have around 30 Pupils in the Pupillage Scheme at any one time. Every effort will be made to match each Pupil with a suitable Mentor. A set of criteria has been established for Pupils, with the emphasis firmly on quality and not quantity. These criteria are available and, in summary, emphasise a sound academic background and/or appropriate work experience, the particular qualities necessary for private dispute resolution and the ability to observe confidentiality. Candidates will usually already have a professional qualification and hence be in the post-experience stage. They will also be strongly motivated and articulate with strong communication skills.

Pupils will be expected to keep a logbook and to liaise regularly with their Mentor. They will also be expected to meet or aspire to meet the criteria for acceptance as a Freeman of the Company and to apply for the freedom of the Company within 12 months of joining the Pupillage Scheme.

The Company has a programme to encourage contact and communication between Pupils, so that they can share experiences, and organises an annual get-together for Pupils. If you think that the Pupillage Scheme is for you, please apply to Nicola Cohen (, who is the Member of the Company responsible for the Scheme. The Company also provides loans and/or grants through its Charitable Trust for worthy candidates who wish to embark upon education in private dispute resolution. For more details of this, please see this page.

© Copyright Worshipful Company of Arbitrators.