The Institute runs an arbitration scheme in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. It is tailor made for the resolution of disputes arising from archaeological contracts, and can be written into any archaeological agreement. The scheme has many advantages
- the process is straightforward: the rules are written in plain English and are easy to follow
- the process is efficient: it is geared toward documents-only procedures
- the costs of resolving disputes through arbitration are a fraction of those that can be incurred in the Courts. The pre-arranged administration and arbitrator fees are far smaller than those charged commercially, and are capped: parties know in advance the maximum cost of an arbitration
- arbitration is conducted by CIArb Panel Members, experienced arbitrators drawn from the highest grade of membership. They are advised by senior members of the archaeological profession recommended by the IfA
- the arbitrator has the power to order financial or performance awards, and costs - the ruling of the arbitrator is final. Under legislation (Arbitration Act 1996) the Courts are bound to dismiss any attempt to have the dispute heard if an arbitration agreement exists between the parties
- parties including a clause in their contracts undertaking to be bound by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators' Arbitration scheme for the Institute of Field Archaeologists show that they are taking a professional, responsible attitude towards contractual arrangements. Each party knows that the other has agreed that if disputes arise they will be resolved swiftly, cost-effectively and independently.
Members wishing to make use of the service should ensure that an appropriate clause is inserted into written agreements with their clients (for example s106 agreements, Written Schemes of Investigation or standard model contracts). An example of such a clause is
"In the event of any dispute arising out of this Agreement (including those considered as such by only one of the parties) either party may forthwith give to the other notice in writing of such a dispute or difference and the same shall be and is hereby referred for decision in accordance with the Rules of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators' Arbitration scheme for the Institute of Field Archaeologists applying at the date of this Agreement."