FINRA provides training so that arbitrators understand their role, authority and responsibilities in performing their arbitral duties. Arbitrators must understand the arbitration process from start to finish, including concepts such as arbitrator selection, discovery, disclosure and expungement. FINRA’s required basic training covers these concepts, while our more advanced training includes a more in-depth dive into subjects like the role of the chairperson and motions to dismiss. FINRA training is a free and critical component to becoming a successful arbitrator.
Individuals who are interested in applying to the arbitrator roster should wait until they are approved to the roster before taking the arbitrator training and assessments.
Arbitrator candidates who are approved to join the roster, and who successfully pass the Basic Arbitrator Training Program, become eligible to serve on cases. Please contact Avery Maixner at (213) 229-2339 or the department of Neutral Management at (855) 209-1620 with any questions about the training program.
On This Page
- Required Basic Arbitrator Training
- Voluntary Arbitrator Orientation
- Advanced Arbitrator Training
- How to Register for Training
- Training for Virtual Hearings
- The Neutral Corner
- Neutral Workshops
Required Basic Arbitrator Training Program
After FINRA approves an arbitrator candidate's application, the candidate must complete the comprehensive Basic Arbitrator Training Program to become eligible to serve on arbitration cases. The Basic Arbitrator Training Program covers each stage of the arbitration process and reviews the procedures that arbitrators must follow to successfully complete an arbitration case. The final module of the program covers the expungement process, which includes a separate, required assessment. Individuals who are interested in applying to the arbitrator roster should wait until they are approved to the roster before taking the arbitrator training and assessments. This program is a self-paced program and must be completed within 90 days.
Modules 1–15: The Basics (6 hours)
The first fifteen (15) modules of Basic Arbitrator Training cover each stage of the arbitration process. In these modules, you will review the procedures that arbitrators must follow to successfully complete an arbitration case. This course requires a thorough review of online self-study materials and completion of an assessment. The assessment consists of 25 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 80 percent (20 correct answers). After you review the course materials, the assessment will be available for you to complete. You will have a maximum of two attempts to pass the assessment. The Basic Arbitrator Training takes approximately six hours to complete.
After completing the Basic Arbitrator Training and assessment, you may proceed to the final module on expungement.
Module 16: Expungement (1 hour)
The final module of the Basic Arbitrator Training Program covers the expungement process. The Expungement Training is mandatory and has a separate, required assessment. This course provides guidance on expungement procedures outlined in Code of Arbitration Procedure Rules 12805 and 13805, as well as FINRA Rule 2080.
Effective October 16, 2023, FINRA revised the Codes of Arbitration Procedure to modify the process relating to the expungement of customer dispute information. For a comprehensive overview of the revised expungement rules, please watch the 2023 Neutral Workshop: General Expungement Training. For experienced, public chairs interested in serving on the Special Arbitrator Roster, please complete the Enhanced Expungement Training available on the DRS learning system.
When a broker is named as a respondent in a customer-initiated arbitration proceeding, that fact is required to be reported on the registered person's Form U4. Once the information is reported, it is added to the broker's Central Registration Depository (CRD) record. If the arbitration claim against the broker is denied by the arbitrators, the broker may seek to have any reference to the arbitration removed or expunged from their CRD record.
The Expungement Training explains the role of CRD, provides an overview of the expungement process and gives an in-depth review of FINRA Rule 2080 and Code of Arbitration Procedure Rules 12805 and 13805 to ensure that arbitrators follow all procedural requirements before ordering expungement of a broker's CRD record.
Arbitrators must successfully complete the course and assessment. The assessment consists of 10 true/false questions, and a grade of 80 percent (8 correct answers) is required to pass the course. The course takes approximately one hour to complete.
After completing the mandatory online trainings and assessments, new arbitrators may attend a voluntary orientation. Orientations are via webinar and give new arbitrators a chance to meet FINRA staff and ask questions about serving on the roster. If you are interested, please review the schedule and register for an orientation session. Arbitrators can submit questions in advance to the following mailbox.
Voluntary Arbitrator Orientation
After successfully completing the online basic and expungement courses, arbitrators may attend a voluntary orientation. Orientations give new arbitrators a chance to meet FINRA staff and ask questions about serving on the roster.
New Arbitrator Orientations are conducted via webinar approximately twice every month and are available to individuals in any hearing location. Only approved arbitrators who have successfully completed the online basic and expungement trainings may attend an orientation.
Advanced Arbitrator Training
In addition to the mandatory basic arbitrator training program, Dispute Resolution Services offers subject-specific online training modules. These modules are voluntary, unless stated otherwise. Arbitrators who successfully complete FINRA Dispute Resolution Services training courses will have this noted on their arbitrator disclosure reports.
Free Video Courses—No Registration Required
The following video courses can be accessed immediately and do not require registration. To receive credit for these trainings, please confirm completion by sending an email to Arbitrator Training:
- Anti-Money Laundering Requirements and Suspicious Activity Reporting
- Motions to Dismiss
- Explained Decisions
FINRA Online Learning Courses—Registration Required
FINRA offers the following advanced training courses through its Learning Management System. See below for registration instructions.
- Chairperson Training
This course instructs arbitrators on the added responsibilities of arbitrators assuming the important role of Chairperson. There is an online assessment at the end of the course and a passing grade of 80 percent or greater is required to pass the course. The course takes approximately four hours to complete. No PDF is available for this training.
- Civility in Arbitration
This voluntary, online course presents scenarios that demonstrate how arbitrators should maintain civility during an arbitration hearing. Specifically, the course helps arbitrators evaluate their obligations before and during service on a case, and set a proper tone for conducting fair and efficient hearings. There is an online assessment at the end of the course, which must be completed to receive credit. The course takes approximately one hour to complete. DRS also offers a PDF version of this training.
- Discovery, Abuses and Sanctions
This voluntary, online course focuses on the respective duties of arbitrators and parties in the discovery process. The course explains the Discovery Guide; discusses the need for orders of confidentiality; helps arbitrators recognize and address discovery abuses; and reviews possible sanctions if they become necessary. There is an online assessment at the end of the course, which must be completed to receive credit. The course takes approximately one hour to complete. DRS also offers a PDF version of this training.
Enhanced Expungement Training
The Enhanced Expungement Training provides an overview of revisions to the Codes of Arbitration Procedure to modify the process relating to the expungement of customer dispute information. The revised rules became effective on October 16, 2023.
The revised rules require that expungement requests filed under the Industry Code be decided by a three-person panel randomly selected from a Special Arbitrator Roster. To be eligible for the Special Arbitrator Roster, an arbitrator must:
- be a public arbitrator eligible for the chairperson roster;
- evidence successful completion of, and agreement with, enhanced expungement training provided by DRS; and
- have served as an arbitrator through award on at least four customer arbitrations administered by FINRA or another self-regulatory organization in which a hearing was held (excluding hearings held as part of a special proceeding).
The revised rules also require that expungement requests filed during simplified customer arbitrations be considered by public chair arbitrators who evidence successful completion of, and agreement with, the enhanced expungement training. Reviewing the Check Your Knowledge Quiz and Reference Guide is optional. There is a statement at the conclusion of the training, which must be agreed to in order to complete the training. The course takes approximately one hour to complete. No PDF is available for this training.
- Understanding the Initial Prehearing Conference
This voluntary, online course helps arbitrators manage the Initial Prehearing Conference. The course also assists arbitrators in organizing the Conference, keeping the parties focused on the tasks at hand-of which scheduling hearing dates is primary, and providing practical guidance on other preliminary issues that may arise during the Conference. There is an online assessment at the end of the course, which must be completed to receive credit. The course takes approximately one hour to complete. DRS also offers a PDF version of this training.
- Your Duty to Disclose
This voluntary, online course focuses on arbitrators' obligations to disclose information to FINRA, parties and co-arbitrators. The course describes FINRA's disclosure requirements, explains the necessity for complete disclosure and its importance to the neutrality of the process, instructs arbitrators on how to correctly make a disclosure and reinforces the need for arbitrators to meet their continuing disclosure obligations. There is an online assessment at the end of the course, which must be completed to receive credit. The course takes approximately one hour to complete. DRS also offers a PDF version of this training.
How to Register for Training
To register for an arbitrator training course, go to FINRA's Arbitrator Learning Site and select a course from the Arbitration Catalog. As a first-time user, please follow these instructions to register for a course:
- Go to https://finra-arbitration.sabacloud.com.
- Follow the New Users instructions and click SIGN UP. You cannot use the same login credentials that you created for the DR Portal when you applied to the roster. These are two separate systems requiring separate registrations.
- Complete the Registration Form and click SIGN UP.
- You will be directed to the Welcome to FINRA’s Arbitrator Training Learning Site homepage. Click Arbitrator Catalog to view all Dispute Resolution Training courses. (To return to the Home Page at any time, click the FINRA logo in the upper left of the browser page.)
- Locate course name, Dispute Resolution: Basic Arbitrator Training Program and then click “LAUNCH” button to begin the course.
- You may review the course content as often as you wish. However, do not attempt the exam until you are ready to complete the exam.
TIP: For the best user experience, please use a PC desktop or laptop or a tablet with the following browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge. Do not try to complete the training courses using the Safari browser or on a smartphone.
If you have any questions, please call (800) 321-6273.
Training for Virtual Hearings
COVID 19 has increased the demand for virtual arbitration and mediation hearings to ensure cases can proceed without lengthy delays. Upon request of the parties or order of the Panel, FINRA Dispute Resolution Services provides videoconferencing through the Zoom platform, accessible via finra.zoom.us.
FINRA Dispute Resolution Services is committed to providing training and resources to arbitrators on how to use Zoom effectively when participating in virtual hearings. View the videos on the next page, and refer to the Arbitrator Resource Guide for Virtual Hearings for more information.
The Neutral Corner
The Neutral Corner is a quarterly newsletter that provides arbitrators and mediators with current updates on important rules and procedures within securities dispute resolution. FINRA’s neutrals better serve parties and other participants in the FINRA forum by taking advantage of this valuable learning tool.
The Neutral Workshops are pre-recorded, video workshops that provide arbitrators and mediators with updates on developments within FINRA's dispute resolution program. These workshops will keep neutrals apprised of the latest proposed rule changes, procedures, recent Regulatory Notices as well as best practice tips. The workshops are pre-recorded by FINRA staff and guest arbitrators and mediators several times each year. They are free for you to access at any time.