Adjudication Process

What is Adjudication?

Adjudication is a dispute resolution process that allows Parties to present their dispute to an independent third party for a decision. In an adjudication, the individual or organization wishing to refer a dispute to adjudication (the “Claimant”) and the individual or organization from whom money is alleged to be owing (the “Respondent”) present their dispute to a third party (the “Adjudicator”). The Adjudicator will consider the evidence and make a decision (a “Determination”) within the timelines stipulated by the Regulations. If the Adjudicator orders a Party to pay the other Party, the payment must be made within 10 days of the issuing of the Determination or within any other time limit set out in the Determination.

Adjudication is designed to help workers and businesses to be paid on time for their work and resolve payment disputes.

Some features of Adjudications under the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act (the “Act”) are:

  •  Adjudications are quick;
  • Determinations are binding unless and until a decision is made in a subsequent proceeding or the Parties reach a written agreement. Either Party can commence a proceeding in court or through arbitration;
  • Adjudications are cost-effective. Adjudications are less costly than arbitration and litigation. For further information on costs, please refer to the Schedule of Fees and Fees, Retainers and Payments
  • Adjudication is available as a right. A Party to a construction contract which is covered by the Act can commence an adjudication without the other Party’s consent; and
  • The adjudication process is set by the Adjudicator, as opposed to the process being guided by a set of rules. The Parties can suggest a process to the Adjudicator for consideration, as outlined at Adjudication Process.

Overview of Adjudication Process

Commencement of Adjudication:

  • The adjudication process commences when the Claimant provides the Respondent with a Notice of Adjudication. The Claimant is also to send a copy of the Notice of Adjudication to CanDACC. For further information on how to commence an adjudication, please refer to Commencing an Adjudication.

Adjudicator Appointment:

  • After the Respondent receives the Notice of Adjudication, the Claimant and the Respondent have four days to communicate in writing with an Adjudicator to determine if the Adjudicator will consent to adjudicate their matter. The Adjudicator then has four days after the day the request was received to indicate their consent or refusal to adjudicate to the Parties. If the first Adjudicator is unable to adjudicate, the Parties may reach out to a second Adjudicator.
  • If the Parties cannot agree on an Adjudicator, either Party can ask CanDACC to appoint an Adjudicator. CanDACC will appoint an Adjudicator within five (5) days after the day on which the appointment request is received. For further information on the Adjudicator appointment process, please refer to Selecting an Adjudicator.

Claimant’s Documents:

  • Within five days after the day on which the Adjudicator consents to adjudicate, the Claimant must send to the Adjudicator and the other Parties its documents consisting of: a copy of the Notice of Adjudication, a written statement of the facts on which it intends to rely, and copies of all documents on which it intends to rely, including, if applicable, all relevant extracts from the construction contract.

Adjudication Process:

  • Upon receipt of the Claimant’s materials, the Adjudicator will inform the Parties in writing of the steps to be followed in the adjudication process.

  • The Adjudicator will conduct the adjudication in the manner they determine appropriate in the circumstances, in accordance with s. 6(1) of the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Regulations (Dispute Resolution)Some adjudications may require a hearing by videoconference, some may require an in-person hearing, some may involve a site visit, inspection, test, or experiment, and some may proceed only with documents. For further information about the adjudication process, please refer to Adjudication Process.

  • When the Adjudicator communicates the adjudication process to the Parties, the Adjudicator may stipulate the supporting documents (and/or limit the number of pages) that each Party may submit to the Adjudicator for consideration.

Respondent’s Material

  • The Respondent has 20 days after the day on which the Claimant’s documents are received to provide a written statement of facts on which it intends to rely and copies of any other material it wishes the Adjudicator to consider.


  • The cost of an adjudication will vary. The fee is based on the amount in dispute as set out in the Schedule of Fees unless the Adjudicator and the Parties agree otherwise. For a copy of the Fee Schedule, please refer to the following link: Schedule of Fees. The Adjudication Fee may consist of a fixed fee, or an hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours spent by the Adjudicator, plus disbursements and taxes. If the Parties and the Adjudicator agree to a fee that is different from the fee in the Fee Schedule, they need to notify CanDACC in writing within two days of the Adjudicator consenting to adjudicate.
  • FAQ: Who is responsible for paying the cost of adjudications? The Parties to an adjudication are responsible for an equal share of the adjudication fees and expenses unless the Adjudicator orders otherwise (s. 20 of the Act). Each Party to an adjudication will be responsible for their own costs (s. 20(1) of the Act). Pursuant to s. 20(2) of the Act, an Adjudicator has the discretion to order a Party to pay all or a portion of the other Party’s costs or all or some of the other Party’s portion of the Adjudicator’s fees and expenses where the Party has acted “in an abusive, scandalous or vexatious manner or in bad faith”.

Determination Due Date:

  • The Adjudicator will make a Determination no later than 20 days after the day on which the Respondent’s materials were received or the deadline for the Respondent to provide their materials (the “Due Date”). The Due Date may be extended for up to five days by the Adjudicator or for a longer period of time with the consent of all the Parties and the Adjudicator. For further information on Determinations, please refer to Determinations.

Certified Determination:

  • CanDACC will certify the Determination and provide copies to the Parties within five days of the Determination being made. For further information on certified Determinations, please refer to Determinations.
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