Those who wish to be considered for our Roster must demonstrate either (i) experience, competence, and acceptability in decision-making roles in the resolution of labor relations disputes; or (ii)  extensive and recent experience in relevant positions in collective bargaining. In addition to (i) or  (ii), a Roster candidate must demonstrate (iii) capability of conducting an orderly hearing, analyzing testimony and exhibits, and  preparing clear and concise findings and awards within reasonable time limits.

Those meeting the above requirements must complete and submit an application online and separately provide documentation as listed below. Click here on APPLICATION (or go to to start the process. You will be taken to the general registration page; under “Don’t Have a Login?” you should click on “Arbitrator Registration.” Follow the instructions to provide your email address as your username; you will then receive a temporary password at the email you provided. Once you successfully sign in, you must change your temporary password to one of your own choosing. You will then see the application page where you should click on the button that says “Start your Application.” At that point, you will be taken through a ten step process to fill in, complete, and submit your application form.

In addition to the online application, before your application can be considered, you must separately provide the following to the FMCS Office of Arbitration:

  • 5 (five) letters of reference, including two from labor representatives and two from management representatives. The fifth may be from either labor or management, or from a neutral (but not from a current FMCS employee). You can have the letters sent to you and then forward them to us as a set at (or by mail to the attention of Karen Pierce at our national office: FMCS, 250 E St. SW, Washington DC 20427). If you prefer to have the references sent directly to us, you may do so, but that will make it more difficult for you to track that they have all been received.
  • Either:
    • 5 (five) recent arbitration awards. Each decision submitted must meet the following criteria: 1. Issued pursuant to your selection by the parties or by a government agency as arbitrator of record; 2. Involved a labor relations issue arising under a collective bargaining agreement; 3. Written entirely by you and; 4. Was final and binding (as opposed to advisory). Please send the awards to us as a set at (or by mail to the attention of Karen Pierce at our national office address); OR
    • Those who successfully complete the course on “Becoming a Labor Arbitrator (BALA),” offered through the FMCS Institute, need only (a) submit one award meeting the criteria above, or  (b) participate in an “apprenticeship” program. To qualify for the reduced requirement, you will need to submit a copy of your certificate of completion for the BALA course. For more information on this course and other Institute offerings, please click: FMCS INSTITUTE.
  • If you are a government employee and plan to remain in that status while on our Roster, you must provide us with written authorization from your government employer.

Once complete, including the documentation listed above, the application will be examined and then turned over to the Arbitrator Review Board, which meets periodically to review applications and make recommendations to the Agency Director. Criteria for inclusion on the Roster are set forth in the Arbitration Policies and Procedures found on the side navigation panel to the left.