This week we are covering Level 2 for Contract Administration. Here is the link to the Level 1 post if you missed it: Contract Administration - Level 1.
DISCLAIMER: The following is not an exhaustive set of notes, but it's an attempt to help those who, like me at the beginning, did not know where to start! Please feel free to let me know if I have said anything incorrect or out of date!
So what is a Level 2 Contract Administration?
The RICS pathway guide suggests that to effectively demonstrate your competence at this level you must show the ability to:
Implement administrative procedures necessary to run a construction contract.
This bullet point refers to the ability of a contract administrator to deliver formal requests/communications under the contract. An instruction is a request, order or command from one party to another.
An instruction needs to be in written form and is generally given from the client to the contractor. Examples include:
Varying in postponing the works,
To carry out tests or open up work for inspection
To request a quotation for a variation
To reject/accept contractor’s variation
Instructions relation to how provision sums are spent
Please note, verbal instructions are a really problematic area. Under the JCT, verbal instructions have to be confirmed (CVI or Confirmation or Verbal Instruction). In an NEC contract, they generally have no weight, if a contractor is given a verbal instruction they need to ask for a written one.
It might be the case that you have never actually given an instruction because you are an assistant contract administrator on the project. But you may have had experience in drafting an instruction email or bringing attention to a specific issue that will require an instruction from the contract administrator - use these examples!
Dealing with payment provisions
This bullet point will differ depending on your choice of contract. You need to the time scales!
If you are working on an NEC contract do you understand what the Assessment Date signifies? What are the relevant payment clauses? Obviously, you need to know this for whatever contract you are working for!
Managing change procedures
How do you deal with variations on your contract?
If you are on a JCT project, do you understand the difference between Relevant Event(s) and Matter(s)? If you are on an NEC project, what are Compensation Events? For general purposes, you should know the difference between the two methodologies anyway!
The NEC system is more organised in terms of managing change! You should be able to explain the early warning system, the process of risk reduction and how the compensation event quotation system works.
Involvement with dispute avoidance
Can you give examples of how you helped de-escalate a situation?
For example, have you managed to support a contractor despite them causing an issue on-site that resulted in a programme delay?
Or, how have you undertaken activities to prevent the contractor from getting confrontational? For example, you may, as a matter of general practice always be fair and reasonable with the contractor when undertaking valuations.
Dealing with completion and possession issues
Have you got any examples of where a contractor is near the cusp of obtaining a completion certificate but some issues are holding them back? How did you deal with it as a team?
You need to know the different completion states: practical and section completions and also partial possession!
Also, when any of these states occur, what subsequent events follow? For example, it may be the case that once practical completion occurs, half the retention pot is released back to the contractor!
What certificates have you drafted/issued to the contractor?
A common one would be the payment certificate which you may draft/issue on behalf of the contract administrator or Project Manager (on an NEC contract). Why is a certificate important? What is shown on a certificate?
What do you know about the following certificates:
Certificate of making good defects
Certificate of non-completion
Interim payment certificate
That’s it for this post folks, as always give me a shout if you have any questions or comments!