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#037 Contract Practice (PART 3) ⚖️

Hello folks 👋

This week we are covering Level 3 of the Contract Practice competency.

Here are my Level 1 and Level 2 posts.

I would highly advise you to go through the candidate guide and the QS pathway guide to understand the basic requirements.

This will be a brief post as a lot of the content has already been covered in the first two posts!

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 Please feel free to let me know if I have said anything incorrect or out of date!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 Level 3 Contract Practice all about?

The RICS note that to demonstrate competence at Level 3, you need to demonstrate your ability to:

Provide evidence of reasoned advice, prepare and present reports on the selection of the appropriate form of contract and warranties for your chosen procurement route. This should include advising on the most appropriate contractual procedure at the various stages of a construction or other contract

Selecting the appropriate form of contract and/or sub-contract for your chosen procurement route

  • This is a pretty straightforward requirement. You have chosen your procurement route with your client, you now need to choose the specific contract which will be used for the projects. How do you make this decision?

  • Please review parts 1 and 2 of contract practice on how to choose your contracts!

Advising on the most appropriate contractual procedure at the various stages of a contract

  • This bullet requires you to understand the key mechanisms of your contract:

  • Possession - at what point was possession given to the contractor

  • Payment - Do you know the payment timescales for when applications for payment need to be provided and when certificates need to be issued

  • Risk Mechanisms - Is there an early warning mechanism in your contract? When does this get issued and what does it trigger? (The answer is a risk reduction meeting)

  • Variations - how are variations dealt with in your contract? Is it the JCT route via relevant event/matter or NEC compensation events? What is the difference?

  • The above are just some examples that you need to think about!

Evaluating the appropriateness and implications of proposed contractual amendments.

  • This is quite a complex bullet point because in general as a QS you will not and should be involved in amending contracts without express supervision and oversight from the client's legal team. This is primarily because legal services are not typically part of your professional indemnity insurance.

  • Standard form contracts are built from a balanced position where, as far as possible, risk allocation is shared equally between the client and the contractor.

  • Most amendments are there to skew the contract to have less risk for the client.

  • Therefore, whenever you are working on a job with an amended contract, you need to review the amendments in line with the original contract and ascertain the objective and the consequences of that amendment.

  • Your first port of call may be to have a cursory review and check to see if any of the clauses conflict with the Construction Acts! You should then raise this with the client and the legal team to ensure the contract is compliant!


That’s it for this post folks, as always if you have a comment or query please get in touch!

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