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RIBA principal designer professional services contract

The RIBA principal designer professional services contract is an agreement between a principal designer and a commercial client or public authority using a traditional form of procurement.

It is suitable for larger, more complex commercial projects and provides a comprehensive set of contract terms, including a clear set of roles and associated services.

Buy a principal designer professional services contract

It is legally advisable that both parties to the contract each have an original signed version.

You will need to buy two paper copies.

RIBA Chartered Members and RIBA Chartered Practices receive a £10 discount on all digital RIBA Contracts purchased.

Sign in to view specimen digital contracts.

Key updates for 2020 edition

This 2020 edition of the RIBA standard professional services contract has been updated to fit with the revised RIBA Plan of Work.

We have also reviewed some of the standard clauses so they are clearer and easier to understand.

Other changes include:

  • More detailed guidance on the signing and witnessing contracts
  • More detailed guidance on the various forms of dispute resolution: mediation, adjudication, arbitration and litigation
  • Adding a field for the architect/consultant to state who their internal complaints contact is (in line with the requirements of the ARB and RIBA codes of conduct)
  • Additional requirements for the architect/consultant to set out their professional indemnity insurance cover for cladding and fire related issues and/or other material exclusions or restrictions that might be relevant to the project
  • Revising clauses on novation to include a new definition for contractor/new client, for when the architect/consultant is being novated across to the contractor on a design and build project
  • Removing clause stating that the architect/consultant had to obtain written consent from the client to publish photographs and other information relating to the project (subject to the standard confidentiality conditions)
  • Adding a new clause in the fees section stating that if the client instructs for a reduction in the project brief, which in turn reduces the construction cost, the figure to which the percentage basic fee shall be applied, up to the date of instruction, shall be the estimate of the construction cost, or the lowest acceptable tender, at the time of the instruction

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