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RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract 2018

RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract

The RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract is for the appointment of a Principal Designer under the CDM Regulations 2015 and is suitable for commissions procured on any form of procurement for simple, non-complex, commercial projects of any value, in which the works will be carried out using forms of building contract, such as the RIBA Standard or Concise Building Contract, the JCT Minor Works Building Contract or the JCT Intermediate Building Contract. 

The RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract is for the appointment of a Principal Designer under the CDM Regulations 2015 and is suitable for commissions procured on any form of procurement for simple, non-complex, commercial projects of any value, in which the works will be carried out using forms of building contract, such as the RIBA Standard or Concise Building Contract, the JCT Minor Works Building Contract or the JCT Intermediate Building Contract.

The RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract is not suitable for the appointment of a Principal Designer on non-commercial work undertaken for a consumer client, such as work done to a client’s home. Domestic projects are subject to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and in such cases the RIBA recommends the use of the RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract, which includes the provision for the Architect or Consultant to undertake Principal Designer duties as set out in the CDM Regulations 2015.

Key features

  • is suitable for the appointment of a Principal Designer under the CDM Regulations 2015
  • is suitable for commissions procured on any form of building contract and for simple, non-complex projects of any value
  • is not suitable for non-commercial work for a consumer client as domestic projects are subject to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and an RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract should be used

Easy to understand

The RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract is written in plain English, which provides three key benefits:

  • the language used in the contract is succinct and easy to understand, compared to other standard forms of contracts
  • the terms of the contract are fair and equitable for both client and Principal Designer
  • the clause structure used in the contract avoids the use of large numbers of sub-sub clauses and large amounts of cross-referencing between provisions

Key changes in the new 2018 edition of the RIBA suite of Professional Services Contracts

  • Novation – the RIBA Standard Professional Services Contract includes a novation clause and the option for the architect/consultant to ‘walk away’ from the project, if a Design & Build procurement route is subsequently chosen
  • CDM Regulations 2015 – the Contracts have been fully updated to comply with the CDM Regulations 2015 and greater guidance is given on the Regulations with more clarity around the role of Principal Designer
  • Fees and charges – the ‘Fees’ section has been simplified by removing the boxes that aligned fees to stages of the Plan of Work. This is now a ‘free-hand’ text box so that users can simply set out their fees as they wish/require
  • Fee payments – the payment frequency options have been expanded as well as having the additional option of using a draw-down schedule. The payment provision in the RIBA Standard and Concise Professional Services Contracts already comply with the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 and, although the Act does not apply to residential/domestic projects, similar efficient provisions have now been included in the RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract for ease of use
  • Insurance – the Contract Details have been revised so that they clearly set out the main insurance policies that should be in place
  • Dispute resolution – the guidance on dispute resolution has been expanded but also simplified 
  • Net contribution – this has been re-introduced into the RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract due to developments in case law, namely the case of West & West v Ian Finlay & Associates, in which the Technology and Construction Court confirmed in its judgment that a net contribution clause does not offend the Consumer Protection Regulations as being ‘unfair’
  • Schedule of Services – these have been redrafted to suit the specific form of contract and align with the stages set out in the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. However, it is envisaged that Stages 0 and 7 would require separate forms of appointment as these stages would either pre-date the signing of the Contract, or may inadvertently extend liability beyond the normal terms of the Contract.

Copies required for each Party

It is legally advisable that both parties to the contract each have an original signed version. Therefore, you should purchase two copies of the contract, so that both the client and the architect/consultant has an original signed copy. Alternatively, prepare your contract online enabling you to issue final copies of the contract to each party at no extra cost.

Integration with other RIBA documents

The RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract have been specifically written to align with the CDM Regulations 2015 and the RIBA Plan of Work 2013.

Create your RIBA Professional Services Contract online – it is quick, simple and straightforward

Generating your professional services contract online allows you to create, alter, manage and view all of your contracts in one secure location before printing the final contract. For further details, go to: contracts.architecture.com.

Price Digital (RIBA Chartered Member): £17.50 ex. VAT
Digital (non-member): £35.00 ex. VAT
Paper: £25.00 ex. VAT

For more comprehensive guidance to RIBA's updated building contracts, the Guide to RIBA Professional Services Contracts 2018 is available from RIBA Bookshops.

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