The new 2020 edition of the RIBA Standard Professional Services Contract has been fully updated to align with the revised RIBA Plan of Work and is for the appointment of an architect or consultant providing architectural services.
The contract provides comprehensive contract terms and is suitable where the architect/consultant undertakes a commission for architectural services on projects using a traditional form of procurement.
The RIBA Standard Professional Services Contract is an agreement with a business client or public authority and is not suitable for non-commercial work undertaken for a consumer client, such as work done to a client’s home. A contract with a consumer client is subject to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the RIBA recommends the use of the RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract for work undertaken for a consumer client.
The RIBA Standard Professional Services Contract is not suitable for the appointment of the Principal Designer under the CDM regulations 2015 and the RIBA recommends that an RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract is used.
- Suitable for the larger, more complex commercial projects and provides a comprehensive set of contract terms
- Suitable for commissions procured on the basis of a traditional form of building contract where tendering occurs at the end of Stage 4 (Technical Design)
- Provides the Architect/Consultant with a clear set of roles and associated services: Project Lead; Lead Designer; Contract Administrator and Architect/Consultant
- Allows for the Architect/Consultant to be novated if the project goes down the Design & Build procurement route
Easy to understand
The RIBA Standard 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 Architect/Consultant
- 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 2020 edition
The new 2020 edition of the RIBA Standard Professional Services Contract has been updated to align with the revised RIBA Plan of Work. We have also taken the opportunity, following feedback from users of the contracts and of construction lawyers, to review and revise some of the standard clauses so that they are clearer and easier to understand. In addition, we have made the following changes:
- Included more detailed guidance on the signing and witnessing contracts
- Updated and provided more detailed guidance on the various forms of dispute resolution – mediation, adjudication, arbitration and litigation
- Included 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)
- Included 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
- Revised the 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
- Removed the 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)
- Inserted 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
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 Standard Professional Services Contract have been specifically written to integrate with the RIBA Building Contracts and the RIBA Plan of Work.
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: www.ribacontracts.com.