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Is there a need for a short Professional Services Contract?

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NEC is looking to adapt its series of building sector contracts for smaller projects and it wants to provide the users with tools to manage the complete project cycle using NEC forms. It is felt that a short version of NEC3 Professional Services Contract would be a valuable addition to the existing suite of contracts.

We would like to hear your thoughts. Please take part in a short survey to help determine if there is a market for a short Professional Services Contract.

The NEC3 family of contracts was developed initially for use in the construction and heavy engineering sectors, where it is now used widely. It is increasingly being used outside these sectors. A core objective in developing the family was to stimulate good project management between the parties to a contract, as opposed to it being done in addition to or even in contradiction to what the conditions of contract say.

This core objective aligns with APMs mission to develop and promote the professional disciplines of project and programme management, and unsurprisingly a number of our members have been closely involved in its development.

One of the NEC3 family members is the Professional Services Contract and it is used widely where there is a defined scope of works which can be project managed i.e. broken down and programmed. However, there is a perception that it is top heavy for:

  • the appointment of trust based professional advisers early in a projects development
  • for the appointment of external project managers who are given free rein to manage the project as they see fit.

As a result of the synergies between the objectives of the NEC3 and the APM, we are looking to work more closely together in its development.

In addition, APM has a requirement to replace the Standard Terms for the Appointment of a Project Manager, so it seems a good opportunity to work in collaboration.

The survey, open until Wednesday 28th March, is to help establish if there is a need for such a document and, if there is, what needs it should satisfy.


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