- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 20 Nov 2020
NEC early warning notices - a tool of mutual benefit
Rudi Klein, NEC Users’ Group President and Chief Executive at Specialist Engineering Contractors' (SEC) Group argues that the sooner we can appreciate that early warning notices are a tool of mutual benefit to both parties – and not designed to advantage one side over the other – the better.
- "I always issue early warning notices, whatever the problem, to ensure I get a compensation event."
- "The other side issues early warning notices to establish it is my fault and I have to fix it immediately."
- "I am wary of issuing early warning notices because the other side uses them against me in the event of a dispute."
- "Everyone on the project ignores early warning notices."
They were introduced as a risk management tool because it is common sense that dealing with risk – wherever it comes from – as soon as it becomes apparent is far cheaper than trying to manage the risk and/or its consequences much later on.
An early warning notice must be issued as soon as a party becomes aware of 'any matter' which could affect the total of the prices, could delay completion or a key date, or impair the performance of the works in use.
Early warning notices should not be issued for the purpose of allocating responsibility or liability. A party attempting to do this could be failing to act in the NEC clause 10, 'spirit of mutual trust and co-operation'. When dealing with matters which are the subject of an early warning notice, the emphasis should be on agreeing the steps required to address the matter rather than allocating blame.
Certainly ignoring early warning notices is a dangerous game. Apart from a possible breach of clause 10, any compensation event that may follow is likely to be costlier to the client than if the matter had been dealt with at the outset.
But remember there is no direct link between early warning notices and compensation events. An early warning notice might not lead to a compensation event and a compensation event might occur without an early warning notice.
It was originally published here on 17 July 2017 by ICE.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Training reflects updated guidance in BSRIA BG 29/2021.
Complete list of 2021 winners now available.
Recognising past and present role models for the future.
So why not write something?
LETI publishes guidance for energy efficient home retrofits.
Predictions about adequate post-pandemic IAQ in non-domestic buildings.
Government publishes plans to 'build back greener'.
The contentious nature of claims associated with cladding, fire safety and EWS1 forms.
ECA comments on low-carbon heating systems initiative and Heat and Buildings Strategy.