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Last edited 16 Mar 2021
A partnership charter is an agreement between the parties to a construction contract designed to ensure that each party acts according to stated principles intended to achieve the successful delivery of the project. Essentially, it is a tool for conflict prevention and may cover project delivery, people, teamworking and commercial criteria (see below).
Using a partnership charter may:
- Act as a guide for signatories.
- Increase co-operation and trust.
- Reduce ambiguity.
- Reduce the likelihood of disputes.
- Improve the likelihood of long-term success.
A model partnering charter has been made available as part of the 2016 JCT suite of documents (PC/N 2016), although this is non-binding. Partnering charters may be based on PC/N 2016 in its entirety or they may use it as a guide to draw up a bespoke agreement which may either be binding or non-binding. Whichever is selected, the form of partnering charter chosen should operate in tandem with the main construction contract and expires when the main contract expires.
The team involved as signatories to the charter agree to work together on the project ‘...to produce a completed project to meet agreed client needs, and meet agreed quality standards’. Each team member must sign the charter after which they are duty-bound to adhere to its principles. It is important to remember that the creation of a partnering agreement does not necessarily create a legal partnership or agency relationship between the parties.
Upon signing, the signatories agree to act:
- In good faith.
- In an open and trusting manner.
- In a co-operative way.
- In a way that avoids disputes by adopting a ‘no blame culture’.
- Fairly towards each other.
- Valuing the skills and respecting the responsibilities of each other.
- Right first time with zero defects.
- Use best and safest practice.
- Encourage innovation and the efficient use of resources.
- Maximise the efficiency of respective contributions.
- Consider neighbours and others affected by the project.
- Respect each other.
- Promote an enjoyable and healthy working environment.
- Provide training and staff development.
- Foster tolerance.
- Focus on the customer.
- Plan and promote clear and effective communication.
- Engender a working environment that is conducive to shared problem solving.
- Provide mutual support.
- Involve all members of the supply chain in the partnering concept.
- Add value and enhance reputations.
- Create incentives for maximising the rewards of all parties.
- Provide transparency and certainty of information.
- Provide feedback.
Bespoke partnering agreements may give greater emphasis on any of the above principles according to the priorities of the project. For example, innovation may be highlighted with a special board formed to develop proposals for methodology improvement and greater cost-effectiveness.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Advancing the outcome of challenging infrastructure projects through project alliancing.
- Adversarial behaviour in the UK construction industry.
- Collaborative practices.
- Construction contracts.
- Framework agreement.
- Latham Report.
- NEC4 Alliance contract.
- Partnering and joint ventures.
- PPC 2000.
- Relationship management.
- Rethinking construction.
- SPC 2000.
- Supply chain management.
- Team management.
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