See also: Independent client adviser.
A project monitor is appointed, not to assume the responsibilities of the project manager or developer, but to act as an investigator and advisor to the client, responsible for protecting their interests in the development as it proceeds. In effect, the project monitor acts as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the client during the development process.
- A funding institution which will acquire the project as an investment upon completion.
- A tenant or purchaser who will commit to lease or purchase the project upon completion.
- A bank or development finance company.
- Grant funders.
- Private finance initiative (PFI) funders.
The project monitor assesses the project as it progresses in a way that is both independent and impartial. They generally adopt a proactive rather than reactive approach, providing a form of ‘early warning system’ for the client, anticipating potential issues which may affect the project delivery. In this way, the project monitor can also be of value to the developer, as they can help ensure there is better-informed decision-making.
Issues that the project monitor will typically advise on include:
- Land and property acquisition.
- Statutory consents.
- Issues relating to the developer and project management systems.
- Financial appraisals.
- Construction agreements
- Design and construction quality.
- Enhanced risk management.
- Enhanced financial management.
- Enhanced programme management.
- Enhanced quality management.
- Greater protection of the client’s interests.
- Better-informed decision making.
Project monitors typically come from a background of surveying, commercial or project management. The specific competencies required depend on the nature fo the project. Specific sector knowledge can be an important quality for project monitors.
Upon receiving an initial inquiry, the project monitor should ensure they have the capability to provide the service required and advise the client accordingly if they are not fully competent in terms of the requirements of the project. Under certain circumstances, they may appoint a specialist sub-consultant to help them.
Before reaching a formal agreement on their appointment, the project monitor should have:
- An understanding of the project brief.
- A copy of the terms and conditions of any funding, purchase, tenancy, loan or other third party agreements.
- A scope of services required.
- Contractual terms of the appointment.
- The correct level of professional indemnity insurance.
It is generally advisable that project monitors are appointed based on the potential added value they can bring to the development, rather than solely on the lowest fee level.
The project monitor is reliant on the development team for the acquisition of the necessary information to perform their role. It is important, therefore, that the development team understand the need to cooperate and make information available, and measures should be put in place in the agreements between client and developer to ensure this is the case.
There are a number of key reports that a project monitor may produce during the course of a project.
 Initial audit report
This report allows the project monitor to develop a close understanding of the project. It should fully cover the following:
- The specification.
- Design brief and constraints.
- Development appraisal.
- Cost plan.
- Design and construction programme.
- Design and construction team.
- Risks associated with the project.
 Progress reports
Progress reports often coincide with key milestones, such; completion of design stages, the start of construction or the procurement of a construction contract. Progress reports will usually continue up to the completion of the development or the client’s interest in the development.
It is important that such reports are produced in time to inform any client decisions that are required, rather than simply acting as a record of what has happened.
- Relevant statutory and non-statutory consents.
- Any defects schedules or lists of outstanding works.
- Financial report.
- Lessons learned.
- Handover documentation such as; health and safety file, relevant certificates,draft building owner's manual, building log book, building user's guide, testing and commissioning data and so on. For more information see: Handover construction site to the client.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Appointing consultants.
- Client BIM adviser.
- Client design adviser.
- Construction project manager - morning tasks.
- Contract administrator.
- Employer's agent.
- Handover construction site to the client.
- Independent client advisers.
- Lead consultant for building design.
- Project manager.
 External resources
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