Civil Engineering Procedure 7th Edition, published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) suggests that the term 'engineer's representative' refers to '...the formal title (in ICC contracts) for the engineer's representative on site, often called the 'resident engineer'.'
The resident engineer (RE) is responsible for ensuring that the construction work of a project is carried out according to the quality, time and cost requirements of the contract. The RE is responsible to the project engineer and is often the focus of contact between them and the contractor on site.
While the precise responsibilities of the RE will differ according to the extent of authority delegated by the engineer, they will normally involve the monitoring the construction and completion of work activities. They must keep the engineer fully up-to-date of the works and keep detailed records of all matters which may affect the engineer’s instructions, certificates or other actions under the contract.
Under the conditions of contract, the engineer may decide to delegate further responsibilities to the RE. Sometimes these are in respect of particular contract clauses. Direct communication between the client and the RE should only be to the extent that has been formally agreed in advance with the engineer. If the client does issue instructions to the RE, they must report to and discuss these with the engineer before acting on them.
Other duties that can be delegated to the RE include:
- Monitoring the performance of subcontractors.
- Managing and supervising less experienced site engineers.
- Ensuring that work activities have been carried out in accordance with the plans, specifications and industry standards.
- Ensuring that tests and inspections are performed.
- Liaising with construction management to remove any hazards associated with work activities.
- Ensuring that delivered materials meet specifications and established quality standards.
- Initiating and maintaining records, back-charge procedures, progress reports, and so on.
NB Roles in construction projects: analysis and terminology, by Hughes, W. and Murdoch, J. R, published in 2001 by the University of Reading, defines a resident engineer as:
- A role similar to the clerk of works, but more senior, not always paid by the client, sometimes appointed for monitoring just the engineering aspects of the project, and therefore reporting to one of the consultant engineers.
- In the civil engineering sector, the member of the Engineer’s organization who maintains a constant presence on site.