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Last edited 09 Sep 2020
Scope of services
The term ‘appointment’ generally describes the process in which the client contracts designers or other consultants to perform expert tasks on a project. With all forms of appointment it is important that there is clarity about the scope of services being provided, particularly where a range of consultants is being appointed. There might otherwise be uncertainty about which consultant is responsible for which aspects of the project, what fee is chargeable, what services are within the agreed fee and what services might be considered ‘extras’.
For this reason, appointment agreements often include, or refer to a ‘scope of services’ or ‘schedule of services’. A scope of services sets out precisely what services a consultant will be performing on a project. Scopes of services may also be prepared for contractors where they are carrying out design work, or for consultants appointed by contractors on design and build projects.
A scope of services may be a bespoke document, drafted for a particular project, or may be prepared based on standard pro-forma documents available from organisations such as the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Construction Industry Council and the Association for Consultancy and Engineering.
A scope of services may:
- List the fullest range of services that may be provided, and then items are struck through if they are not being provided within the fee.
- Offer a tick box system to indicate whether services are being provided or not.
- Include a list specifically setting out services that will not be provided.
- Provide options, such as; to ‘carry out’ services or to ‘organise’ them; to provide cost consultancy services or not and so on.
- Indicate the basis on which the services will be charged, for example, ‘T’ indicating time-based, or ‘LS’ indicating a lump sum fee.
If a design responsibility matrix is being prepared, then this should be aligned with the scope of services for the consultants involved in the project. There are a number of software systems available that can automate this process.
- Interior design and artwork.
- Landscape design.
- Highways, fencing and gates.
- Vibration control.
- Below and above ground drainage.
- Fire protection and safety systems.
- Lightning protection.
- Process engineering.
- Chemical handling.
- Specialist design such as laboratories.
- Security systems.
- Information and communications technology.
- Connections to statutory utilities.
- Planning applications (in particular outline planning applications).
- Furniture and equipment.
- Fixtures and fittings.
- Geotechnical surveys.
- Topographical and setting-out surveys.
- Specification writing.
- External lighting.
- Alterations to existing buildings.
- Lifts and escalators.
- Models and mock-ups.
- BIM services.
- Building control submissions.
- Supervision and inspection during construction.
- Record drawings.
- Provision of certificates.
- Insurance claims.
- Acting as lead designer, contract administrator or lead consultant.
- Detailed thermal modelling.
- Environmental assessments.
- Options appraisal.
- Preparing or compiling the brief.
- Post-occupancy evaluations.
- Outline planning applications.
- Planning appeals.
- Assistance applying for grants or other funding.
- Post-occupancy advice on letting, rating, maintenance, energy consumption, insurance, tenant queries and facilities management.
- Assisting in the preparation of tender documents for maintenance and operation contracts.
- Preparing a building user's guide (a non-technical guide with information for users about environmental controls, access, security and safety systems etc).
- Provision of unusual visual representations or models.
- Building information modelling (BIM).
- Preparation of marketing materials.
- Preparation of as-built information.
- Party wall services.
- Site surveys.
- Whole-life costing studies.
- Environmental and ecological studies.
- Site selection.
- Provision of site inspectors.
- Assessment of alternative designs submitted by others (for example during the tender process for the main contractor).
- Dealing with claims and disputes.
- Services in relation to legal agreements.
- As-built drawings (many key systems will be shown 'as manufactured and installed' on specialist drawings and so general arrangement drawings may only be relevant as location drawings or for indicating zoning issues such as compartmentation).
Once the scope of services has been agreed by the parties, and either included in, or appended to the appointment agreement, or referred to in it, then any subsequent changes will need the consent of both parties.
NB The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 defines a schedule of services as: 'A list of specific services and tasks to be undertaken by a party involved in the project which is incorporated into their professional services contract.'
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Appointing consultants.
- Architects fees.
- Collaborative practices.
- Consultant team.
- Consultant's proposals.
- Design liability.
- Employer's information requirements.
- Fee proposals.
- Framework agreements.
- Integrated Supply Team.
- Letter of appointment.
- Pre-qualification questionnaire.
- Procurement route.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance clause in conditions of engagement.
- Professional indemnity insurance.
- Request for proposals.
- Scope creep.
- Scope of work.
- Structural engineer fees.
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