- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 21 Aug 2018
What should be included in a scope of work?
In construction, ‘scope of work’ is a very general, and sometimes ambiguous, term referring to a general description of the work that is required from a party under a particular contract. It is typically prepared by a client or their consultants and included in tender documentation and then in the contract documentation.
The term ‘scope of work’ is generally used to refer to construction activities, whilst a ‘scope of services’ describes the services a consultant performs (although this may also sometimes be referred to as a scope of work).
The nature of the scope of work can vary significantly from project to project. It may simply offer a very broad description of the works required, or it may provide a complete description of the project.
Very broadly, a scope of work might include:
- A brief overview of the project (what it is, why it is needed, etc.).
- Roles and responsibilities.
- A description of the deliverables required.
- A description of specific tasks.
- Technical considerations.
- A summary of the project schedule (expected duration, milestones, delivery dates, time limits, etc.).
- A description of how the project will be managed (issuing of payments, change controls, legal requirements, phasing, etc.).
- Reporting requirements.
- Specific exclusions.
- Works that would constitute additions to the scope.
However detailed the scope of work, it is important that it is written in a clear and unambiguous way to avoid misinterpretation and potential disputes further down the line. It should not duplicate information set out elsewhere in the contract documentation (such as specifications or drawings) as this can create confusing discrepancies.
NB: A 'schedule of work' generally refers to a without quantities instructional list produced on smaller projects or for alteration work as an alternative to bills of quantities. However, the terms schedule of work and scope of work are sometimes used interchangeably.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
A quick introduction to a very complicated subject.
CIOB suggests the economic reach of construction is double the official figures.
The first US building to achieve BREEAM Outstanding In-Use.
70 buildings from 70 years of Concrete Quarterly. Book review.
Conserving the iron roof at the Albert Dock.
Delivering an infrastructure revolution.
The admissibility of evidence.
How many can you name? 37 anyone?
CIOB respond to the points-based system.
When is the weather considered 'exceptionally adverse'?
ECA backs call for a rolling programme of rail electrification.