The internationally acclaimed NEC3 suite of contracts, documents and guides were re-launched last month with updates and improvements as part of a new NEC3 April 2013 edition.

The contracts, which cover the lifespan of a project from initial concept and design through to build and post-build management, are endorsed by the construction client board of the UK Cabinet Office for use on all public sector construction projects.

The key objective of all NEC3 contracts is to encourage parties to work together to allocate risks and create a working relationship that will ultimately provide value for money for the purchaser and a reasonable return for the supplier.

Rekha Thawrani, general manager from NEC, said: “For NEC3 to be endorsed by the UK government, for the collaborative approach the contracts encourage and the contributing factor they played in the timely and cost-effective delivery of the Olympic Park last year, is testament to NEC3’s value across all sectors of the industry.”

The NEC3 April 2013 suite of contracts includes an updated version of all the contracts, guidance notes and flowcharts with improvements and additions across most documents.

The inclusion of project bank accounts provisions and guidance is provided across the suite of NEC3 contracts. This is a direct response to the UK’s government’s initiative on fair payment, designed to improve payment practices across the construction industry and eliminate retentions throughout the supply chain.

The additions and updates of the Construction Act 2011 have been incorporated across all of the NEC3 suite of contracts.

The implementation of NEC3 contracts has resulted in major benefits for projects both in the UK and overseas in terms of time, cost savings and improved quality – all major benefits of NEC3, which aims to promote a collaborative approach between all parties involved in a project.


The NEC contract dates back to 1985 when the Institution of Civil Engineers led a fundamental review of alternative contract strategies. The review resulted in the publication in 1991 of a consultative edition, and in 1993 of the first edition of the New Engineering Contract (NEC). Since then further standard forms of contract have been produced, using the same principles as were used in the NEC first edition.