Len Bunton of Burton Consultancy discusses the Conflict Avoidance pledge ahead of the FIS webinar Conflict Avoidance – Taking the Pledge on 25 March.
I was delighted to see FIS has signed the Conflict Avoidance Pledge, this is something I believe all businesses working in construction should consider.
WHY? – For the simple reasons that CAP is an early intervention process that comes into play when problems on a construction project arise and you can’t find a solution. An example might be that there is an issue, and the employer is arguing with the contractor that something the contractor has to do is “design development” and the contractor is not entitled to a variation, and that might involve you as a subcontractor. So, you need to get that resolved and you can refer the matter to a CAP.
So how does it work? First the employer and the contractor need to have agreed to have the CAP in the main contract and you would want that provision in your subcontract. If an issue arises then the parties can either have a CAP named in the contract, or they can get a list of experienced professionals from the RICS. It could be an architect/QS or services engineer. Both sides identify the issue and call in the CAP for a discussion, and the CAP in due course issues a non-binding recommendation on resolving the issue. Anecdotally, most recommendations have been accepted and the parties get agreement, and the matter is resolved, and you can move on. This stops all the bickering you get on projects these days.
So, what do you need to do? First you need to go to the website of the RICS Conflict Avoidance Pledge and sign that. The RICS will then send you some further information on the process. If you need further guidance, then contact me through your member organisations. If you are about to sign a contract, then suggest to the other party that you would like to have this process in play. Or if you have a problem on a current contract, then do the same.
Now I hear you asking “how much will this cost?” First, nothing to get a CAP appointed, and it only costs money if the CAP does any work, probably on an hourly or a daily basis. Most issues get resolved quickly in a day or so, but you can get an idea of costs before you get the CAP involved. Ideally the costs are shared between the parties.
Really good progress is being made in Scotland on CAP. So far 40 organisations/individuals have signed the Pledge, including SELECT and SNIPEF. A Working Group is being set up to drive the process forward.
The great thing to me is that this is a cultural change in the Industry resulting in far greater collaboration.
So please sign the Pledge! For further information on CAP contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the Conflict Avoidance Pledge join the FIS webinar Conflict Avoidance: Taking the Pledge at midday on 25 March.
Visit the FIS Contractual Toolkit for more information on Conflict Avoidance and other contractual issues. Contractual Toolkit