07 July, 2013

The Royal Institute of British Architects in May 2013 issued a major revision to the RIBA Plan of Work (PoW 2013), the sequencing of tasks necessary to design and monitor the construction of a building. Whilst PoW 2013 usefully organises tasks in each work stage into ‘task bars’: core objectives, procurement, programme, planning, etc, this seemingly laudable attempt to address changes in building industry practice including the proliferation of construction procurement methods, BIM, sustainability, etc is, in the ACA’s view, flawed. Leaving aside the confusing change from alphabetically named stages to numerical ones, the major mistake is, simply stated, that PoW 2013 compresses work stages D through H into one stage, 4. This reduces the number of natural fee invoicing points and client reviews during the all important design development/production information stage.

However the RIBA are keen to emphasize that the PoW 2013 is meant to be flexible and that others are encouraged to develop ‘templates’ to suit their own working practices. Therefore the ACA is developing the ACA Template to the Plan of Work 2013. Set out below is a draft Schedule of Services based on the organisation of PoW 2013 but including revised work stages: 4.1 Technical Design, to equate to stage E; 4.2 Production Information, to equate to stage F and 4.3 Tender Documentation and Action, to equate to stages G and H. The Procurement task bar is enlarged to include Consultants, the Programme task bar now includes cost and the Planning task bar is renamed Negotiations and Consents. The ACA believes that this template will better serve clients and architects than PoW 2013 unamended.

The ACA intend to amend their Standard Form of Agreement between architects and clients to include a new Schedule of Services. Until this can be published, the draft Schedule can be used by architects and clients who wish to conform to PoW 2013.

The ACA welcomes comments from members and others on the draft Schedule of Services. It is available to download from here: ACAPoW2013 template.

We hope that you will be able to include this as a revised Services Schedule in your client agreements until ACA SFA can be more fully updated.