James Golden, Director at Quigg Golden, explains how the ICE has deepened its support for the civil engineering profession by expanding an accreditation for contract managers.
Excellent understanding of how contracts operate is a crucial part of the efficient running of the construction industry.
There is frequently unnecessary divergence between the understanding of how agreements in the construction industry operate both between contractors and subcontractors, contractors and clients, and clients and their consultants. This spills out into disputes and I frequently see the results in, often unnecessary, adjudications, where simply better contractual understanding would make things work better.
ICE and the suite of NEC contracts
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has taken steps to help to address this. The ICE was the founder of the NEC Suite of Contracts which has taken operating in partnership in the construction industry to a new level.
For many years, the ICE has run an accreditation scheme for NEC project managers and now, the ICE has widened and deepened its support for our industry by creating an accreditation for contract managers more widely.
The ICE has announced that it is going to maintain a register for contract managers and advanced contract managers accredited by it. The accreditation requires passing the demanding ICE Law and Contract Management Exams Modules 1 and 2 for the simple accreditation.
Those being accredited as Advanced Contract Manager must pass the very high standard required by the ICE Law and Contract Management Level 3 Exam. Those on the list must then maintain their knowledge and qualification by five yearly retesting.
The training courses for the exams are widely available across the UK and Ireland and can be taken online or at evening classes, hence access is much more readily available. It is also available to those who are not members of the ICE.
In recent years, many of those passing the relevant exams are not civil engineers and come from a diverse background within the construction industry. Many have found the Law and Contract Management training and exams immediately beneficial, an easily available add-on to any existing skills.
I am delighted that the ICE has taken this step and I urge anyone in the construction industry who is involved in the commercial and contractual management of projects to sign up to become Accredited Contract Managers.