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Civil Engineer blog

NEC4 user guides

05 June 2017
The existing NEC guidance documents – in the form of guidance notes, flow charts and ‘How to’ guides – have been developed and added to over many years. This has led to guidance on a specific topic sometimes appearing in more than one place and some topics being less well covered than they might be.
NEC4 user guides

In producing the NEC4 contracts, a comprehensive review and re-structuring of all guidance documents was completed. The aim has been to

  • provide a simple, easy-to-follow structure so that guidance is more readily accessible
  • address any gaps
  • include explanations of how clauses are used
  • provide practical advice by including checklists where appropriate

The new NEC4 user guides provide step-by-step support to help users choose the most appropriate NEC4 contract, prepare the chosen contract, select a supplier and then manage the contract to deliver the client's objectives.

Each of the topics is covered in a separate user guide

Establishing procurement and contract strategies

The user guide on procurement and contract strategies helps clients to identify the best way of achieving their project objectives, taking into account constraints, funding, risk and asset ownership. It provides guidance on selecting the most appropriate procurement route and choice of available NEC4 contracts and available options to meet their specific needs.

The starting point assumes that the client has resolved the following

  • the business case and project objectives
  • the risk profile and overall management strategy including, in broad terms, decisions made with regard who is best placed to manage the risks
  • a decision has been made to use the NEC4, but the contract strategy has not been determined

Preparing the contract

The contract preparation user guide helps clients prepare the particular NEC4 contract they have chosen to use to achieve their project objectives ready for supplier selection to commence. For each NEC4 contract, the relevant user guide includes

  • an explanation of the constituent parts the contract
  • a checklist on how to complete contract data as well as a worked example
  • a checklist on what should be included in the scope and where relevant other documents like the site information (ECC, ECS, ECSC and ECSS) and affected property (TSC and TSSC)
  • guidance on preparing a pricing document where relevant

The starting point assumes the client has resolved its contract strategy and decided which contract to use, including the main and secondary options where relevant.

Selecting suppliers

The supplier selection user guide helps with how to select a supplier. Where tendering has been chosen as the method of selection, guidance is provided on the tender process including sending out invitations to tender, tender evaluation and assessment. Guidance is also provided on finalising and awarding contracts.

The starting point assumes the client has prepared the relevant NEC4 contract.

Managing the contract

The contract management user guide helps manage the chosen contract correctly once the contract comes into existence. For each NEC4 contract, the relevant guidance book provides detailed practical guidance, broadly based on the clause structure, on how to operate them to achieve a successful outcome.

The nature of the FC and DRSC mean that the contract preparation and management parts of the guidance are contained in the same user guide.

Discover the NEC4 user guides.