Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes

12 April 2015

The RIBA has released guidelines to explain how client organisations can get the best possible outcomes when they procure architectural services.

The Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes are: 

  1. Invest in the right design skills and design process at the right stage when setting project budgets and fee levels.
  2. Consider which procurement regulations are mandatory when commissioning design or architectural services. 
  3. Select and tailor your procurement procedure simply andproportionately to suit your project needs, using design quality as a means to shortlist or award contracts where appropriate.
  4. Question whether a framework will deliver the best value and outcomes for the full range of projects you intend to procure, and break contracts and frameworks you chose to operate into more numerous and smaller lots. 
  5. Make the tendering process as simple as possible and proportionate to the scale and complexity of your project.
  6. Establish financial capability based on the scale, complexity, actual level of risk and value of the design services; turnover and Professional Indemnity Insurance requirements are not mandatory criteria.
  7. When assessing consultant capability, consider a track record of undertaking projects of a similar scale and complexity rather than extensive previous experience 
  8. of an identical project type.
  9. Balance quantitative criteria (fees and cost) with qualitative aspects, using a qualified design assessor to help with weighting, scoring and assessment.
  10. Choose a standard form of building contract and consultant appointment that promotes collaboration, integration and direct communication with your design team.
  11. Consider consortia bids on equal terms, making it as simple as possible for consortia to compete.

The document offers further advice to clients on each principle and how best to achieve it. This is available as online Procurement Guidance, or can be downloaded as a PDF. Aimed at a British audience, the principles are relevant to Australia too. 


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