FIDIC Contracts and contract management certification

FIDIC Contracts and contract management certification

Image provided by S. Giraud

What are some key points you should know about contract management?

Contract management is about effectively administering and managing the project during its entire lifecycle. It also carries an oversight role which relates to the execution, monitoring and management of a project. This requires supervisory, monetary and quality control expertise. It also carries elements of business management and project adaption.

The project is divided into several stages. These include conception, design, negotiation of the contract, procurement and/or bidding, construction, delivery and post-delivery construction.

A Contract Manager is therefore someone who is familiar with managing all of these aspects as well as timelines, budgets, resources, and the expertise needed to understand these various project requirements.

FIDIC and contract management

A construction contract agreement is often made between the general contractors and owner of developer of the project.

FIDIC’s major construction contracts covers the various roles in a construction project. This includes the Employer, Consultant and Contractor. The projects which use FIDIC Contracts are intended to be quality-driven, sustainable and able to stand the test of time. Understanding FIDIC forms of contract is therefore essential for managing construction and engineering projects which are based on them.  

Contract management is also about managing relationships. A Contract Manager should be able to effectively communicate with the Employer and ensure that those working on site can meet the project’s requirements. It is also about managing risks and cash flow during the project’s lifecycle. This requires expertise in how the construction project is run. As a practitioner, the knowledge and best practices gained as part of the professional’s work experience would be vital. Similarly, knowledge of the project delivery system, time and material management and general project administration skills will help ensure the project lifecycle is well managed.

Sometimes, the project may not go according to plan and some changes may be required. Adaptability is therefore key when changes occur during the course of running some contracts, especially complex projects.

Procurement and the implementation of a project

Procurement is the process which creates, manages and fulfils the contracts. It is important that a preliminary investigation is carried out before a construction or engineering project is undertaken, as well as during the development of a realistic project strategy.

There are various of aspects leading to procurement, including the design stage, the bidding process, and the award of the contract, and then the post-award stage. From the design and/or manufacture of the works, to procurement, then right up to the actual site work, the Contract Manager’s involvement would be vital.  However, if one was just to focus on the construction and operation of the project, the Contract Manager is someone who would need to be experienced in managing or overseeing these stages.

Procurement commences once the need for the services or construction works have been identified. It ends when the services or construction works are completed. This means managing the processes from the identification of a project up to receipt of tenders and award of contracts, to its implementation, and right up to the completion of the service or construction project.

The procurement of projects for construction works comes in all sizes and carry complexities that can be variable. This requires expertise to understand and manage the process efficiently.

Quality control and contract management?

To better assure the success and long-term sustainability of a project, a Contract Manager should know how to manage the expectations of the Contractor/Employer as well as any interlinked issues relating to the project and site. Implementing a service therefore requires a professional who has the expertise of how to best manage these issues, as well as to be able to address any challenges that may rise up along the way. Consequently, it is vital to develop detailed analysis, procurement planning, budget controls, an audit trail and risk reduction strategies.

Innovation and technology

The infrastructure industry has experienced major shifts in the last five decades. Innovation and technological advances have made it possible to invest in bigger, more ambitious projects and to bring them to life in new and innovative ways. The risks in many such instances have also gone up. Operational efficiency and steps taken to mitigate low productivity are key to assuring the viability of the project. In a post pandemic context, force majeure, the scope of insurance coverage for construction projects and risk mitigation strategies have become burning issues.

Innovation is also one of the key ways in which firms or companies grow. It also allows for individuals to create new channels within the existing streams.

Where does FIDIC stand as regards contract management?

Maintaining and improving industry standards are key to ensuring both progress and innovation in any industry. FIDIC stands on its core values and believes that by promoting Quality, Integrity and Sustainability, the engineering and infrastructure sector can benefit and thereafter, humanity as a whole. These values need to be translated into actionable and quantifiable practices which demonstrate accountability, transparency and integrity. This is where capacity building and sharing best practices come into play.

FIDIC contracts have also been established as the industry standard. The standard forms of contracts provide an equitable balance of responsibilities for all parties to the contract and covers, as best possible, any factors that the parties should take into consideration when signing a construction or engineering project agreement, as well as considerations for managing the risks during the project’s lifecycle.

What are some of the benefits of certification?

Capacity building is essential if those core values and industry standards are to be maintained. Gaining training and/or qualifications which improves a person’s knowledge base or proves they have the expertise would go a long way to reassuring the client as well as all the key stakeholders working to actualise the project.

The person who gets their degree and training in his/her twenties is a very different one from the professional who applies this knowledge and has years of hands-on experience because they have worked on site, dealt with clients and have learnt on the day-to-day how to administer a project, even if that means learning from their mistakes along the way and correcting those errors.

In more practical terms, gaining more knowledge as a professional would open new career opportunities and serve as validation for the skillsets gained during one’s work life. The Contract Manager qualification also demonstrates that this individual has the expertise which has been tested and verified by other experts. Gaining a professional qualification could also greatly improve the chances of getting better jobs, increase networking opportunities and boost self-confidence in a new way.

A Contract Manager in the FIDIC sense is someone who is able to demonstrate that they have expertise in FIDIC’s major contract forms and best practices. This includes the 1999 Conditions of Contracts and the new 2017 FIDIC Forms of Contract, as well an understanding of the main differences between the two.

FIDIC Credentialing (FCL) offers an international certification to professionals who wish to show the industry they have expertise in administering and managing construction and engineering projects. It is a certification that is well suited to a person who has more than five years of work experience and an understanding of the FIDIC standard forms of contracts, as well as practical knowledge of how to administer contracts using these contracts.

For those who become certified, this certification will provide you with a rubber stamp of excellence from a global world leader, FIDIC, which in turn would make you stand out in the infrastructure sector.

This Contract Manager certification is a unique qualification which is new for the industry. It is offered three to four times in a year to those discerning enough to apply. Luckily, we have an application which is currently open and running until 9 September 2022.

To find out more about this certification programme, click on the link and apply for this session.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *