HOW TO ENGAGE A CONSULTING ENGINEER
One of the main reasons people run into problems when they engage someone to do a job is that both parties do not have the same expectations of what the work entails. There are some simple steps that you can take to set you and your engineer up for a sucessful job.
LOCATE A MEMBER CONSULTANT HERE
WRITE A CLEAR BRIEF
Writing a brief helps get an accurate estimate and ensures that both you and your engineer are working to the same expectations. Before you approach an engineer for a costed proposal, it would be sensible to write down some details of what is expected from the engineering work (an engineer's brief). This provides the engineer with a sound basis on which to estimate the time and costs involved and ensures that you are working to the same expectations.
SIX THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN WRITING A BRIEF FOR YOUR ENGINEER:
- A description of the problem to be solved, or scope of work to be carried out
- What assumptions you have made, if any
- What limitations apply to the work – things you don't want done
- When you want the work to be completed by
- What you want delivered, eg calculations, drawings, reports
- What you want delivered in the proposal: price as an estimate or quotation, a programme of work, references etc.
The engineer may assist you in developing or clarifying the brief during the quotation/cost estimating process.
Seek more than one costed proposal so that you can compare prices.
AGREE A CONTRACT
ACENZ publishes two forms of contract for engaging consulting engineers
Both forms of contract are available for use by the general public, on the basis that the terms and conditions not be amended.
Both contracts can be downloaded under the Client, Helpful Guidelines Page.
OPTIONS AVAILABLE IF IT DOESN'T GO TO PLAN
If things don't go well with the engineer you have engaged, there are a number of remedies available:
- For commercial issues, the normal contractual remedies available to all consumers or under the contract will apply
- For issues of competency or ethics, a complaint against a Chartered Professional Engineer can be lodged through the Registration Authority.