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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. Is it possible for the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 to be ‘all things to all people’ and useable on small or large projects alike?
A. The consultation process undertaken by the RIBA during summer 2012 suggested that most smaller projects are undertaken using traditional procurement processes. The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 allows a practice-specific RIBA Plan of Work 2013 to be generated based on traditional or non-traditional procurement methods, but derived from the same template format, facilitating flexibility within a consistent overall framework.
Q. How will the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 affect fee scales, and what guidance will the RIBA provide in relation to this?
A. There are many aspects impacting on fees, including BIM and market conditions. In this context it is not possible for the RIBA to advise on appropriate fee levels, but these should reflect the resources required to deliver the agreed services. See the Concept section detailing where the RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007 has been mapped to the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 to assist practices and clients when considering how fees might be reapportioned between stages.
Q. How is a RIBA Plan of Work 2013 created if the Procurement Strategy is not finalised at the end of stage 1?
A. Whilst it is recommended that a project-specific RIBA Plan of Work 2013 is created at the end of stage 1, the drop-down options in the electronic version allow a degree of flexibility. If the Procurement Strategy or (Town) Planning Strategy or the Project Programme have not been determined by the end of stage 1, a 'holding' bar can be placed in the project RIBA Plan of Work 2013 and a new plan generated when the outstanding items have been finalised.
Q. Is the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 likely to be amended in the future?
A. The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 needs to continue to respond and adapt to emerging and evolving trends. Big Data, Geodata and various initiatives involving harnessing information in an open way will fundamentally change many industries, including the construction industry. These technologies will also, for example, enable automated building control tests and other tasks to be undertaken, and the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 will need to respond to these developments. From a construction perspective, the transition from site- and craft-based construction technologies to an increase in offsite and modular construction will continue, making construction faster and safer.
Q. Many of our projects are international. How will the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 affect our work overseas?
A. Work has been undertaken to map the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 to similar project delivery plans in other countries. In countries where the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 is utilised, or where systems are derived from the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 - in certain Commonwealth countries, for example - this document will act as a briefing tool. Many British practices working overseas will be able to act as ambassadors for the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. Furthermore, work is underway with UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) to consider how the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 can be promoted overseas - particularly as many countries are very interested in the UK Government’s BIM strategy and how this has been rolled out.
Q. We are frequently commissioned to undertake only the work leading up to the submission of a planning application. How can we make the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 relevant to our commissions?
A. The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 sets out a holistic process for briefing, designing, constructing, maintaining, operating and using building projects. It is not intended to define the duties or obligations of one particular party in the process. Project-specific Schedules of Services and appointments would be required for this purpose. However, the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 does allow the specific town planning requirements of a project to be aligned to each project stage.
Q. What happens if fabrication drawings need to be reviewed as part of the tender process?
A. Fabrication drawings would typically be reviewed during Stage 4. There may be a need to review proposals prepared by specialist subcontractors earlier. It is crucial to remember that the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 is a guidance document only and that it cannot possibly deal with the specific needs of every project. Detailed Schedules of Services and Project Programmes, as well as other tools, are required to address each project’s precise requirements.
Q. Will the reduction from four to three design delivery stages have an impact on the quality of design produced?
A. It is clear that the former Stage E wording has been interpreted and used in many different ways. The new Stage 3 Developed Design and Stage 4 Technical Design, aligned with the use of Information Exchanges, provide clarity, but in different ways. The Stage 2 design should be coordinated and this provides greater clarity regarding the status of the overall design. Depending on their working methods, the architect may require the production of ‘exemplar’ or ‘key’ details, which are crucial to the design at Stage 3. The core difference is that the information to be produced at Stage 3 will be strategically agreed at Stage 1, along with the fee levels.
For help using the Plan of Work 2013 online, please read the website user guide or view our user guide video.