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CR&HD Appendices

Appendices

Appendix A: Outline for terms of engagment

The example below provides the main headings that you may want to include in your firm’s terms of engagement, but remember to consider what is appropriate for each individual instruction.

Identity of the client

  • Full name and address.
  • Note any other parties who will also be party to the instructions and any limitations in your duty of care to the other parties.

Identity of the person who has overall responsibility for the case

  • Full name, qualifications and position in the firm.
  • Full name of any other senior members of the firm who will have a material input.
  • Outline of the experience and competence of the responsible members for the work.

 

Conflict of interest

  • Brief account of the checks that have been carried out regarding any previous or current involvement by the firm or the person responsible for the instruction.
  • A declaration of any actual or potential conflict of interest.
  • A declaration of the means of managing the conflict agreed with the client, including a client declaration of informed consent.

Description of the assignment and its end purpose

  • Describe in outline the service asked for and the end purpose of providing the service.

Relevant legislation, standards and regulation to be adhered to

  • Listing these is important in defining matters framing the service to be provided and also in setting parameters for liability.

Scope of inspections, data collection, enquiries and any limitations to due diligence

  • Set out point by point:
    • what work you will do and
    • what work you will not do.

This will define the scope of your due diligence.

Assumptions

  • Limitations in investigations, enquiries and due diligence result in gaps in knowledge. For every gap, an assumption about the likely facts needs to be agreed with the client, point by point.

Information supplied

  • Information is often supplied by the client, their professional advisers, third parties and information in the public domain. The information obtained from each of these sources should be identified beforehand as far as possible and the scope of the due diligence agreed in advance.
  • Bear in mind that some information cannot be checked but must be accepted at face value.
  • When receiving information even from a trusted source, apply professional scepticism to what you are being told. Some simple tests should at least be applied to see if the information is credible.

Limitations in liability to the client and third parties

  • RICS recommends that reasonable limitations in liability are agreed with the client.
  • There should be an absolute limit at the level of the professional indemnity insurance.
  • A lower level of liability may be appropriate on a case-by-case basis.
  • Consider excluding collateral liability.

Description of the deliverable

  • Describe what the client is going to receive. This may be in the form of ongoing service month by month, or may be in the form of work leading to drawings, advice or a finished project.
  • Describe the nature and format of the deliverable. This may be tangible or intangible.

The basis of the fee

  • Either the amount of the fee or the formula for calculating the fee.

Follow-up work

  • Limitations should be agreed on the amount of follow-up work or further advice, after completion of the deliverables, which may be asked for within the agreed fee arrangement.

Complaints- handling procedure

  • Declare to the client that you have a complaints-handling procedure, compliant with RICS requirements, which is available upon request.

Appendix B: More information about the quality management systems

The main benefits of a quality management system (QMS) are as follows.

  • Improved products and services: a QMS ensures that quality criteria are upheld.
  • Increased productivity: a QMS ensures that employees follow the latest guidelines, which in turn benefits process efficiency and quality, and time management.
  • Customer satisfaction: a properly designed and implemented QMS system builds on client requirements and expectations. As a result of embedding such best practices, firms can positively affect their client services.
  • Improved processes: one side-benefit of a QMS is that it stimulates firms to continuously re-assess their processes and output. This exercise also provides the opportunity to identify (other) areas of improvements, in turn enabling the creation of added value.
  • Increased employee commitment: a QMS plays an instrumental role in defining clear roles and quality assurance responsibilities. This transparency benefits the quality and success of the firm, while improving internal communications between the firm’s departments or teams.
  • Better compliance: a QMS provides the availability to run audits and reports, making it easier to monitor compliance and adapt where needed.

There are established quality management standards that businesses can use to set up a QMS; for example, ISO 9001:2015. There is also free information available online about the principles that underpin this standard which firms may find useful.

Plan, do, act, check

ISO 9001:2015 is aligned to follow the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle; as a result, many of the requirements relate to upfront planning.

Plan

 

Establish product or service objectives and the processes required to deliver the desired results (i.e. understand the client’s requirements).

Do

Carry out the product or service objectives from the previous step.

Check

During the check phase, evaluate the data and results gathered from the do phase. Compare the data to expected outcomes to see any similarities and differences. Also evaluate the testing process to see if any changes from the original test were created during the planning phase. Placing the data in a chart can make it easier to see any trends if the PDCA cycle is conducted multiple times. This helps to see what changes work better than others, and whether the changes can be improved as well.

Act

Sometimes called ‘adjust’ instead, this phase is where corrections are made before the product (e.g. a survey report, a cost plan report, etc.) is submitted to, or the service is provided to, the client.

 

Practice management procedures

In addition to PDCA, you can think about the essentials of a QMS as:

  • understanding your business as a series of processes
  • mitigating risk at every level
  • validating and certifying that the system is working and
  • using data to make improvements.

For service delivery, consider implementing robust technical/operating procedures, guidance and checklists that specify the quality control and assurance activities (including independent checks, structured document reviews, sign-off/approvals, etc.) that will be undertaken before delivering products and/or services to clients. RICS provides guidance on certain services (e.g. the Black Book suite). Technical procedures also support the training of employees. These can be written procedures, checklists and/or flowcharts (e.g. procurement process, tendering process, etc.).

Appendix C provides an example of what you could include in technical/operating procedures and checklists for costs management/quantity surveying.

In firms with more staff, a skills matrix can help keep track of different valuers’ skills and experience and their development needs. This can then link through to the type of work they should be doing (e.g. for valuers’ asset types, valuation purposes, value limits) and whether their reports should be peer reviewed/counter-signed.

Practice management procedures may also include having:

  • a key task checklist for a file
  • a billing process
  • a customer due diligence check process
  • processes for checking for conflicts and what to do if one is found
  • client money handling processes and
  • a process flow of procedures.

The firm should also consider processes about data security and access.

Also consider how to check that you are delivering the right quality of outcome for your clients. This could include:

  • building time for reflection and thought into processes before producing a final report or advice
  • having the work of junior or newer members of staff signed off by more senior colleagues
  • a regular check of files either by a supervisor or through peer review; for example, taking a monthly sample of files and having a colleague check and give feedback on the work
  • seeking client feedback and
  • sharing lessons learned from complaints.

Technical/operating procedures should contain review/checkpoint processes and checklists to ensure that your outputs satisfy the client’s requirements and comply with relevant standards and current best practice. Types of checks include:

  • pre-defined quality checklists
  • adherence to best practice guidance
  • arithmetical checks
  • peer reviews
  • mini reviews
  • formal reviews of documents and
  • formal sign-off of documents by a designated senior manager.

Where documents are being reviewed and signed off, processes should be clear about:

  • what responsibilities the second signatory is accepting and

what they should have checked before signing off the work.

Appendix C: Example technical/operating procedures and checklists for a cost manager/quantity surveyor

Cost management procedures

  1. Pre-contract cost management:
    • Order of cost estimates
    • Cost planning
    • Cost plan reports
    • Control of risk allowances
    • Value engineering
    • Pre-tender cost estimates
    • Post-tender cost estimating
  2. Post-contract cost management:
    • Interim valuations
    • Payments
    • Pay less notices
    • Valuing variations (changes)
    • Contract cost reports
    • Financial claims – ascertainment of costs
    • Valuing compensation events
    • Calculating the amount of liquidated/delay damages
    • Final accounts
    • Notional final accounts

Risk-management procedures

  • Risk management
  • Risk-management strategies
  • Risk registers
  • Risk-management workshops
  • Risk reviews
  • Risk reporting
  • Issues reporting
  • Exceptions reporting

Procurement (including tendering) procedures

  • Procurement strategies, including:
    • contract strategies and
    • tendering strategies.
  • Advanced procurement
  • Procurement strategy reports
  • Tender process management, including:
    • disclosure of tender information (protocols).
  • Management of pre-qualification process, including:
    • due diligence checks on constructors
    • establishing pre-qualification assessment criteria and marking scheme
    • pre-qualification interviews, etc.
  • Tender project management, including:
    • tender period setting
    • roles and responsibilities
    • tender document management
    • communications during tender period
    • pre-tender meetings
    • mid-tender review meetings
    • tender queries
    • tender amendments, etc.
  • Preparation of tender documentation, including:
    • works information
    • contract data
    • pricing document, etc.
  • Calculating rate of liquidated/delay damages
  • Establishing tender evaluation criteria and marking scheme
  • Novation of design
  • Novation of works contracts
  • Inviting tender submissions
  • Receipt, opening and recording of tenders
  • Tender evaluation and reporting, including:
    • documentation checks
    • technical compliance
    • commercial compliance
    • price examination
    • dealing with qualified tenders
    • alternative tenders
    • amended tenders
    • exceptionally low tenders
    • errors in pricing documents and tender clarifications
    • post tender meetings
    • tender reporting, etc.
  • Preparation and execution of contracts

Other relevant technical procedures

  • Stakeholder management and communication, including:
    • stakeholder analysis
    • classification
    • management and engagement.
  • Communication management
  • Change management