What is an Engineer To Contract?
The Engineer To Contract (ETC) is a third party between the client and the contractor. The role has two key aspects:
- To act as expert advisor to, and representative of, the client and give directions to the contractor on behalf of the client; and
- To act independently of either party in order to make fair and impartial decisions under the contract as well as value the work and issue certificates.
The ETC role is ongoing throughout the life of the project. To carry out the role effectively, the ETC must be knowledgably expert in the forms of contract and able to mediate between the client and contractor.
Do I need an Engineer To Contract?
The ETC helps ensure the smooth and legal running of the project by administering and upholding the contract. If you have extensive contract administration experience you may not require an Engineer to Contract. However, in most cases clients will appreciate the need for impartiality as well as the potential cost and time savings of having an expert on the team to fulfil the role of ETC.
This is particularly apparent if a dispute arises. The ETC will decide on the position moving forward according to the wording of the contract. The impartiality of the role, acting as a third party between the client and contractor, is vital as we must be able to demonstrate that the determination made was fair and reasonable. This is especially important in the potentially sensitive area of variation claims.