Document Type

Working Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence




This study discusses the considerations which underlie the choice of contract forms in Ireland. It has discusses the influence and implications of procurement and payment arrangements on this decision and concludes that the basis for the choice generally flows from the client’s priorities and that due consideration of these priorities, wants and needs is key to making effective choices. It discusses the nature of bespoke and the different families of contracts and their main forms. This should help in directing the surveyor to an appropriate form for the client’s situation. It explains the purpose and application of the GCCC and RIAI contracts. Finally the study examines the governing principles underlining recommendations on contract choice.

Standard forms of contract rarely match the employer’s requirements exactly. Quantity surveyors should therefore study the proposed contract before making a recommendation. Aspects which do not suit the employer’s requirements should be identified. Where these are minor issues, then minor amendments to the contract may be considered, preferably following legal advice. Major issues indicate that an alternative contract strategy or a sensible compromise would be in order. Surveyors should be able to justify the reasons for, and the implications of their recommendations. Many projects suffer from contract objectives not being met. This creates unnecessary risk for employers, and may damage the quantity surveyor’s reputation.