The Construction Sector Accord supported Engineering New Zealand to develop an independent panel of Engineers to the Contract (EtC) for NZS 3910.
The new panel identifies industry professionals that have the skills, experience and mana to be highly effective in their role as an EtC.
EtC’s are crucial for delivering building and construction contracts across the country. They ensure that contracts between clients and suppliers are managed fairly, impartially and efficiently.
Finding the right person to fill this role can be a source of frustration for both clients and suppliers, particularly with the increasing demand and complexity of New Zealand’s construction sector.
“Under NZS 3910 the EtC has two key roles. They need to act as an expert advisor and representative for the contract’s principal, while also being able to act independently of both contract parties to make decisions, value work and issue certificates fairly,” says Duncan Kenderdine, Construction Sector Accord Procurement and Risk co-Workstream Lead.
“It’s this dual role that can cause issues if the EtC doesn’t have suitable experience or isn’t perceived as being fully independent or impartial.”
The panel provides a benchmark for the role across the construction sector. Members of the new panel are qualified and trusted Engineers to the Contract, with the expertise and independence needed for decision-making across a range of different projects.
It also gives contractors and clients a list of recognised EtC’s that they can call on for building and construction projects.
All members were evaluated by a cross-industry steering group via a comprehensive review process, including a written application, interview and referee check. The steering group also developed a Code of Ethics to clarify and set expectations for the professional attitude and behaviours of panel members.
The panel’s work will help raise the bar for others in the sector through developing resources and guidance for new EtCs, procurers of EtCs and the wider construction industry.
“Developing consistent contract delivery practices is essential for us to create a better performing construction sector and futureproofing the EtC role is a key part of this change,” says Kenderdine.
“Members of the panel are role models in our sector. They will help set the standard, rebuild trust and provide clients and suppliers with more confidence when dealing with contracts.”
The Construction Sector Accord and the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission Te Waihanga have also commissioned a review of the NZS 3910 contract, which includes a review of the EtC role.
NZS 3910 is the standard form used for the majority of contracts in the construction and infrastructure sector.
The review is currently underway, led by Standards New Zealand, and is expected to be released for public consultation in February 2023.