The following blog post was submitted on 12th May 2014 by a registered architect concerning recent draft documentation issued by the representative body for architects (RIAI) for members. As far as we are aware only the representative body for engineers (ACEI) have issued ancillary certifier documentation. As this is an opinion piece, we do not endorse or recommend any practices, interpretations or duties in this post.
Post 4: Ancillary Certs Design – commencement & completion (by others)
“S.I.9 IMPLEMENTATION PAPERS” ISSUED BY RIAI, APRIL 2014
Some comments by an architect who has advised PII insurers on defending claims against other architects and who wishes to help colleagues protect themselves.
ANCILLARY CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE: DESIGN (COMMENCEMENT / 7 DAY NOTICE) – To be completed by a specialist or unregistered consultant – April 10th (Blue top)
ANCILLARY CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE: DESIGN (COMPLETION) – To be completed by a specialist nor unregistered consultant – April 10th (Purple top)
Six points to consider, if you are acting (some people might say if you are crazy or hungry enough to be acting) as Assigned Certifier, and if you are thinking of getting your consultant to sign this document. To protect yourself, you want to stitch up your consultants as hard as you can. Here are a few suggestions which do not appear in the documents.
- We confirm that we have been commissioned to design, in conjunction with others …. No. Spell out what they are to do in detail and then remove the words “in conjunction with others”. Say “the design of all structural and civil engineering works” and remove the words “in conjunction with others” which now make no sense. If you leave those words in, you are more likely to be sucked into any action!
- We confirm that we have the Professional Indemnity Insurance required in our appointment …. To protect yourself, rewrite this to say “we confirm that we have and will continue to renew ….” It may not stop you being sucked into the legal actions against the engineers. But it might.
- Our certification is contingent … on design by others. This is a great let-out for the “specialist or unregistered consultant”! Consider taking it out. Your client has engaged this person to do their design, so, make them responsible for it. Otherwise they may be able to point the finger back at your design!
- … our design of those elements of the works for which we are responsible to the owner … No! Consider taking out the words “for which we are responsible to the owner”, because otherwise this may give the specialist or unregistered consultant an “out” by saying they were responsible to the contractor! Or to the architect! Make sure to pin the responsibility where it should lie, because otherwise it is likely to fall back on yourself.
- “Company name and address”. This certificate is being signed by a company and not by a person. So if the company is liquidated six months after the job finishes, where are you and your client left? To limit comeback against yourself, consider getting personal signatures as well as company signatures to bring in personal liability, otherwise your client might have a go at you for signing up a man of straw for his certificates….
- (Company stamp) If you want their liability to extend to 12 years, consider getting the company seal affixed in the presence of two directors and the company secretary. This may in the end make no difference, but a “company stamp” is not understood.
Attached .jpeg forms mentioned above:
NOTE: This series of “Registered Architect considerations” posts are not meant to undermine or be in opposition to any professional advice from registered representative bodies: rather it is to offer additional technical aids to those that find themselves in the position of having to deal with SI.9 in it’s current form at present. As with all information posted on the Blog we urge all practitioners to check with their respective professional bodies before assuming any roles or duties under Building Control (Amendment) regulation (SI.9 of 2014). We hope this information that may be useful to professional implementers working within these new and difficult regulations.
If there are any registered engineers with similar concerns on ACEI documentation we would be interested in hearing from them also. At time of writing there are no SCSI/CIF (representative bodies for surveyors or builders) draft documents available to their members. We suggest professionals contact their respective professional bodies with concerns or queries.
Other Posts in the series:
Post 1: Architect’s Ancillary Cert (Design & Completion) – click link here
Post 2: Architect’s Ancillary Cert (Inspection) – click link here
Post 3: Ancillary Completion Cert – Inspection (by others) – click link here