Clients have great influence over the way construction projects are run. Their decisions will affect:

 (a)           the resources and time available for a project

 (b)           the composition and competence of project teams

 (c)           the arrangements for managing and coordinating the project

 (d)          the quality of information available to all involved

 (e)           the effectiveness of cooperation and communication between all involved.

 Depending on the size and nature of a project, either the University or individual departments may hold duties as a client. This will usually be apparent from the division of responsibilities outlined in the Estates Regulations (e.g. departments are the client where the work involves routine maintenance or internal redecoration), but where there is doubt the Director of Estates Services should be consulted.

 In the case of projects under the control of OUES the Director of Estates Services will discharge the University’s duties as the client. Where departments undertake the role of the client they must be particularly aware of their responsibility to appoint competent designers and contractors, to allow sufficient time and financial resources, and to provide adequate pre-construction information to designers and contractors.

 Departments are reminded that the Estates Regulations require them to seek the approval of the Director of Estates Services for all new building works and any building works that alter the fabric of a building or its services. This will ensure that the Director is satisfied that the works will be designed and carried out by competent persons to the standards set by appropriate policies, regulations and codes of practice.

 Clients must:

 (a)           provide pre-construction information to every contractor and designer (i.e. relevant, reasonably obtainable information relating to the project, its planning and management, its potential hazards, any existing health and safety file for the site and any relevant University safety policies)

 (b)           appoint (in writing) a principal designer and a principal contractor for projects where there is more than one contractor (including sub-contractors), or where it is reasonably foreseeable that there will be more than one contractor (or sub-contractor) working on the project at any one time

 (c)           ensure that the contractor or principal contractor prepares a construction phase plan before work begins

 (d)          ensure that the principal designer prepares a health and safety file

 (e)           take reasonable steps to ensure that designers and contractors comply with the remainder of their duties.