VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, January 23, 2024 – the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – British Columbia (ACEC-BC) together with the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) and the Province of British Columbia (the Province) is pleased to announce the release of standard contracts for architectural and engineering design assignments. The contracts – based on national standard form agreements – support fairness, transparency, and efficiency for architectural and engineering consultants and government.
In 2018 the Deputy Ministers and Industry Infrastructure Forum (DMIIF) formed a Subcommittee led by the Ministry of Finance, with participation from the Ministry of Citizens’ Services, BC Housing, ACEC-BC, AIBC, and the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA). The Subcommittee collaborated to develop Supplemental Conditions for RAIC Doc 6 2022 Standard Form of Contract for Architectural Services and CCDC-31 2020 Service Agreement Between Owner and Consultant which were reviewed by the provincial Legal Services and Risk Management Branches before ratification by the DMIIF.
Delivering on our shared commitment to protect the public
A shared commitment to protect the public was foundational for the industry, regulatory, and public representatives on the Subcommittee as they proceeded with review. The resulting contracts are expected to support fairness, transparency, and efficiency in contracting architectural and engineering consultants. Further, the use of standard contracts aligns with the Province’s procurement strategy by making it easier to do business with government and creating opportunity for businesses of all size.
- Architectural Agreement – The new standard architectural agreement is based on RAIC Doc 6 2022. Where appropriate, Supplemental Conditions to RAIC Doc 6 2022 align with the Engineering Agreement (see following paragraph). The agreement has been approved as an acceptable standard contract by AIBC and supports registrants in complying with Professional Standards on contracts in the AIBC Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
- Engineering Agreement – The new standard engineering agreement is based on CCDC-31 2020. Where appropriate, Supplemental Conditions to CCDC-31 2020 align with the Architectural Agreement (see previous paragraph).
A user guide is available for each agreement. Both the agreements and user guides are posted to the Province’s Capital Asset Management Framework (CAMF) Guidelines website. To access go to the CAMF Guidelines website, and select the Resources link on the sidebar (direct link).
When to use the agreements
The agreements have been approved for use by all provincial Ministries and agencies who directly engage consulting Architects or Engineers including BC Housing, Health Authorities, and School Boards. Agreements already in place will continue under their existing agreement; new assignments undertaken after February 1, 2024, should use the new agreements.
To assist in the transition, Architectural and Engineering firms are encouraged to request use of the new agreements if another form of contract is provided after the release date.
“The release of standard form contracts is a significant outcome for design consulting firms of all sizes. Contract review and negotiation can be disruptive and lead to project delays; use of standard forms of agreement supports trust, efficiency, and transparency for all project partners. The effort of all members on the Subcommittee was significant, and we are very proud to deliver this work with exceptional partners.”
“The use of standard contracts is essential for achieving successful projects: they support the public interest, are equitable, and ethically grounded. These new Supplementary Conditions are tailored to the specific requirements of the Province and will increase efficiency and streamline the consultant procurement process while still upholding transparency and fairness for all parties involved. They are the direct result of multi-industry collaboration, and the AIBC is delighted to have been a contributing partner on the publication of these resources.”
– Maura Gatensby, Architect AIBC CP, Lead Practice Advisor and Regulatory Liaison at the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
“As a staunch proponent of fair, open and transparent practices, BCCA has always been, and remains, highly supportive of standard documents. We salute this initiative and see it as a clear indication that we may expect the similar endorsement of collaborative standardized supplementary conditions for construction contracts in the near future.”
– Chris Atchison, President for BCCA
“Implementing standard form contracts contributes to fair, transparent, and consistent procurement processes for public sector construction projects and protects the public interest. This achievement reflects the DMIIF’s commitment to a collaborative environment that fully utilizes industry resources and assists public sector owners to achieve best value for public sector dollars.”
– Heather Wood, Deputy Minister, Finance and Co-Chair of the DMIIF
About the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – British Columbia (ACEC-BC)
The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia (ACEC-BC) is the voice of consulting engineering companies in BC. Our purpose is to serve the interests of members through advocacy, creating opportunity for collaboration, and building profile for members and the industry. Visit acec-bc.ca to learn more.
About the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC)
The Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) is a professional self-governing body with the mandate to regulate the profession of architecture in the interest of serving and protecting the public, through a responsive regulatory framework. The AIBC was established in 1920 by provincial statute, and since 2023, has governed the profession under the authority of the Professional Governance Act. For more information about the AIBC, please visit aibc.ca.
About the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA)
The British Columbia Construction Association advocates for all companies in BC’s industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential (multi-unit) construction sector regardless of labour affiliations. It protects contractors’ interests with the provincial government, provides expert procurement services, access to project opportunities and talent, and funding for apprenticeship training. BCCA’s mission is to ensure a productive and resilient industry. To learn more, visit bccassn.com.
For more information about this release:
President & CEO – Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – BC
For the Newsfile version of this press release please see here.