What Engineers Need to Know about Contracts

Date From: tbc
Location: United Kingdom
Description: Date to be confirmed - register your interest here. 

Learn about contract law for engineering and construction contracts and how it is used to help deliver successful projects and supplier relationships.
Event Type: IChemE Course
Venue: TBC, UK
Organiser: IChemE
Contact Name: Courses department
Contact Phone: +44 (0)1788 534431
Contact Email: courses@icheme.org


Engineers need to understand the basis and practicalities of contract law in order to deliver successful projects and supplier relationships. Failure to understand the basics can prove very expensive.

If you are dealing with suppliers and managing contracts on a regular basis, it's important for you to be able to make informed decisions without waiting to consult with legal specialists.

This course is designed to provide you with a grounding in contract law for engineering and construction contracts, and how it is used to help deliver successful projects and supplier relationships.

Learning outcomes

At the end of course you will understand:

  • the role and purpose of contracts for engineering
  • the role of engineers in contract formation and management
  • how contracts are formed and ended
  • the terms and conditions and obligations placed on each party to the contract
  • how risk is allocated in different types of contract
  • processes for dispute and conflict resolution

Who will benefit

  • project managers
  • contract managers
  • contract administrators
  • engineers and administrators
  • consultants, consulting engineers, quantity surveyors
  • sales and purchasing managers/personnel
  • general managers
  • graduate engineers

Course outline

Day one

08:30           Registration
09:00 Housekeeping, aims and objectives
09:15  Introduction to contracts – how and why they are formed
10:00  Exercise: Is this a contract? 
10:30  Coffee
10:45  International law of contracts
11:15  Common pitfalls: verbal contracts, modified contracts, battle of the forms
12:15  Lunch
13:00  Key terms and conditions in contracts
Express and implied terms of contracts
14:00  Warranties, guarantees, IPR and damages
14:30  Coffee
15:00  Standard and specialist forms of contract
15:45 Exercise: what sort of contract should we use?
16:00  Discharge of contract
Breaches and damages
16:30   Finish

Day two

09:00 Recap of day 1 
09:15    The role of the engineer and project manager
10:30    Coffee
10:45  Contract management and variation 
11:30      Contracts, the law and ethics 
12:15  Lunch 
13:00  Payment mechanisms 
14:00  Introduction to standard forms of contract 
14:30      Coffee 
15:15  Specific engineering and construction contractual issues 
16:00          Dispute and conflict resolution 
16:15  Action planning 
16:25  Final questions
16:30  Finish 


IChemE member – £1000 + VAT
Non-member – £1100 + VAT

Course presenter

Dr Paul A Wright MCIPS, MILT, PAWA Consulting

Paul is managing director of PAWA Consulting, a management consultancy working mainly in the public sector and chemical industry.

Since founding PAWA in 1998, Paul has worked on a wide range of projects including studies in Yorkshire and the North West of England, and the Sustainable Manufacturing Project for the CIN. He conducts training in negotiation, purchasing and supply chain management, and works extensively with the oil and gas industry in the Middle East. Prior to founding PAWA, he took a PhD in Physics, before joining ICI where he held a number of technical and commercial roles (at Wilton and then Runcorn Heath), latterly in the engineering contracts purchasing group.

Related courses

IChemE Forms of Contract
Engineering Procurement online
Engineering Project Management

Duration (for CPD recording purposes): up to 13.5 hours13.5 hours CPD
If you are recording mandatory CPD you should refer to your own regulator’s requirements as recognition of CPD hours may vary.

IChemE member? Log your CPD via mycareerpath


IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).