What Engineers Need to Know about Contracts

Topic Contract and Project Management

CPD Hours 13.5


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 1

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 2

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


Discounts are available to companies booking more than one place:

  • 2 places — 5% discount
  • 3 places — 10% discount
  • 4 or more places — 15% discount.

Bookings must be made at the same time to receive the discount.

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