Acceptance of Contractors design by PM

ECC3 Option C - How is it possible for the PM to comply with acceptance clause for the Contractor’s design (21.2) in the period for reply (14 days) if the WI requires acceptance of the design in it’s entirety. Likewise, how does the Contractor cascade this to accept a SC design, which requires PM acceptance.


As you point out the response time for a design issued for acceptance is the period of reply unless you have stated any other period within the Works Information. It is also within the Works Information that you state what elements of the design you want to be issued for acceptance – if you do not state that you want the opportunity to accept the design then there is no formal requirement to do so. If you believe that you have made it very clear what you require then you could argue you do not need to see it again.

The main point of your question however is you need to remember what acceptance actually means. Acceptance is not that you need to check it with a fine tooth comb as if you “accept” it then any such mistakes are your liability as the Employer. Clause 14.1 makes it very clear what liability the Project Manager takes on when they accept a design. The acceptance process is more of a case of having the opportunity to say they definitely do not like part of the design, rather than checking it for absolutely no mistakes. There may be an aspect of the design that is only now apparent when it is done that do not meet the Employers requirements, so they need the chance to say ”no” and better now than before items are procured/installed. This may or may not be a compensation event, depending on whether it is a clear change from the Works Information.

Key for the Parties to work together to ensure this process is as swift as possible i.e. regular design review meetings so that the final design is not the first time the Project Manager’s team have seen the design, carry out joint reviews during the acceptance process etc.