ECC3. The Works Information requires the Contractor and Subcontractors to comply with the Employers engineering design and quality standards. Should these standards be amended, is it the obligation of the Contractor to notify an EWN or should the Employer issue a PMI to amend the WI.
The short answer is that it is probably a CE but could also be an EW depending on how it arises.
The more detailed answer is…
Assuming that when you say the Works Information requires compliance with the Employer’s design and quality standards that is either set out specifically within the works information (good) or by reference to a separate specific document (not as good but still ok). Each scenario could give a slightly different answer.
In the first case, where the standards are set out in the Works Information, there is no need to change them unless the contractor is to comply with the update. When the update is made (outside of the works information) the Contractor should issue an EWN in my view even if the WI is not also changed so that the risk of incorporating that change is flagged. If the contractor is to comply with the update then the Works Information must be changed by a PMI and thus should be notified as a CE.
If the standards are in a separate document incorporated by words such as “comply with the employers standards current at time of construction” then the change in standards will give rise to a CE which should be notified.
Again, if the change is identified as a possibility by the Employer/PM then there is no reason why the PM should not early warn as soon as he is aware (see 16.1 which provides an obligation on both PM and contractor to early warn)