The Australian Institute of Architects has identified procurement of architectural services as a key policy priority, both in relation to the initial engagement of architects through to establishing sector-wide principles to guide the procurement of projects using novation.
The Code of Novation is an industry-wide framework, defining standards of conduct that promote good design, safety and quality standards throughout the entire procurement process, thereby mitigating project risk and resulting in significant benefits to the built environment and broader community. The Code is intended to be a guideline document covering many matters including the level of completeness of documentation at the novation point, input into the Principal’s Project Requirements (PPR), head contractor selection, timely access to cost plans and construction program for consultants, protocols for product substitution, and transparency of the scope of service for all consultants. It discusses communications protocols, value management, client relationships and the independence of the superintendent role during the construction phase.
The Institute has undertaken research to investigate best practice EOI and RFT methods in public sector and educational institutions that commission architectural services. The research looked into the current experiences and perceptions of architects and clients and includes analysis of industry and government policy documents, interview with government and institutional clients, and an online survey of Institute members.
The research enabled the Institute to develop a set of Guidelines for EOI and RFT for architectural services endorsed by the Office of the Victorian Government Architect. The objective of the guidelines is for potential clients to review their own EOI and RFT methods and documents and align them with best practice to enable an effective and efficient process that maximises the potential for high quality built outcomes and reduces bidding and assessment costs for all.