The Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum is launching a series of free advice webinars to help industry professionals improve their contractual and commercial awareness on construction projects.
Hosted by leading industry experts, and running fortnightly across six sessions from September to November, the online discussions are aimed at public and private sector employers, contract and commercial managers, architects, quantity surveyors and project managers.
The new webinars follow four CICV forum events held in May and June which provided advice on health and safety, cashflow, contract issues and a range of employment matters.
Fiona Hodgson, CEO of the Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbers’ Federation (SNIPEF) and Chair of the Forum’s Commercial sub-group, said: “Since March, the CICV Forum has helped countless professionals across Scotland, Northern Ireland and beyond with a wealth of information.
“This new development is yet another way in which the industry is coming together to help each other and assist in the rebuilding of the industry.”
Fiona added: “One of the most commonly asked questions we’re currently hearing is, ‘How can we improve cashflow and get paid on time?’ It’s clear there’s a demand for more commercial information, so like everything the Forum does, we’re listening to what people need and responding with clear and relevant advice that will help businesses in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
Andrew Dickson, managing director of County Antrim-based R&F Mechanical Services Ltd, said: “this is a development to be greatly welcomed. Construction businesses all over the Province have been crying out for advice, especially on cashflow and issues arising from employment law.”
The Forum’s first webinar will be held on Tuesday 15 September, during which Rudi Klein, CEO of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, will discuss the features and benefits of project bank accounts (PBAs), with particular focus on the supply chain. He will also outline how the PBA process operates, discuss the latest Scottish Government Construction Policy Note CPN 7/2020 and answer any questions submitted by delegates.
This session will be followed by a second module on Tuesday 29 September that will discuss changing the culture in the industry, problem contractual clauses, things to avoid, high-risk contract amendments, negotiating better terms and the ‘battle of the forms’.
Held on Tuesday 13 October, online session No 3 will cover payment terms, getting paid on time, how to present payment applications, variations etc.
The fourth webinar will be held on Tuesday 27 October and will cover giving notices, extensions of time, loss and expense, while the fifth seminar on Tuesday 10 November will cover suspension and contract termination of contractors and sub-contractors.
The topics covered in the final session, held on Tuesday 24 November, will include conflict avoidance procedures, pitfalls and benefits of adjudication, the low-cost value adjudication process and expert determination.
Each webinar will start at 11am and will run for between 60-75 minutes, with sessions recorded and hosted on the Forum’s YouTube channel. Other presenters will include:
- Ian Honeyman, Commercial Director, Scottish Building Federation
- Deborah Harrison, Legal Manager, The British Constructional Steelwork Association Ltd
- Angus Pearson, industry consultant and Director of Fortis Contracts Ltd
- Len Bunton, experienced dispute resolution consultant and consultant to the CICV Forum.
Len Bunton said: “During the past five months, it has become obvious that the industry needs to cooperate and collaborate more than ever before if it is to survive the after-effects of this devastating pandemic.
“These free webinars will offer a wealth of invaluable commercial advice, delivered by vastly experienced professionals with a deep understanding of today’s construction industry.
“This is a unique opportunity to harness this knowledge and understanding and gain a greater insight of how to navigate the post-pandemic business landscape successfully.”
Made up of more than 60 trade associations, private companies and professional bodies, the CICV Forum recently welcomed its 100thindividual member as it continues to advise and inform the industry and public alike.
Since its creation in March, the Forum has drawn on the collective expertise of its members to maintain a steady supply of information and practical advice to the sector as well as carrying out surveys, hosting webinars and making appeals to Government Ministers.
In the last month alone, it has issued seven health and safety advice documents, updated its operating guidance and reminded construction workers to observe physical distancing in their social lives too.