Scope of Services: Everything You Need to Know
The scope of services in an appointment agreement outlines what activities a service consultant will perform for a project. 4 min read
The scope of services in an appointment agreement outlines what activities a service consultant will perform for a project. The term "appointment" typically refers to the process wherein a client contracts with designers or other types of consultants who can provide expert assistance. A scope of services may also be prepared for contractors who are completing design work or any consultants who are contracted on design and build projects.
Important Aspects of Scope of Services
With any type of appointment, it's imperative to be clear on exactly what services are being provided, especially if there are multiple consultants being brought in. Otherwise, there may be uncertainty about who is responsible for what portions of the project, what is the chargeable fee, what services fall under the agreed price, and what other deliverables may be considered extras.
There are some areas where it becomes very important to be certain who is the one providing services. These include the following:
- Landscape design
- Highways, fences, and gates
- Ground drainage
- Acoustics and vibration control
- Interior design and art
- Furniture and equipment
- Fittings and fixtures
- Lightning protection
- Fire protection and safety systems
- Security systems
- Process engineering and chemical handling
- Communications and Information technology
- Topographical and geotechnical surveys
- Specialist designs (like a laboratory)
When preparing a scope of services, pay attention to tasks that may not be included in a consultant's standard fee. These are things that might be deemed additional services. Some of these include the following:
- Planning appeals and options appraisals
- Building informational modeling (BIM)
- Party wall services
- Detailed thermal modeling
- Post-occupancy evaluations and advice
- Preparation or compilation of a brief
- Preparing a building user's guide
- Marketing material preparation
- Acting as lead consultant or administrator or designer
- Preparing grant or funding applications
- Legal service agreements, claims, and disputes
- Site selection and site inspection supervising
Once the parties have agreed to the scope of services and it's included in the appointment agreement or at least referred to, then any subsequent changes will require the consent of all parties.
How to Write a Scope of Services Agreement
If your business needs to utilize another business's services, independent contractor, or some other professional, a scope of services agreement is designed to outline what services you'll receive. It is the foundation of a services agreement.
If the scope of services is not a customized document that is specific to one project, you may use standard pro-forma documents from a variety of organizations. For instance, in the United Kingdom, pro-forma documents are available from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Royal Institute of British Architects, Association for Consultancy and Engineering, and the Construction Industry Council.
The scope of services in your contract should be very specific to your particular industry and the services you specialize in. The more details you include in the scope of services, the more reassurance both sides have about the agreement made.
Contracts need to include not only the amount being charged for services but also a clause that outlines when payments are due, when a company will be invoiced, and the payment structure. A contractor might choose to accept all services under a flat fee amount, or there might be additional terms added for expenses.
Include something about the offer. The agreement should include pertinent information related to the offer, such as the following:
- Name of the business and the service provider
- Business addresses
- Payment terms and related conditions
In the offer section, you can include the verbiage that this person is not an employee of your business and that there is no known conflict of interest.
Your scope of services needs to include specific details on each aspect of the project. For example, work products like proposal responses should detail what format (electronic or hard copies) should be included.
There may exist a potential for misuse of the business's information and related products created under the agreement. If this is the case, include a clause that your business has exclusive rights to the use, publication, and trademark of any works that are created under the services agreement. Use a non-disclosure clause to keep someone from divulging confidential business information. In some industries, a non-compete clause might be appropriate.
Lastly, ensure you include something regarding change orders. Once you get going on a project, you might find the defined scope will change. Clearly state how change orders are to be handled and how these changes will affect pricing and completion timelines. By setting these up from the start, you will help both parties understand what changes or costs may arise during the course of the project.
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