PCSA

In recent years the JCT has published standard forms of Pre-Contract Services Ageements (PCSA) which have rapidly gained recognition and been adopted within the industry as the preferred procurement process for client teams delivering complex specialist projects where detailed expert advice and technical assistance is required from a specialist contractor at an early stage when typically only basic concept design exists.

Please see this presentation given to the Association of Colleges on the use of PCSAs for the procurement of specialist construction services including a case study exemplifying its features and benefits.

In summary, the PCSA is a two stage procurement process:

STAGE ONE

The provision of advice to, and assistance and collaboration with, the client team to develop the preliminary design and agree the final design, cost plan and programme.

This detailed, collaborative process reconciles all facets of the scheme and may conclude with a full-size mock-up being installed on the building ensuring all parties are fully familiar with both the design and the installation process.

An important feature of this two-stage process is that the client is under no obligation to proceed beyond the end of Stage One.

STAGE TWO

Should the client wish to proceed, information gleaned from Stage One is subsequently issued for tender as Stage Two of the process with the successful tenderer being awarded the main contract.

Benefits of This Approach

With the full project team assembled at the outset, the PCSA provides the greatest certainty of successful project outcome:

• enables input from the specialist early-on in the procurement process
• permits technical due diligence and competency assessments to be undertaken
• develops cost certainty as the design develops
• allows benchmarking with market rates and past projects
• delivers programme savings

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 are a very good fit with the PCSA approach, each seeking to make the contractor singularly responsible for the project from concept to completion.