Buying for schools

Construction projects

The different processes you could follow and the people you may need in place.

Construction projects can be complicated. Make sure you:

  • have the right roles in place to manage the work
  • use the buying process that meets the needs of your project and complies with the law

Always get expert advice when planning a construction project.

You may have to run a procurement process to bring in the suppliers or services you need to do the buying for the project itself before you start.

This is a guide only, every project is different so the process you follow and the team you need will vary.

Role: project manager

Project managers are responsible for taking the project from concept to completion. They’ll work with the design team to make sure that:

This could be someone from your school. If you do not have someone with those skills, you could employ someone using either a temporary contract or a company that provides that service.

Role: design team

The design team could include an:

  • architect
  • quantity surveyor
  • mechanical and electrical services engineer
  • structural engineer
  • construction, design and management (CDM) adviser (health and safety)

Role: contractor

The contractors job is to complete the building work on time and on budget. Most contractors usually employ sub-contractors to do work on their behalf, some will employ their own staff. This can depend on the:

  • size of the company
  • work involved

They’re responsible for managing and paying their sub-contractors.

See more about sub-contractors.

Procurement process: design and build

This is when you agree a single contract for:

  • architectural and engineering design
  • construction

This reduces the risks involved in using different contractors under separate contracts, including:

  • going over budget
  • delays
  • not meeting your specification as outlined in the project plan

The contractor is responsible for performance and design-type specification. You may be able to specify some design elements, but generally the contractor has control of the design.

You should choose a contractor based on their:

  • qualifications
  • capability
  • experience
  • cost

Do not choose a contractor based only on cost.

Procurement process: traditional

This is where you create a final design before taking on a contractor to build it. This gives you control over the:

  • specifications
  • scope
  • quality
  • time
  • cost

You should consult experts to make sure your design is possible, based on your timelines and budget.

You should choose a contractor based on their:

  • qualifications
  • capability
  • experience
  • ability to build your design on time and within budget

There is a lower risk of overruns with this type of procurement, as contractors should have considered this as part of their bid.