2Formal points
Design Delivery and Construction Phase Services
Practice Management and Professional Conduct

CPD – Partial Services & Copyright

2Formal points
Design Delivery and Construction Phase Services, Practice Management and Professional Conduct

CPD – Partial Services & Copyright

In an ideal world we may all like to be engaged for ‘full architectural services’ for each-and-every project we’re involved with, but the reality of contemporary practice is that sometimes we just need to be a bit flexible in the services we offer. Many believe that varied modes of practice are required to maintain our relevance as architects – to help service different types of clients, and different types of projects.

So, what do you do when you’ve got a client who only wants you to deliver up to Building Permit or Contract Documentation, without providing any Contract Administration services? What if they just want you to provide ‘design advice’ through the build? Do you run for the hills, or just cross your fingers and hope for the best? How do you go about mitigating the risk of something going very wrong, and how do you protect yourself regarding copyright, and other critical concerns of delivering projects under a ‘partial services’ only agreement?

This CPD session will provide insights into this complex topic from two important perspectives:

  1. From a legal and insurance perspective;
  2. From an experienced practitioner who will generously share some of their lessons learned, and frameworks used to successfully deliver quality, built outcomes within the context of partial architectural services

Areas to be covered:

  • What are the inherent risks with providing partial services?
  • Is it a good idea to be engaged through the build for ‘partial construction services’, i.e. providing ‘design advice’, or are you likely opening yourself up to the full risk of administering a project?
  • What’s your role through construction if you’re only engaged to provide ‘design advice’ when there’s no formal impartial contractual role for you within the construction contract?
  • What disclaimers can you put in place to help protect yourself regarding copyright and project accreditation issues?
  • Should you issue CAD files to other consultants such as drafting services? What about directly to builders, owners, or developers?
  • Where do you draw the line with providing ‘design advice’? How do you make a distinction between a design or quality related issue (quality assurance), and other services like Shop Drawing reviews, responding to RFI’s, and not getting involved in the ‘cost side of things’, variations, and the like?
  • What are the best methods for charging for partial services, particularly in relation to ‘design advice’ throughout the construction period? Are you best charging hourly rates, a monthly retainer, or some other method?


Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to manage basic risk and insurance issues and successfully protect oneself when undertaking partial services only contracts.
  • Learn how to protect oneself in relation to copyright and project accreditation that come from delivering partial services.
  • Real-world examples and insights from a seasoned professional on their partial services experiences.
  • Understand the various options and frameworks for undertaking projects with partial services.

AACA competencies (2021-NSCA)

Practice Management and Professional Conduct – This unit of competency encompasses a holistic understanding of the organisation of the profession, practice and business of architecture, with the objective of providing value through sustainable, timely and effective professional services in accordance with the ethical and legal obligations of an architect to clients, colleagues, employees and to broader communities.

Design Delivery and Construction Phase Services – This unit of competency encompasses the provision of services to support project delivery through construction. This may occur through a variety of building procurement methods and construction contracts. The form of construction contract may establish different expectations and obligations upon the architect and may include contract administration services. Typically, all contract types include the timely and cost-effective management of design delivery, review and inspection processes.