Clerk of Works services

Clerk of Works services

A person whose duty is to superintend the construction and maintenance of buildings, or other works for the purpose of ensuring proper use of labour and materials.

Taken from The Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectorate of Great Britain Inc. ICWCI

Clerks of Works inspect and report on all areas of construction to help maintain quality standards, identify costly defects, delays and reduce risk. They provide valuable guidance to assist with getting the job done ‘right first time’ which saves you time and money.

Our Clerk of Works will provide an independent assessment of the works undertaken and will produce regular reports and dialogue with the design team, contractor and client. Our reports typically include; significant points, quality control and witnessing, site progress and activities, commenting on documentation and drawings, comments made to the construction team, defects and progress photographs. The weekly report includes any site meetings attended by our site staff, reporting of potential risks and the inclusion of our ‘defects and observation tracker’ which is uniquely numbered to easily identify the defect and/or observations.

It is important to us that the highest standard of quality is achieved on your construction projects. In our opinion every aspect of the build, by every trade, needs to be inspected and reported on with the aim to ensure that doing it right first time is the only option.

We will focus on the following:

Checking all the critical stages of the build to ensure that the quality meets contractual requirements and specifications.

Quality workmanship
Monitoring and inspecting the work at regular intervals, checking the progress, identifying and minimising problems and defective work.

The correct use of materials
Checking that the materials on site are to the correct specification and quality.

Identifying defects
Identifying and reporting defects which may cause disruption, delays and problems that might impact on the programme and future maintenance.

Providing recommendations
Providing practical advice when necessary in relation to construction details and methods.

Being an independent critical eye
Providing you with an early independent warning of problems concerning the quality of construction and any programme delays.

Providing a proactive service
Discussing urgent issues face-to-face or by phone with the relevant members of the site team.

Scope of works

Our basic service

Our basic Clerk of Works service consists of pre-agreed site visits (including report writing) which is typically one to two days per week undertaking the following duties:

  • Inspecting the materials delivered to site and checking for compliance with the specification.
  • Carrying out site inspections to monitor standards of quality, finish, workmanship and compliance of the works.
  • Promptly reporting any discrepancies or non-conforming works to the site team verbally and then formally through written reports, defect and observation trackers and non-conformance notices.
  • Recording photographic evidence on the progress of key activities and of any defects.
  • Commenting on the progress of the works with respect to the contract programme and key dates.
  • Recording items that could support any future contractual disputes. (Please note that we can only record items identified when we are actively on site)
  • Performing any witness tests required by the contract and record the results.
  • Carrying out inspections upon completion and prepare a schedule of defects to be corrected.
  • Co-ordinating with the site and professional teams to ensure sign-off prior to the issue of Completion, Defect and Final Certificates.

Our standard service

Our standard Clerk of Works service is additional to our basic service and consists of pre-agreed site visits (including report writing) which is typically three to five days per week and involves undertaking the following duties:

  • Providing weekly updates and issuing the Defects and Observations Tracker.
  • Taking measurements and samples to ensure specification and quality standards are being met.
  • Raising queries and clarifications with the design team to assist the resolution of the detailed design in advance of that element of the works being ordered and/or undertaken.
  • Providing an independent analysis of the programme, progress and potential/actual delays.
  • Providing rigorously inspection of materials on and off site.
  • Providing off-site inspections of pre-fabricated elements such as bathroom pods.
  • Providing witness testing and commissioning subject to these taking place on the day the M&E Clerk of Works is on site.

A Clerk of Works – often abbreviated to CoW – can have other job titles such as Supervisor (NEC3/4 Contracts), Site Inspector, Site Supervisor, Construction Inspector, Construction Compliance Manager, Building Quality Officer and Quality Control Inspector. However Clerk of Works best describes what we do and is universally recognised in our industry.

To view some of the defects identified whilst on site please visit our defects page.

We have also written about the typical day in the life of a Building Quality Site Inspector (Building Clerk of Works) which can be viewed here and a M&E Quality Site Inspector (M&E Clerk of Works) which can be viewed here.

In addition please also view the article written by the Construction Manager magazine detailing the role of a Clerk of Works here.