IStructE Core Objective – 3.2 Law
The level required for law is significantly lower than most other Core Objectives, so you should be able to satisfy this competence fairly early in your working career. The guidance documentation states:
“Candidates need to demonstrate an appreciation of the law of the construction industry”.
There are a number of different areas of construction law you could mention, and some of these overlap with other core objectives, such as health and safety and contract documentation, but there's no harm in repeating yourself.
The two main ways to gain an appreciation is by learning, or by experience. Try to give examples of each to satisfy this objective.
Examples of learning would be attending training courses; these could be internal or external talks (if one of your colleagues has ever given a talk at work about contract law or a legal matter that was occurring on their project, then you can cite this as an example).
Examples of experience may be direct or indirect experience that you have had on one of your projects. Have any of your projects ever been involved in a legal dispute? Perhaps you weren't involved in resolving this yourself, but you may have an appreciation of what happened from talking to colleagues and other team members. You can describe this experience in the final report form. There are lots of examples that could be relevant, but a few are listed below:
- Discussions about which form of contract would be most appropriate for a project
- Attending contract meetings where issues about the contract or negotiations with the contractor or project team were discussed
- A health and safety issue occurring on a site
- If you have ever worked as an expert witness or produced a report that may have been used to settle a dispute between parties
- Discussions about the company PI insurance.
What to say in your final report:
- List all relevant training courses, seminars and talks you have attended
- Describe any events that have occurred on your projects that have given you an appreciation of relevant issues.
What to put in your portfolio:
- Attendance certificates on courses
- Evidence of any communication you've had with others regarding legal matters
- Construction contract law: the essentials – Adriaanse, J.
- Construction contracts: law and management – Hughes, W. et al.
- ICE manual of construction law – Ramsey, V. ed.
- Construction law: law and practice relating to the construction industry – Uff, J.