From theory to practice: experience of Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild in staff training on FIDIC modules
Lately in Ukraine, we witness deepening understanding of the role of a consulting engineer as a key participant of the engineering services market, as well as awareness about benefits and opportunities of using standard forms of contract of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC).
Such provisions have already found a certain reflection in the legislation, but the main engine of their implementation are the requirements of the international financial institutions (IFIs) – the key creditors in the implementation of investment projects. FIDIC standard forms are often integrated in the IFI tender documents as generally recognized tools accumulating best international practices. Domestic companies are facing challenges, which to some extent can be solved by certification of key personnel under the FIDIC training modules.
More about FIDIC training seminars – Mr. Oleksandr Nepomnyashchyy, President of the Public Union "Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild", honored Builder of Ukraine, D. of Sc. in Public Administration, Professor at the Chair of Public Administration, Interregional Academy of personnel management.
First – about the urgency of the problem.
Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild (ICEG) as a FIDIC and EFCA member has a wide range of partners in Ukraine and abroad, as well as some experience in organizational and methodological assistance to consulting companies in terms of preparation for participation in tenders on rendering services of consulting engineers for projects financed by IFIs.
We must admit that the Ukrainian companies and organizations - rarely win solely in such competitions yet. Usually contracts are awarded to experienced international firms that have the required specialists and references, and they act as the Consortium Leader with the participation of local companies. In addition, in the process of communication there is a number of issues raised relating to inconsistent terminology, the need to comply with the General conditions of works contract and domestic practices, allocation of risks and functions between the consortium members and the Consultant proposed by the Client etc.
With the aim of systematizing the possible solutions on the most common issues, ICEG representatives have recently taken a training in Tbilisi (Georgia) for "Management of Claims and the Resolution of Disputes", and also in Belgrade (Serbia) for Module 4: "Contract management and administration of FIDIC contracts", which illustrates possibilities of using standard forms of contract to ensure effective project management. We are convinced of the effectiveness of such training, which, along with the practice of participation in international consortia will facilitate the development of the market of engineering and consulting services in Ukraine and growth of competitiveness of domestic companies.
More on FIDIC training modules.
FIDIC training courses were developed to maximize the review of standard forms of contract that are currently used. Typically two-day sessions on each module, besides the theoretical part, include practical exercises and discussions.
Sessions are taught by FIDIC accredited trainers: international experts who have extensive knowledge on the methodology of FIDIC contracts and practical experience of their application in international projects.
Educational materials provided to participants include the texts of the FIDIC contracts directly related to the subject of lessons and examples from business practice, copies of presentation materials and workbooks with case studies and practical exercises.
Participants receive a Certificate of Participation upon the training completion.
Five core modules directly related to the FIDIC contracts explain their contents and practices in detail. In addition, there are a number of special contract modules and modules on business practices related to the creation, development and organization of business, quality and personnel management, procurement, financial management and other aspects of company activities. Training programs for young professionals, online courses etc. are also introduced.
Which modules to choose, and how to organize staff training best?
As of today a group of ICEG leading experts and our partners has been trained in nearly all major modules directly related to FIDIC contracts. I consider this volume necessary and sufficient for the operation in the market. At the same time we have experience of both individual training under one particular module and practical training course under a number of modules with involvement of multiple trainers simultaneously. This course was held in August-September in Burgas (Bulgaria).
Of course, comprehensive study of material is more effective.
The established sequence of teaching modules, their absorbance without a long run-up of time, complementarity of certain aspects in clusters are clear advantages for information perception by audience. This approach contributes to a more shared vision of the use of standard forms of works contract, the specifics and differences in the use of different FIDIC books. Furthermore, it allows to analyze the influence of individual innovations on all forms of contracts (for example, regarding the new role of consulting engineer based on the new edition of "White book" issued current year, in applying the "Rainbow of Books", 1999).
An important aspect is the intended audience formation that should be interested, qualified enough and which must cover the entire spectrum of the provided information. Therefore, learning should involve at least representatives of three engineering units, whose activity in Ukraine is formalized with the qualification certificates: designers, experts, engineers of technical supervision. Participation of representatives of legal service would not go amiss, in particular in the management of claims, alternative dispute settlement, including mediation and adjudication.
A large amount of information requires deep involvement of the participants, both during seminars, and upon their completion. Intended audience formation allowed to provide suggestions to the Guidebooks that hopefully will be helpful for engineering companies in Ukraine, as well as will become some sort of continuing education for the participants of the seminars like "individual work".
And yet, according to the feedback of the students, the most valuable is the direct contact with the lecturers, their answers to the questions, the practical experience of FIDIC contract implementation, primarily in Eastern Europe, which once were solving the same problems that we face today.
Thus, our special thanks go to the FIDIC trainers. We have worked with the best accredited lecturers:
FIDIC accredited trainer;
MSc. Water Management;
MSc. Construction Law & Dispute Resolution;
Founder And Managing Partner of Exequatur, Construction Contracts Management.
FIDIC accredited adjudicator and trainer;
Member of BACEA Control Board, a member of EFCA, Bulgarian Society of Construction Law Chair, European Society of Construction Law Council Member;
MSc Civil Engineering;
MSc. Construction Law & Dispute Resolution;
partner of engineering companies.
FIDIC accredited trainer;
Chair of FIDIC Contracts Committee;
MSc Civil Engineering;
Postgraduate in law;
registered dispute adjudicator in Hungary;
leading partner of the consulting agency.
Taner Dedezade Member, The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) Corporate Panel Member Dispute Board Federation (DBF) Member, King’s College Construction Law Association (KCCLA) Member, Arbitration Club, King’s College Branch Member, Technology and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR) Member, International Bar Association (IBA) Member, Society of Construction Law (SCL) Member, Adjudication Society (AS) Member, Young LCIA International Arbitration Group (LCIA) Member, Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TBCCI) Member, Turkish British Legal Society (TBLS) Currently in Ukraine we already have about 20 professionals who have received certificates for the four major modules that are directly related to FIDIC contracts. Our experience in training consulting engineers as key personnel of engineering companies shows that effective perception of FIDIC training modules is provided by: involvement in the education of representatives from various units of engineering activities in construction; generalization and rethinking of the information received; and the most important - comprehensive study of the core modules in one course, sticking to a logical sequence of instruction: starting from Module 0 (Client/Consultant Model Services Agreement on the basis of "White Book"), through the practical aspects of using the FIDIC forms, claims and dispute resolution (Modules 1 and 2), – to project management and contract administration (Module 4). Unfortunately, Ukraine has no practice of wide application of FIDIC forms. This is especially noticeable in comparison with other post-socialist countries. Therefore, I believe that our experience and suggestions will facilitate the implementation process of such contracts that will be an indicator of maturity and civility of domestic companies, their integration in the international business environment. Training on Module 1 has been recently held in Kiev by the FIDIC certified trainer for the first time. However, it did not observe the aforementioned principles, which once again proves the necessity of acquiring experience in the tendering process and during the project implementation. Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild (ICEG) is an independent professional association, whose goal is to harmonize the existing model of the market of engineering and consulting services in Ukraine in accordance with recognized international standards. ICEG is a FIDIC affiliate member since 2015. Via ICEG, Ukraine has become the first EFCA representative among the post-Soviet countries. International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) - was founded in Belgium in 1913 to regulate the relationship between participants to international investment and construction processes through the development and publication of standard forms of contracts. As of today FIDIC is the largest international organization in the field of construction consulting. European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations (EFCA) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization founded in 1992, that is the sole European federation representing the engineering, consulting and related services industry, which employs more than one million staff, the majority of whom are highly skilled in a breadth of disciplines. EFCA is a FIDIC representative in Europe and joins together 29 professional FIDIC National Associations from the European Union countries. More information about the FIDIC contracts application can be found on the websites of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers at: http://fidic.org/bookshop and Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild at: http://iceg.com.ua/index.php.