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What is the NEC

You are here: NEC : About NEC
NEC is a family of contracts that facilitates the implementation of sound project management principles and practices as well as defining legal relationships.

It is suitable for procuring a diverse range of works, services and supply, spanning major framework projects through to minor works and purchasing of supplies and goods. The implementation of NEC3 contracts has resulted in major benefits for projects both nationally and internationally in terms of time, cost savings and improved quality.

Click here to see our list of industry endorsements 

NEC in Industry
How have NEC3 contracts been used and applied in industry?
Take a look at the below interviews to find out, featuring:
Neil Bradley, International Criminal Court (ICC)
Matthew Lugg, Highways Maintenance Efficiency Partnership (HMEP)
Rudi Klein, President of the NEC Users' Group 
John Bowen, BIFM 
 Neil Bradley
Matthew Lugg
 Rudi Klein
 John Bowen

The NEC structure
The below represents how the NEC3 suite of contracts can cover the life-span of a project from initial concept and design through to build and post-build management.

Welcome to a better way of procurement
NEC3 is a suite of documents which are fundamentally different in approach to many other procurement contracts on the market. Where traditional forms of contract can promote an adversarial relationship between contractor and client, the NEC promotes a partnering, collaborative approach which has a consistent record of delivering projects on time and on budget at its core.

For first-time users and those adopting NEC3, we have an innovative range of support products including training courses and a dedicated Users' Group designed to ensure that adoption, implementation and administration of NEC is easier and most cost effective than ever before. Check the links on our 
home page for our full range of support services and products.

NEC has been designed using the following three key characteristics:

It stimulates good management of the relationship between the two parties to the contract and, hence, of the work included in the contract.
It can be used in a wide variety of commercial situations, for a wide variety of types of work and in any location.
It is a clear and simple document- using language and a structure which are straightforward and easily understood.

Each contract comes supported by associated guidance notes and flow charts detailing exactly what procedures should be followed and by whom throughout the lifecycle of the project.

The NEC story
Originally launched in 1993, and then known as the 'New Engineering Contract', the NEC was praised for its collaborative and integrated working approach to procurement. The original box set of 10 documents was strongly recommended by Sir Michael Latham in Constructing the Team as the best example of a modern contract that embraced partnering.

The second edition of the box set was launched in 1995, adding in several new documents to the family including a professional services and adjudicator's contract. This led to 10 years of extensive and successful usage with significant feedback from the industry on the contract in practice, This feedback was integrated into the development process and culminated in the launch of NEC3 in 2005.

NEC3 contained many improvements and a number of new documents, including term service & framework contracts. The Term Service Short Contract followed in 2008, and in 2010 we added the NEC3 Supply Contract and the Supply Short Contract. NEC3 comes with a full endorsement from the Construction Clients' Board of the UK Cabinet Office, this recommends NEC3 for use on all public sector construction projects.

More on the NEC Story 
Take a look at an interview between NEC consultant Robert Gerrard and NEC creator Martin Barnes, discussing the inspiration behind the NEC and how it differs from other contract forms.

The Construction Clients' Board
The Construction Clients' Board (formerly Public Sector Construction Clients' Forum) recommends that public sector organisations use the NEC3 contracts when procuring construction. Standardising use of this comprehensive suite of contracts should help to deliver efficiencies across the public sector and promote behaviours in line with the principles of Achieving Excellence in Construction.

In addition to this endorsement, NEC is recommended by the South African Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) for use in that country. NEC3 was praised in the recent UK Parliamentary 'Construction Matters' report, which calls for transparent and non-adversarial forms of contract to support integrated supply chains. The report states that NEC3 is 'setting the benchmark' in this area.

Facilities Management Board Support for NEC3
The Facilities Management Board of the Cabinet Office UK recognises that the NEC Term Service Contracts Supports good practice in FM procurement in the public sector.

British Institute of Facilities Management 

The South African Construction Industry Development Board
Recommends NEC3 for use in South Africa.

The International Organisation for Standardisation
Recommends NEC3 for fair and transparent procurement of works, services & supply.

A UK Parliamentary Construction Matters Report
States that the NEC3 is setting the benchmark in transparent and non-adversarial forms of contract for integrated supply chains

The Association for Project Management

A global contract

NEC is intended for global application and is being adopted for many multi-disciplinary projects by clients in nearly 20 countries. Where there are local laws in force which affect the usage of NEC3, we produce guidance and/or additional clauses which can be downloaded free from our website.

We are pleased to support our users with 3 regional Users' Groups in the UK, Asia-Pacific and Australasian regions.

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