Backed by Professional Bodies across the industry, the Conflict Avoidance Pledge is driving behavioural changes in the land, property and construction sectors, by encouraging all organisations to evaluate their work procedures, and the way disputes are dealt with.
Doig+Smith signed up to this pledge at the end of November, with Director William Bowie taking the lead on implementing it across the organisation. He comments:
“We are delighted to promote the value of collaborative working and show our commitment to this by signing the Conflict Avoidance Pledge. Doig+Smith promotes an open and collaborative approach across all areas of our service delivery and in the drafting of construction contracts. We do this by implementing measures that allow early identification of issues and by pro-actively discussing these, ensure that they do not become disputes. Regular reviews and open lines of communication is key to ensuring that disputes do not arise and this is encouraged at every stage of project delivery. We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge with industry partners in order to promote and utilise conflict avoidance measures for the benefit of all.”
So why was the pledge created and what does it set out to achieve?
It’s hoped that the pledge will help to solve various issues in the industry. Year on year, financial disputes cost the construction sector billions of pounds, while conflict is often slow and tricky to resolve. When such issues arise, projects wind up being delivered over-budget and behind schedule. All these factors can be very damaging to business relationships and may negatively affect brand reputation.
According to the RICS website, when an organisation signs the Conflict Avoidance Pledge, they are committed to:
- working proactively to avoid conflict and facilitating early resolution of potential disputes
- developing their capability in the early identification of potential disputes and in the use of conflict avoidance measures.
- promoting the value of collaborative working to prevent issues developing into disputes.
- working with industry partners to identify, promote and utilise conflict avoidance mechanisms
Going forward, many contracting parties are focusing on collaborative working and the use of early intervention techniques to try and resolve differences of opinion before they escalate into full blown disputes.
Doig+Smith is proud to be one of the first construction consultancies in the UK to have signed the Conflict Avoidance Pledge and hopes that fellow contractors, consultants and clients will soon follow suit.
To find out more about this policy, visit: https://www.rics.org/uk/products/dispute-resolution-service/conflict-avoidance-pledge/