New contract template and training packages will up landscape standards

A model landscape contract for homeowners launched recently will raise standards in garden design and construction, according to co-author the Society of Garden Designers (SGD), which is to offer training to professionals.

Emphasis of the Consultancy Agreement and Landscape Contract for Homeowners is on clarity and transparency and in defining the roles of clients, designers and landscapers so customers know exactly what to expect.

SGD, which wrote the document with the Landscape Institute, said there were two parts: the Consultancy Agreement for the client and designer; and the Landscape Contract for the client and landscape contractor.

"The agreement covers the key stages in the design process including tendering and overseeing the implementation of the landscape contract," said the SGD. "It allows flexibility in the extent and content of the service to be provided.

"But it also includes standard clauses covering the obligations of the client and designer."
SGD chair Annabel Downs said: "We are constantly striving to raise standards in our profession and within the wider landscape industry."

Paul Cowell, BALI national chairman said: "This initiative will reassure all parties and remove potential for misinterpretation. Formal contracts protect against exploitation and prescribe a framework for resolving disputes promptly.

"It will be essential for designers and contractors to receive adequate training to ensure their clear understanding of both contract types and to enable them to field client questions."

The training for landscape contractors and designers will be led well-known landscape contracts expert Colin Moore and details will be released in 2012.

Download details from www.sgd.org.uk/JCLI_Garden_Construction_Contract_and_Consultancy_Agreement.aspx


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