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Guide tackles 'insensitive' consultants

ARROGANT ATTITUDES by consultants towards the needs of their clients should be reduced by a new guide to working practices launched this week.

The Association of Consulting Engineers' new Client Guide is intended to help consultants understand their smaller and one-off clients. Its publication is regarded as a timely contribution to the ongoing debate about quality and efficiency in the construction sector.

'The industry has changed and consultants have to be more sensitive,' said Construction Industry Council chief executive Graham Watts. 'It's a good initiative and the ACE has been ahead of the game,' he concluded.

The guide was commissioned in September, hard on the heels of Sir John Egan's Rethinking construction report. ACE plans to develop the guide each year and has some funding from the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions for the next two years.

Executive secretary of the Construction Clients Forum, Tony Pollington said the guide demonstrated 'commitment to recognising and meeting the client's requirements'.

He added: 'Professional advisers have committed themselves to the codes of practice being promoted in the Client Guide by being members of the ACE.'

However he warned: 'As the client and the consultant become more sophisticated the document will require updating. The guide can't purport to be exhaustive'.

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