NEC formation and administration of sub-contracts

The purpose of this standard is to provide learners with an opportunity to increase their understanding of forming and administering subcontracts under a NEC Engineering and Construction Contracts.


Minimum 1 day of 6 learning hours


The purpose of this standard is to provide learners with an opportunity to increase their understanding of forming and administering subcontracts under a NEC Engineering and Construction Contracts.

The scope of this standard covers:

  • forming the sub-contract
  • payment under the subcontract conditions
  • communications
  • other administration matters
  • main differences in the formation and administration of sub contracts between the different types and versions of NEC Engineering and Construction Contracts

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational group(s):

  • developers, contract administrators, sub-contractors
  • estimators, quantity surveyors, commercial managers, management and leadership

Candidate pre-requisites

There are no candidate pre-requisites as part of this standard. However an understanding of NEC Engineering and Construction Contract terminology and procedures would be beneficial and it is advised that the NEC contract introduction course is taken in advance.


As a minimum, course instructors must be able to demonstrate that, in relation to this standard, they have:

  • a train the trainer or instructional techniques course certificate
  • successfully completed training to this standard 
  • at least 2 years relevant industrial experience
  • a verifiable CV.


Delivery may be in an on or off the job environment.

All materials and equipment must be of a suitable quality and quantity for candidates to achieve learning outcomes, and must comply with relevant legislation.

The class size and candidate/instructor ratio must allow training to be delivered in a safe manner and enable candidates to achieve the learning outcomes.

The following delivery methods may be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • classroom
  • a blend of classroom and e-learning

This standard is considered to contain 51% or more theoretical learning.

This standard is considered to be set at an intermediate level.


For the successful completion of training, candidates must complete an end of course practical assessment or knowledge test that measures the learning outcomes and has a pass or fail criteria.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance against this standard will require initial approval of the training organisation and their content mapped to the standard. 

CITB will also conduct an approval intervention, either desk-based or centre visit, to ensure the training organisation can meet the requirements of the training standard. 

Approved training organisations (ATOs) will be required to present information on records of training and assessment upon request to CITB for desk-based analysis. They will also be visited annually by the CITB quality assurance team.


There are no mandatory renewal or recommended refreshment requirements for this standard.

Approval date

To be confirmed

Review cycle

Either on request or in 5 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The candidate will be able to: 
Additional guidance to support learning outcome
describe the considerations for selecting main option and secondary options and preparing elements of the subcontract data and subcontract works information when forming the subcontract
  • main and secondary options do not have to be the same and this is also the case between the primary and short contracts
explain relevance of assessment dates regarding payment under the subcontract conditions
  • administration work can be reduced if sub contract same as primary contract
describe the process of applications for payment
  • payment schedules are usually incorporated in ‘Z’ clauses
determine the price for work done to date
  • having primary contract and subcontract assessment dates the same can reduce administration work with  assessments
determine payment amounts due and explain process for payment and payless notices
determine due dates  and final dates for payment
  • for majority of sub-contracts as per payment schedule
  • where payment schedule not incorporated, clauses 50, 51, 52
explain the form of communications
  • in particular clause 13.7
describe notifications and acceptances
  • clause 13
describe the powers, duties and scope with regards to instructions
  • same applies in sub-contracts as in main contracts except the upstream party changes
explain how to administer changes to subcontract works information
  •  note – if main contractor programmes the sub-contract works then that programme is an item of sub-contract Works Information (‘Scope’ in NEC 4) and changes to it can become a compensation event
describe early warnings process
  • clause 61.3 of sub-contract, sub-contractors should be made aware
explain the requirements for a risk register/early warning register, risk reduction meetings and their administration
  • NEC3 and 4 terminology differ
  • either main or sub-contractor can call these meetings. Best practice is to hold them at regular intervals
describe the need for co-operation and trust
  • clause 10.1, though no sanction for non-compliance
administer design submissions and replies
  • where sub-contractor is responsible for design
  • where sub-contractor is a specialist, they have a responsibility to warn of design issues when carried out by the main contractor or third party
describe the criteria and certification process for completion  
explain subcontractors programmes and the submission and replies process
  • irrelevant if the programme is the main contractor’s programme, referred to in works information
explain the compensation events procedure including notifications, quotations and other timing and content communications
  • timings may differ to primary contract
describe the main differences in assessing, programming and defining cost of delay between the different types and versions of NEC Engineering and Construction Contracts
  • between primary and short contracts and between NEC versions (3 and 4)
  • terminology changes between NEC 3 and 4