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consultancy fee structure
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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with you Smile!

Best wishes,
NS
abhio wrote:
Dear Sangeeta Madam,

We need a "Like" button as in Facebook for posts like yours. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear Er Girish,

I appreciate your comments, especially those pertaining to Peer review and proof checking.

Best wishes,
NS
girishtwadhwa wrote:
Hi I am entering into this discussion for the first time.
my opinion on structural engineering faternity and attitude of clients and builders to structural engineering is as under ( I am replying wrt quote from Arun and replies from Sangeeta and others)
FEES :
1. Structural engineers are not respected by clients in our country. This I am comparing with Doctors, Architects, Govt officers and fashion designers.
2. Even in poor countries like Yemen, Structural engineers are valued.
3. Gujrat disaster was man-made and not nature. Eq of far more power have struct chile, newzealand and many  more countries.
4. Developers and structural engrs escaped after eq because of our lax attitude to respect for law. Money buys everything
5. My opinion is today also many buildings in Gujarat including ahmedabad are being desinged sub-standard to resist eq.  There will be repeat of manmade disaster should eq strike again. Maybe Maitrey Talati will be in better posn to comment.
6. When I am driving by in Navi Mumbai a basic look tells me the engineering happening there in zone IV location.
6. Fees for structural engrs today in Mumbai ranges for few Rs. per sft for a strugling engr to many times more for established engrs. Only few structural engrs in Mumbai can command premium.
7. Once you cross mumbai toll, rates drop to atleast half what you get in Mumbai.
8. even if str engr is lucky to get Rs. 10/- per sft on Built up area, it is hardly any percentage of Rs. 15000/- per sft of sale price onn BUA in cornermost corner of Mumbai. The total amount spent on getting approvals (liasoning and otherwise) is probably 20-30 times more than the amount charged by all consultants (arch, str engre, plumbing and fire fighting, supervision) put together for a residential bldg project.
9. I do try to explain to general public (like my clients etc) abt role of structural engrs in society and their importance. Most of the people in India are unfortunately born Civil Engineers and Structural engineers.
PEER REVIEW AND PROOF CHECKING
1. Our country, seems to be made of hypocrites and of people unable to make judicious independent, just decisions. The judgement of Juvenile board a few hours back is a classic case.
2. Proof checking means, one structural engr gets licence to pull down the other structural engr just like a story where the Indian was exporting crabs in open basket. On being asked why he was not covering the basket, he replied : they are indian crabs. the moment one goes up, the other pulls him down.
3. When the proof checker is checking designs and dwgs, the comments will be so innocous and un necessary. For eg - provide all calculations like moment and shear from first principles, write again and again all clauses on sheet, spel(?)ing mistakes etc. The proof checking is not for all these things, but for checking safety and whether all loads have been taken etc.  This they do only to prove their existence to client. The client being not aware, will only see red marks on sheet and assume that the principal engr is dumb..
4. However many a times, I do have faced a proper proof checker, wherein we have combined to give a very good product to the client
5. Peer review : peer review also means providing inputs to principal engr on difficult structures. So peer review is not necessarily cost saving, but very important part in difficult structures.

Path forward :
1. Currently Structural Engineers have to register at multiple locations separtely to operate like Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, All Muncipal Corporations around Mumbai, Pune etc etc. How much we can run around !
2. As Engineers have put forth in this forum, the time has come to separately register Structural engineers from across the country. Probably IE can organise a Practicing Engineer certificate after due training etc (In Mumbai we need to work atleast for 3 years under Registered Structural Engineer. The certificate can be valid to work all over India. Gradation and classification can be provided.
3. We have to get together and pressurise law makers for a common law like Parliament act for Architects

rgds
Girish Wadhwa

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:13 am    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear All,

I have been reading thru' all the mails on this subject
and I am pained to see remarks of Mr. Kashikar et al.

All of them are honourable Engineers in responsible positions, but they
forget one simple thing that people will never negotiate with a Doctor.
You do not tell a heart surgeon to cut his fee by half since he will
retort " Do you want me to just open the heart, change the valve and
quit ?
We experienced structural engineers are also like orthopaedic surgeons
who fix the bones in a building and deserve similar treatment like a
doctor.
Yes you will find engineers who have turned into businessmen, they would
do the work for a song just to keep their losses down when there is no
work!! Quality will, in most such cases, always be suspect. Let the
builders open their eyes to the ground realities of the salary
structures of experienced engineers and after all consultancy is
manpower cost predominantly.
This is so because there is no professionalism and there is lack of
accountability.

Ms Sangeeta is very correct in all her statements and I endorse her
views 100%.

Regrads,

V.P. Agarwal
ISHA CONSULTANTS (P) LTD
NEW DELHI

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Anil Joseph
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:32 am    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear All
It is nice to see such a wide interest in improving the professional fee system of
structural engineeing faternity. According to
my view point there are few basic problems which need to be addressed
(1) Who is a Structural Engineer?
(2) Is there any license specifically require to practice as a Structural Engineer?
(3) Do the structural Engineer has got any authority to stop the work, if he finds that the work is not executed as per his drawing?
(4) Do the local authority insist for verifying structural design & calculation, to ensure the safety of the structure?
(5) Is not the safety of the structure, more important to the society than the asthetic prespective & set back criteria?
(6) What is the minimum prequalification require to design a particular type & size of structure?
More than improving the fee structure the Structural Engineer should insist for the Power & Control in the quality and safety aspects. Once the consultant realise the responsibility on his shoulder then automatically the rates will go up.
A broker who just shows the land to the buyer insist on 3% commission. In 1995 when we  formed association of structural & geotechnical consultants in Kerala, In line with professional Insurance for Doctors we approached the insurance agencies for coverage on our professional practice. When they work out the premium considering the values of project we undertake, we realised that the structural engineers fee structure is not sufficient to pay the premium. The sad part is that the rates have not gone up much where as the value of the projects has multiplied tremendously.
First & foremost in the fee system let us change from square feet basis to percentage basis.
Let us insist on having registration for practice based on the experience & exposure and not allow every Tom, Dick & Harry competing for the job.
With Regards
Dr Anil Joseph
Managing Director
GeoStructurals (P) Ltd
Cochin
On Jan 28, 2013 12:36 PM, "arunkashikar" <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
Quote:
           It is good to see so much discussion on my mail related to developers view on structural consultants fees. Since it appears there are lot of miss-interpretations of what I have written, I would like to clarify some of the presumptions for clarity and for healthy discussion, which can benefit all.

1) I never said in my mail that peer review is done to reduce the cost of structure. I , and most of the developers know the difference between peer review and value engineering. Off course objective of peer review is second check regarding safety, serviceability and constructability of structure. But, while doing a peer review, if peer review consultant come across additional margin or even more reinforcement than required provided by error ( we can’t say this cannot happen, as no peer review is required if all consultants are sure of error free design always!) is it not the responsibility of main consultant to revise his drawings. Unfortunately, in most of the peer review we get done, we have experience consultants are over conservative is their design are no peer reviewed.
2) No change in framing plans or structural system is which required re-analysis and redesign is expected in peer review, this is expected in value engineering, where we link the fees to saving achieved by value engineering. There is fixed fee in caser of peer review, which is paid irrespective of saving done or not, though most of the peer review result is saving by removing over conservatism in the design.
3) We, at Tata housing do not select consultant by lowest per sqft fee, we have a consultant prequalification process, which is very detailed and proven process. My point was, among the prequalified consultants, if all consultants stick to their professional integrity ( no compromise on safety, serviceability and constructability of structures) if we select the one with lowest fee, how it is wrong?
4) I completely agree that in general current fees of structural consultants are too low, but who is to be blamed for it? In my opinion, root cause of the issue is, for getting the job, consultants compromise on the effort required by them to design the structure economically in addition to meeting safety, serviceability and constructability of structures. ( I never said these can be compromised , and this is the reason we appoint peer review consultants for each of our project)
5) I again emphasize here that consultants need to become sensitive toward economy of structures while maintaining their professional integrity while demanding the fare fee.

Regards.


Arun Kashikar
Head - R&D

Tata Housing Development Company Ltd.,
Tel.: (D): +91 22 - 66614988 | Mobile: +91 9819055576

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From: swamikrishnan [mailto:forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)]
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:16 AM
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org)
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



It is surprising to me that PEER REVIEW is being used by developers for the purpose of cutting project costs. PEER REVIEW, by definition, is a process of "self-regulation by a profession" or a process of evaluation by peers (competent individuals in the same field) for the purpose of "improving quality, upholding standards, identifying vulnerabilities and eliminating them". Structural engineers should not allow this important means of "oversight" to be used by developers for purposes that the process was never intended to be applied for. The use of a structural engineer for the purpose of cutting costs on a project is perfectly legal. However, it is termed "Value Engineering" and NOT "Peer Review". It is our responsibility as structural engineers to ensure that the term "Peer Review" is not misused in this fashion.

Regards,

Swaminathan Krishnan
California Institute of Technology
http://krishnan.caltech.edu

On 01/25/2013 01:02 AM, arunkashikar wrote:
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:36 am    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear Sangeeta,

Thanks for the reply. I am not surprised to see strong opinions on my mail. I am sure you know that I have spent major part of my career working in Tata consulting engineers – a leading consulting organization - and therefore claim to understand both sides of the coin.  

I would like to conclude my thoughts on the issue as under:

1) I have always agreed that fees of structural engineers are very low and mostly non-workable. In none of my posing earlier or even during discussion with you previously I have claimed fees are high. My only point was and still is that consultants are mainly responsible for this condition. I am sure you understand that in ‘corporates’ like ours decisions are not taken by one person and therefore convincing anyone based on personal view is very difficult. If you go by process, prequalification is only answer form our side, result of which you know..
2) The only solution in my opinion is the one suggested by Mr. Swaminathan, which is some sort of consultants association which can regulate both fees and guarantee good quality of service for the client. Only blaming builders and developers for lower fees will definitely not change the situations, as what they have to do is not in our hands. Believe me, I am not happy with the current situation and I know we are not getting good service form structural designer most of the times because of lower fees. I will be very happy if this is changed, but I don’t see it changing from developers side, Believe me I am trying to change it in our organization, but not finding it easy. Choice is yours, just blame others and wait for the situation to change or change it yourself….
3) I have also known so called reputed consultants who claim and get very high fees compared to the mass and give very bad service. The associattion also need to control these elements. These may be excpetions, but unfortunately I have come across such consultants who were given work because of their so called reputation. How can I convince my organisation then that an higher fee will gaurantee better job ?
4) Views about peer review and proof checking like “one structural engr gets licence to pull down the other structural engr” expressed by some of your peers need to change and consultants have to be open to accept and respect other structural consultants view with open mind. This dis-respect for peers is main hurdle in uniting, I believe.

Hope all this discussion will lead to something benefitial both the developer and consulting comminity.

Regards,
Arun Kashikar


From: SANGEETA WIJ [mailto:forum@sefindia.org]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2013 7:04 PM
To: general@sefindia.org
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



My dear Mr Kashikar

I am responding to your and Mr Maitrey’s email collectively, wherein you have clearly washed off your hands by saying who are we if the structural consultants quote so low?(it is as if someone is driven to jump in a well, and you are closing your eyes to the problem?). Are you not aware that one of your Prequalified Consultants had quoted, for Proof Checking a fees of Rs0.50 per sq feet, and later reduced it to half during negotiations? What kind of services do you expect to get if the fee is such a pittance? Surely as experienced Structural Designers, you at Tata Housing do understand the concept of a minimum workable fees? Or is it so difficult to understand? How else does a Structural Consultant hire the best brains, buy the best(reasonably) hardware and ETABS(original) and pay for AMC and overheads if he’s not getting paid enough to cover his expenditure on your Project? Why is it too much to ask at least the educated and experienced SE Professionals as Clients to understand and appreciate that there is a basic minimum price of doing a good job and to put it bluntly, at the price of a donkey you cannot expect to buy a quality stallion? What Value engineering are you expecting if the poor SE cannot afford to make both ends meet and therefore carries your Project with him into a big mess!
I hope this shows that the ongoing discussions are leading to nothing useful as everyone of us here understands what a good structural designer ought to do, but the Clients conveniently close their eyes to what a good Client ought to pay, for a good job! To quote my friends in Germany, they charge a flat 10% for a structural design and PMC job and no one even dares to argue, bargain or talk about free market forces! You cannot expect to get Gucchi or Prada if you shop at footpath stalls!
I hope I have made my point without hurting any sentiments.
Regards
Sangeeta Wij

From: arunkashikar [mailto:forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)]
Sent: 28 January 2013 12:15
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org)
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



It is good to see so much discussion on my mail related to developers view on structural consultants fees. Since it appears there are lot of miss-interpretations of what I have written, I would like to clarify some of the presumptions for clarity and for healthy discussion, which can benefit all.

1) I never said in my mail that peer review is done to reduce the cost of structure. I , and most of the developers know the difference between peer review and value engineering. Off course objective of peer review is second check regarding safety, serviceability and constructability of structure. But, while doing a peer review, if peer review consultant come across additional margin or even more reinforcement than required provided by error ( we can’t say this cannot happen, as no peer review is required if all consultants are sure of error free design always!) is it not the responsibility of main consultant to revise his drawings. Unfortunately, in most of the peer review we get done, we have experience consultants are over conservative is their design are no peer reviewed.
2) No change in framing plans or structural system is which required re-analysis and redesign is expected in peer review, this is expected in value engineering, where we link the fees to saving achieved by value engineering. There is fixed fee in caser of peer review, which is paid irrespective of saving done or not, though most of the peer review result is saving by removing over conservatism in the design.
3) We, at Tata housing do not select consultant by lowest per sqft fee, we have a consultant prequalification process, which is very detailed and proven process. My point was, among the prequalified consultants, if all consultants stick to their professional integrity ( no compromise on safety, serviceability and constructability of structures) if we select the one with lowest fee, how it is wrong?
4) I completely agree that in general current fees of structural consultants are too low, but who is to be blamed for it? In my opinion, root cause of the issue is, for getting the job, consultants compromise on the effort required by them to design the structure economically in addition to meeting safety, serviceability and constructability of structures. ( I never said these can be compromised , and this is the reason we appoint peer review consultants for each of our project)
5) I again emphasize here that consultants need to become sensitive toward economy of structures while maintaining their professional integrity while demanding the fare fee.

Regards.


Arun Kashikar
Head - R&D

Tata Housing Development Company Ltd.,
Tel.: (D): +91 22 - 66614988 | Mobile: +91 9819055576

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7 Switch off as you go | qAlways recycle | P Save a tree... think before print.... Go green


From: swamikrishnan [mailto:forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)]
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:16 AM
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org) (general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org))
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



It is surprising to me that PEER REVIEW is being used by developers for the purpose of cutting project costs. PEER REVIEW, by definition, is a process of "self-regulation by a profession" or a process of evaluation by peers (competent individuals in the same field) for the purpose of "improving quality, upholding standards, identifying vulnerabilities and eliminating them". Structural engineers should not allow this important means of "oversight" to be used by developers for purposes that the process was never intended to be applied for. The use of a structural engineer for the purpose of cutting costs on a project is perfectly legal. However, it is termed "Value Engineering" and NOT "Peer Review". It is our responsibility as structural engineers to ensure that the term "Peer Review" is not misused in this fashion.

Regards,

Swaminathan Krishnan
California Institute of Technology
http://krishnan.caltech.edu

On 01/25/2013 01:02 AM, arunkashikar wrote:
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:12 am    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear Maitrey,

I have been reading this debate with some amount of amusement where people have tried to pin the blame for low fee on builders, architects or fellow professionals.

I fully agree with your view that in a free market economy, your charges have to be decided by you depending upon your demand. There is no compulsion on anyone. There is no way that guidelines can be issued or a law passed specifying the charges for consultancy. It is for the professional to say no to fee levels if they are not viable.  

It is true for all professions. Doctors charge range from Rs 300 to Rs 3000 per visit. Lawyers have a big range of fee. There was a time some decades back when Architects used to be paid ( Mostly by Government agencies) as per Architect association guidelines. Not anymore. Even government jobs are on tender and for private projects architects have to compete on price.

Hence it is for individual company or organization to decide the level of services they wish to provide and make their fee structure accordingly. Anyway per sqft or similar systems are valid for run of mill projects like multi story housings or buildings which have standard features. For any project non standard , clients do go by the previous record of the professional and the trust they can have on that individual or organization and the charges are for the expertise that the organization possesses.

Hence I suggest that our discussion should be focused more on how to improve the quality of our services rather than make some guidelines / regulations for minimum fee to be charged. There are all kinds of customers in market. It is not only that they choose us. We also can be selective.  

Hem Kant Joshi
Pioneer Consulting Engineers(P) Limited
132, Mithila Apartments
76, I.P.Extension
Delhi-110092
Tel:91-11-42175832


From: maitrey [mailto:forum@sefindia.org]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2013 7:30 PM
To: general@sefindia.org
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



Dear Sangeeta Madam

Please remember I am a structural consultant like you are however I am just trying to emphasize that changes have to be on both sides and any change if you wish to implement needs a clear policy which I call as regulatory framework.

We as consultants always have an option of saying no to a job if we feel that fees are too less. We have done this consistently and are still doing it. According to me if a client has gone to a consultant who has quoted lower fees it is their risk and their mess. In the current framework in our country this is going to happen and arguing about it or criticizing it is not the solution.

If you have a suggestion to improve which I feel I had made please feel free to share your thoughts.

Regards
Maitrey Talati

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear All

Mr Bhowmick  has  rightly stressed upon the need to bring all structural engineers to a agreement to quoate a minimum fee. 


Thanks & Regards

Dipti Ranjan Biswal
 



On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 8:11 AM, bsec <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
[quote]            Dear All,

I can not agree with Sangeeta more. She has hit the bull's eye (Diagnosed the problem correctly).


But what is the solution ? What is the lesson learnt ?


DO NOT EXPECT CLIENT'S (BUILDERS, OWNERS) TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS. WE HAVE TO SOLVE IT OURSELVES. SOLUTION LIES IN BRINGING ALL STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS UNDER ONE ROOF AND MAKING SURE THAT NO ONE QUOTES LESS THAN THE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED BY THE GROUP.


I AM OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN IN NEAR FUTURE.


Best Wishes


Alok Bhowmick 

On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM, SANGEETA WIJ forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org))> wrote:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

I wish to share a story from fictitious puranas)Mother earth was agonized by ever growing population and approached lord for a way out to reduce burden.
God has given her the choice  of professionals to choose for the accomplishment of the task. And Mother earth selected Structural engineers. 
I donot mean to hurt anyone but to create a jovial moment by sharing the "Anti Anectode."
Let us discuss how to strengthen organisation.


On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 9:41 PM, bsec <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
[quote]            Dear All,

I can not agree with Sangeeta more. She has hit the bull's eye (Diagnosed the problem correctly).


But what is the solution ? What is the lesson learnt ?


DO NOT EXPECT CLIENT'S (BUILDERS, OWNERS) TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS. WE HAVE TO SOLVE IT OURSELVES. SOLUTION LIES IN BRINGING ALL STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS UNDER ONE ROOF AND MAKING SURE THAT NO ONE QUOTES LESS THAN THE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED BY THE GROUP.


I AM OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN IN NEAR FUTURE.


Best Wishes


Alok Bhowmick 

On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM, SANGEETA WIJ forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org))> wrote:
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: consultancy fees structure reg Reply with quote

This is further PMC cosultants posted at sites for the drawings review /execution checks at site being claimed ₹50,000 a month to ₹ 5,00,000 a month from Clients by various PMCs.

This is not only the qualification background of the engineer but also his experience and the way he resolves the issues on time makes him payable.
During various bids I have seen some PMCs win the Manmonth job with lower value with PM's quote ₹ 50,000.

Really I do agree with the comments that the base line must be fixed for each tendered items including all consultancy fees also.
Best Regards & Thanks
Malay Mahakul
TATA Consulting Engineers Limited
09545451100



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:59 am    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear All,

Lot has been said on this topic over last 12 days, starting 18th January. It has taken 10 pages so far in SEFI posting. I take the opportunity to summarise my thoughts based on these debate :



1.     The professional practice & standards of structural engineering in the country needs improvement in general. There is a strong need for introspection within the structural engineering community to take measures to improve the standards of performance. In a fast changing society with accelerated rate of growth, the services offered must meet the highest standards of competence & ethical conduct.  
 
2.        For this to happen, in reality, the structural engineers must have a self regulatory body, which will strongly enforce certain minimum professional standards, provide technical guidelines and assist the structural engineers in maintaining these professional standards.  Structural Engineers must be a member of this Regulatory Body.  
 3.        The leading concerns of professional engineers (whether Consultant, Contractor, Builder, Owner) should be the safety, health and welfare of the public, and protection of the environment. All other requirements are sub-ordinate to these overriding tenets of the profession. While formulating any guidelines by any of the agencies involved in construction industry, these fundamental concerns should not be forgotten.
 4.        Professional Structural Engineers should only offer services and advice on, or undertake consultancy assignments in areas in which they are competent to practice by virtue of their training and experience. They should not hesitate to involve specialist inputs in areas where they are not comfortable.
 5.        Owner / Builders / Contractors should be made to understand that to get a quality work, there is a need to engage Consultants from a select list who are members of the Regulatory Body.
 6.        There is an urgent need to develop “Guidelines on the professional practice” by expert group, which should highlight the following :
 a)    Minimum Professional Standards and Code of Ethics expected to be followed by Structural Consultants
b)    Sample Terms of Reference for any Structural Engineering Work, highlighting the minimum requirement that must be covered in the contract agreement between Client and Consultants.
 c)    Professional liability of the Consultants
d)    Minimum Fee Structure for professional consultancy services, for Design Consultancy, Peer Review as well as Proof Checking Services.
e)    Model Design Certificate & Design Check Certificate of Compliance, which must be signed by the Consultant / Proof Consultant to assure the Owner that work has been done with due care and diligence.  



If I have missed any point, please feel free to add.


Best Wishes


Alok Bhowmick

On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 11:58 AM, arunkashikar <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
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