Answering your frequently asked questions for the Engineers to the Contract Panel.

What is NZS 3910?

NZS 3910:2013 Conditions of contract for building and civil engineering construction is currently used as the foundation for the majority of New Zealand contracts in the building, engineering, construction and infrastructure industry sectors. It provides a standard form of general conditions of contract for incorporation into building and civil engineering construction contract documents, ensuring they're suited to New Zealand’s industry and legislative environment. It enables principals, EtCs, and contractors to quickly establish contractual arrangements that deliver a wide variety of building and civil engineering projects.

NZS 3910:2013 underwent a substantial revision during 2022 and 2023. Publication of NZS 9310:2023 is expected in December 2023. It is anticipated that some projects will continue to use 9310:2013 over the next few years, as the industry gradually moves to embracing 9310:2023.

In the latest revision, NZS 9310:2023, an EtC is referred to as an Independent Certifier (IC).

Find out more about the new contract.

What is involved with engaging an EtC?

An EtC – who must be an individual person - is employed by a principal to act as an independent certifier, moderating the interests of the contractor and the principal in building and construction contracts. They also adjudicate where necessary.  The engagement of a Panel member as an EtC is a private contractual matter between the principal and the EtC. This includes negotiating and deciding upon remuneration.

It is useful to begin discussions with an EtC as early in the contract works procurement process as feasible. This allows the EtC to be closely involved in developing contract documentation.

How do I find an EtC?

In 2022 Engineering New Zealand established a Panel of recognised EtCs who meet set criteria. Choosing an EtC from our Panel of recognised EtCs will help give you assurance they're professional and ethical in their work. These EtCs have been assessed by the Steering Group as having the professional skills, experience, and mana to be highly effective in the role.

All parties engaging in the Panel’s services, including Panel members, are expected to apply the Construction Sector Accord’s (CSA) Guiding Principles. Ideally, contracting parties engaging a Panel member’s services will have signed the CSA’s Contract Partnering Agreement (although this is not a pre-requisite).

Please consult our list of recognised EtCs to find someone whose experience best suits the scale and type of project you're undertaking.

Please let the EtC know that you found them through their membership of this Panel.

Can I trust the EtCs on your Panel have the right skills for the job?

The Panel provides an independent and public list of EtCs who were appointed through a cross-stakeholder evaluation process, which assessed them as having the professional skills, experience, and mana to be highly effective in the role. Appointment as a Panel member is a mark of the industry’s trust and confidence that these people can practice to a high standard. Panel members are role models and set a clear standard for the role that EtCs, principals and contractors can use to benchmark EtC services – including ideal skills, experience and behaviours needed to succeed in the role, good practice and accountability. All Panel members are expected to comply with a Code of Ethics.

Can you help me choose an EtC from your Panel?

Although the decision on who to engage is yours, we can assist in finding people to choose from. Email the Panel’s Executive Officer.

Do I have to use your Panel to find an EtC?

No. While appointment as a Panel member is a mark of the industry’s trust and confidence that these people can practice to a high standard, use of Panel members is not compulsory, nor is the Panel the only source of EtCs.

What do I do if I'm not satisfied with the services of the EtC?

There should be mechanisms for dispute resolution in the contract with your EtC about dispute resolution. This is a private matter between the parties.

However, Panel members are expected to be role models. The Steering Group has developed a Code of Ethics applying to the professional attitude and behaviours of a person who has been appointed to the Panel. This set of expectations applies to the Panel member’s performance of the role of EtC. Each Panel member has acknowledged and committed to complying with this Code of Ethics.

If you have any issues or concerns about a Panel member and their continued eligibility to be a recognised Panel member, email the Panel’s Executive Officer.

How do I become an EtC?

Start by reading this paper. One of the objectives of the Panel’s pilot phase was for members to share their knowledge and experience to help develop resources that can set a benchmark for EtC practice and consistency in services. These resources are designed to support prospective as well as practising EtCs. Find out more on the Resources page.

How do I apply to be part of the EtC Panel?

The pilot phase of the Panel identified the need for a larger and more varied cohort of members to satisfy industry needs for EtCs. It also identified the opportunity to create a wider group with members that include other construction contract practitioners, and those with an interest in contract administration. This two-tier organisation, the Society of Construction Contract Practitioners (SCCP), is in the process of being setup up as a technical group under the auspices of Engineering New Zealand.

The opening of membership applications for the Society of Construction Contract Practitioners will be advertised on this website and through other industry channels.

Any other questions?

Email the Panel’s Executive Officer.