RIBA Plan Of Work


The RIBA Plan Of Work sets out the key stages of work for every project from inception through to completion. The practice uses this guide which sets out the various work stages summarized below and focuses on sustainable outcomes from the offset of the project. For more information, see full RIBA Plan Of Work.

  • 0 - Strategic Definition
  • 1 - Preparation & Brief
  • 2 - Concept Design
  • 3 - Spacial Coordination
  • 4 - Technical Design
  • 4.1 - Tendering
  • 5 - Manufacturing & Construction
  • 6 - Handover
  • 7 - Use
RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 0 - Strategic Definition

Stage 0 - Strategic Definition

At the initial consultation meeting we would discuss your project aspirations, budget and time scale and explain the services we can provide together with any other third party consultant input which may be required. Following this we would prepare a fee proposal which if acceptable would form the basis of our appointment.



On larger projects:


During this first stage, the client’s business case, strategic brief and other core project requirements are identified. Initial considerations are made for assembling the project team. The Project Programme is established after a review of the site. The consultants, in collaboration with the client, can properly define the scope for a project and the Preparation and Briefing process can then begin.

RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 1 - Preparation & Brief

Stage 1 - Preparation & Brief

A measured survey will be undertaken and other investigations made to enable preperation of plans, sections and elevations of the existing buildings / site. A feasibility study can be carried out at this stage if required and we can assist in preparing an outline budget plan for the project.



On larger projects:


In order to maximise the productivity of Stage 2 Concept Design, several parallel and significant activities need to be carried out throughout Stage 1. This includes the development of the initial Project Brief and any related feasibility studies. The Project Team is assembled, and each party’s roles are defined. When preparing the initial Project Brief, it is necessary to consider the desired project outcomes (potentially derived following feedback from earlier and similar projects), the project’s budget, and the site itself (by undertaking site appraisals and collating site information). A project risk assessment is required at this stage, and the procurement strategy and Project Programme should be developed.

RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 2 - Concept Design

Stage 2 - Concept Design

Conceptual design proposals are prepared based on the requirements of the project brief. During this process we produce 3D illustrations and outline costs for the concept proposals can be obtained from our third party cost consultant. The prefered design solution is agreed and signed off by the client at the end of this stage.



On larger projects:


In order to maximise the productivity of Stage 2 Concept Design, several parallel and significant activities need to be carried out throughout Stage 1. This includes the development of the initial Project Brief and any related feasibility studies. The Project Team is assembled, and each party’s roles are defined. When preparing the initial Project Brief, it is necessary to consider the desired project outcomes (potentially derived following feedback from earlier and similar projects), the project’s budget, and the site itself (by undertaking site appraisals and collating site information). A project risk assessment is required at this stage, and the procurement strategy and Project Programme should be developed.

RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 3 - Spacial Coordination

Stage 3 - Spacial Coordination

The prefered concept design is refined and worked up along with other supporting information to form the documents to be submitted to the planning authority. Other third-party input / consents or appraisals may also be required at this stage.



On larger projects:


Concept Design is further developed, and the design work of the core designers is progressed. By the end of Stage 3, the architectural, building services and structural engineering designs will all have been developed and will have been checked by the lead designer. The cost information is to be aligned to the project budget.

RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 4 - Technical Design

Stage 4 - Technical Design

A detailed specification of works will be agreed and construction information prepared. A building regulations submission will be made at this stage. Input from other third-party consultants will be co-ordinated to enable the contractors to price up the technical design information when the documents are issued for tender.



On larger projects:


The lead designer co-ordinates the preparation of the technical design, as this may involve design by specialist subcontractors as well as the client’s core design team. By the end of this stage the architectural, structural and mechanical services design and specifications should describe all main components of the building and how they fit together, and any performance specified work should be defined.

RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 4.1 - Tendering

Stage 4.1 - Tendering

The various options for tendering your project will be discussed at an early stage as depending on how the project is procured tendering may occur between stage 2 and stage 4.


We can assist in compiling a list of suitable contractors to undertake your project and are able, if required to recommend competent contractors we have worked with previously within our supply chain.

RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 5 - Manufacturing & Construction

Stage 5 - Manufacturing & Construction

We advise on the most appropriate form of building contract for your project and prepare the contract dopcuments.


If required we can provide contract administration services during the construction stage. This invlovles regular site visits and record keeping to ensure the works are progressing in accordance with the drawings and specifications. We can also liase with building control to obtain sign off of the works.



On larger projects:


During this stage, the building is constructed on site in accordance with the Construction Programme. This includes the erection of components that have been fabricated off site. The procurement strategy will have set out the designer’s duties to respond to design queries from site generated in relation to the design.

RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 6 - Handover

Stage 6 - Handover

We carry out site visits to record any defects arising after practical completion and notify the contractor. Once the contractor has rectified all defects we will issue an architect certificate for the payment of retentions. When the contractor has fulfilled his obligations at the end of this stage we will issue the final account and a final certificate for the works.



On larger projects:


The project team will facilitate the successful handover of the building in line with the Project Programme and conclude all aspects of the building contract. Other services may be required at this point which will be dictated by the project specific schedules of services. This should be aligned with the procumbent and handover strategies.

RIBA Plan Of Work Stage 7 - Use

Stage 7 - Use

This new stage of the RIBA Plan of Work acknowledges the potential benefits of harnessing the project design information to assist with the successful use and operation of the building. Should any additional services be required after the completion of the project we can provide on an as required basis.