Best Practices – Standard Form Agreements – The World’s Equivalent to the AIA

In a previous article I shared links for a number of organizations within the United States (US) that publish their own brand of standard form agreements.

Standard forms are not unique or exclusive to the US.  In fact there are a number of organizations around the world that also offer standard construction forms.

Our discussion about standard forms would not be complete without acknowledging some of the global organizations that also publish standard forms.

Today, I have compiled a list of the organizations from around that world that publish standard forms for their respective countries.

Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) (Canada)

Our neighbors to the north have their own set of contract documents.  The Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) is a national joint committee, formed in 1974, which includes representation from across the Canadian construction industry.  All CCDC Documents are endorsed by; Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC); Canadian Construction Association (CCA) ; Construction Specifications Canada (CSC); and Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (Architecture Canada).

I have used these forms a few times and can say they generally follow the business terms of AIA contracts.  Of course given that these agreements are created by a joint committee, business terms tend to be nuanced and in my opinion are not terribly favorable for an Owner.

Of course Canada Law prevails in CCDC which is why they are a good starting point for projects in Canada.  You are still free to use AIA contracts in Canada, however, you will need a Lawyer to carefully review and modify the language to suit Canadian Law.

In 2015 Roy Nieuwenberg (a lawyer in Vancouver B.C. Canada) published a white paper for where he compared AIA Documents to CCDC Contracts.  You can take a look at his legal review here.

CCDC Documents can only be purchased from authorized document outlets. Document Outlets are available here.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) (United Kingdom)

In the United Kingdom, the Royal  Institute of British Architects (RIBA) publishes a series of “Forms of Appointment”.

Just like the AIA, RIBA publishes a series of forms meant for engaging an Architect to perform professional services.  One big difference here is that AIA contracts include contracts for construction, but RIBA does not.

RIBA does a great job of defining the services of the Architect.  Their RIBA Plan of Work is a wonderful 7 phase guide outlining the stages of and Architect’s work.   Generally the services outlined in AIA contracts is the same as what RIBA has outlined in their forms, but I think RIBA does better job of outlining them.  RIBA’s one page outline of the plan of work is something I wish the AIA would emulate for themselves.

You can buy RIBA Forms of Appointment here.  For a limited time, they are releasing older versions of their forms at the same link, so I recommend you take a look.

The Joint Contract Tribunal (JCT) (United Kingdom)

If you need a construction contract in the United Kingdom, the organization to go to is the Joint Contract Tribunal (JCT).

Similar to the CCDC in Canada, the JCT is a committee made up of several professional organizations that have come together to develop standard forms of agreement for construction.

The JCT Committee is made of; British Property Federation, Build UK Group Limited, Contractors Legal Grp Limited, Local Government Association, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and the Scottish Building Contract Committee Limited.

The JCT has been in existence since 1931.

You can buy contracts from the JCT here.

International Federation of Consulting Engineers (Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils (FIDIC)) (Global)

The FIDIC is an international organization made up of 104 member countries.  The FIDIC was founded in 1913 by delegates from Belgium, France, and Switzerland.

Today the FIDIC is a source for international standard form of agreements which are recognized globally.

Their contract suites include a series called;

  1. Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction: The Red Book (1987),
  2. Conditions of Contract for Electrical and Mechanical Works including Erection on Site: The Yellow Book (1987), and
  3. Conditions of Contract for Design-Build and Turnkey: The Orange Book (1995).

A new suite of contracts was added in 1999 to address certain unique circumstances that were not included in the original suites.

You can use the FIDIC guide for deciding which contract to use at the link here.


Standard form agreements are a great way to contract for construction.  As always before you sign any agreement, be sure to solicit legal advice from a construction lawyer in the country where your project is located.

What about you?  Which standard form agreements have you used?  Does your country have their own standard form agreements?  Tell me your stories.

Thanks for reading.  If you enjoyed this content, please feel free to browse my previous articles and please like, share, comment, and subscribe.  This helps promote my content and is greatly appreciated.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Jesse Ellis says:

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