Standard of care—consultant appointments
Standard of care—consultant appointments

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Standard of care—consultant appointments
  • Reasonable skill and care
  • The test for negligence
  • Refining the consultant's standard of care
  • Strict liability in a consultant's appointment
  • Consultants and fitness for purpose
  • Other relevant principles

Reasonable skill and care

Under its appointment, a consultant has a contractual duty of care and, alongside that, a duty of care in tort. The standard imposed on the consultant is the same in both cases: reasonable skill and care.

The consultant’s implied duty of care in contract arises from statute. As suppliers of a service (rather than suppliers of both goods and services), consultants fall under section 13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (SGSA 1982) (see also section 49 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015) in relation to contracts with consumers). This section implies into their contracts a term that the services will be performed with reasonable skill and care. To establish that a consultant has failed to exercise reasonable skill and care, it is not sufficient just to show that the consultant has failed to comply, to the letter, with its appointment ie it has not achieved perfection in performance of its duties—negligence on the part of the consultant must be demonstrated. See also Practice Notes: Reasonable skill and care in construction contracts and Claims against consultants on construction projects—Standard of care.

The test for negligence

The test for negligence is that a duty owed by the professional has been breached and that the breach has resulted in loss to the claiming party, meaning that the professional has failed

Popular documents