Getting expert help

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If you go along with the principles in this guide, you should gain a good understanding of good practice in path project management.  However, delivering small or large path projects does need skills, knowledge, and experience of designing, planning, and managing projects, as well as health and safety coordination and management.  Whether you need external help or not, will largely depend on the in-house capabilities available within your own organisation, as well as the size and complexity of a project.  The level of risk with the project will also have a bearing.

There are a small number of external consultants and contractors specialising in path project management, who have the skills, knowledge and experience of lowland path construction practices and health and safety.

There are also civil or structural engineering companies with engineers, who will have some experience of path construction projects.  These engineers will be able to design larger structures such as bridges or earthworks, and will have extensive knowledge and experience of construction design and management (CDM), and other health and safety regulations.

You could speak to other orgamisations who have used particular contractors or consultants in the past for delivering their path projects.  Word-of-mouth can prove invaluable.  Alternatively, check out the Contractors & Consultants List on Paths for All's website.

When looking to hire consultants to do design work produce a 'client brief' outlining what you want them to do.  You need to be confident that the consultant you appoint is suitably skilled, knowledgable, and experienced in path design work.  You can ask consultants bidding for the work to provide specific information about their health and safety training, design decision-making experience, and hazard elimination and review procedures.  You could also ask them to provide evidence of previously completed design work relating to similar path projects like yours.

When you assess a consultants' suitability to work on your project, you could also ask them to provide information about their membership of any relevant professional bodies, such as the Institute of Civil Engineers.  However, some designers may not be members of a professional organisation, as they do not have qualifications in a civil or structural engineering or health and safety disciplines.  In this case, you need to rely on evidence of their previous experience working on similar path projects.

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