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Change Management

Change Management is the practice of tracking and administering changes during the development of a product or service. It is intended to avoid errors and minimize the impact of changes.

Changes in construction projects often cause cost and time overruns. Because of the nature of design and construction of buildings, construction professionals often have to make decisions based on assumptions and previous experience. Changes at a later stage are sometimes inevitable.

The aim of project change management is not to seek the elimination of all project changes, but to minimize the negative impact of necessary changes and to avoid unnecessary ones. At present, in practice, there is a lack of industrial standards for project change management procedures and methods. This often results in changes being poorly managed, on an ad hoc basis, by project teams during individual projects.


The purpose of the procedure is to define the methods and responsibilities for cost control for all proposed changed to the works during the life of the Project. Proposed issues which suggest a change in terms of cost, time, function or performance are covered by this procedure. Definition & AbreviationS

For the purposes of the procedure, the following words and expressions shall have the meaning hereby assigned to them, except where expressly, otherwise provided under the Contract.


A member of the Client, Engineer, or Contractor who has raised a potential change for consideration / approval.


A potential variance to the baseline budget, programme, specification or functional requirements.


Project Change Control System


Project Change Control Register


Change Control Committee


Variation (Change) Instruction


Variation (Change) Instruction Justification Statement


This procedure is to be used within all parts of the Client, The Engineer and the Contractor’s organizations to develop a culture that focuses on the management of change. 

This procedure will also be central to the project delivery drive and will be a catalyst to ensure that continuous improvement and change control is a daily part of the project culture.

This procedure will provide direction on:

  • The identification and notification of potential change.
  • The procedure for review, approval and implementation of approved changes.


It is recognised that not all Change which will occur on the Project would necessitate Senior Management intervention or authorization – an example of this could be field change request with no cost or time impacts, or a minor programme re-sequence issue.  

However, the introduction of Change into the works will often necessitate a formal instruction that involves a variation to the Contract (refer Clause XXX of the Contract). 

This may relate to increasing or decreasing the scope of work, omitting work, changing the character or quality of the Works, amending the line, level, position or dimensions; execute additional work of any kind necessary for the completion of the works, or amending the sequence of any works etc.

The requirements of this procedure are to be followed, but Approval prior to issuance of any such variation instruction shall follow the specific requirements laid down under Clause XXX of the General Conditions of Contract.


The Initiator of the Change identifies the need and determines the scope of a proposed Change and will:

  • Consult all relevant parties directly and indirectly affected by the Change. 
  • Prepare Change request justification / Variation Instruction Justification Statement (VIJS) together with supporting documents.
  • To ensure that the VIJS is provided to the Change Controller in readiness for its inclusion into the next available CCC meeting.  Any requests provided later than a 72 hour pre-meeting deadline will not be considered and will need to be issued for consideration at a subsequent CCC meeting.

The Change Controller will:

  • Ensure that the Project Change Control Register is maintained in an up-to-date manner such that an overview of all Change can be visible.
  • Will prepare the weekly agenda in relation to the CCC meeting.  The agenda will include any proposed VIJS.  The meeting will be scheduled for the same day / time each week.  The Change Controller will however give 72 hours notice to the CCC members to inform them that a CCC meeting is required in any particular week. 

The Change Control Committee meets weekly to review VIJS to consider and recommend Change requests to the Employer.  For any Change request, the committee will:

  • Review, and form an informed opinion, with respect to each VIJS.
  • Formally sanction the issuance of a Variation Instruction (VI) to the Contractor based upon the VIJS.
  • Reject a Change request.
  • Require the Initiator to provide further supporting information and to re-present the Change request as a subsequent CCC meeting

In the event that any party identifies an improvement, or finds that the process is not compliant to the Contract, they must advise a change to the process.


The Project Change Control system (PCCS) is the only process for changing the approved baseline project scope, programme, specification or effective contract budget / price.

The Project Clause XXX Programme provides the baseline in terms of work scope and schedule.  The Contract requires that this schedule reflects the effective contract price (i.e. the Contract sum including the Provisional Sums and Contingencies etc) and is therefore required to contain all Change(s) after they have been approved. 

The process for the incorporation of such a Change is clarified below:

Initiator (Client / Engineer / Contractor) can initiate a potential Change via one of the following methods (refer section above): 

  • Changes to the Clause XXX Programme – Change of this nature would be to add or omit scope or to make technical amendment with respect to the monthly progress update of the Clause XXX Programme for the purposes of ascertaining the progress of the works etc.   These potential Change(s) are managed and logged within the Programme Change Control Register. 
  • Changes to the Contract – Change of this nature would be to add or omit scope, to change the character or quality of the works, to undertake varied or additional work of any kind necessary for the completion of the works, or to amend the sequence or timing of any works etc. These potential Change(s) are managed within the Potential Variation Log and the Variation Instruction Register. 
  • Changes at the Site Level – Change of this nature would be to amend the works to accommodate conflicts or issues with respect to the ongoing construction process or the as-built situation with respect to the on-going progression of the design.  These changes will not ordinarily change the cost or time, but are a necessary element of Change control.

Once the Initiator has proposed a Change under one of the aforementioned procedures, its respective change-log is updated as part of the procedure in place for these Changes.

After the Change has been logged, the Change Controller will ensure that all such changes are also reflected in the Project Change Control Register (PCCR). 

Once the Change has been logged, the Change Controller will liaise with all parties concerned and, using the following Authority Matrix, will categorise the Change as having Category A, Category B or Category C potential.

Change Control Authority Matrix



Change Description

Cat A


A Change which has an impact on the project with either Time, Function, Performance implications, and / or with a Cost impact greater than 500k

Cat B


A Change which needs to be recognized, but one which has no Cost, Time, Function or Performance implications

Cat C


A Change which has a potential Cost impact of less than 500k

 The Change Controller will prepare the agenda in relation to the CCC meeting which will include details of all Cat A, B, or C Changes.  The Changes will be presented according to their category:

  • Category A Changes will be attached, i.e. the VIJS, to the weekly agenda along with all required supporting VIJS information.
  • Category B Changes will be described in the agenda, no VIJS or supporting information will be necessary. Changes will be formulated into formal Variation Instruction(s) and attached to the agenda for authorised signature.
  • Category C Changes will be formulated into formal Variation Instruction(s) and attached to the agenda for authorised signature.

Change Control Committee Roles and Responsibilites

At the CCC meeting, the relevant Initiator(s) will be invited to present their VIJS in order that an informed decision can be reached at the meeting.  The VIJS will be provided in sufficient detail such that an informed decision can be made at the meeting.

At the meeting, the CCC Chairman shall either:

  • Endorse the VIJS Project Change request and forward to the relevant party for approval, signature and implementation.
  • Endorse, but with modifications, the VIJS Project Change request and forward to the relevant party for approval, signature and implementation.
  • Refer the Project Change request back to the Initiator.
  • Reject the Project Change request.

Follow-Up to Change Control Committee Meeting

When a VIJS is accepted by the CCC, The CCC Chairman will forward the Project Change request to the Clients authorised party for approval and signature. 

Authorised approval will normally be given within in 48 hours of the CCC meeting.  The CCC Chairman will then issue the signed VIJS to the Change Controller such that The Engineer can:

  • Update the PCCR to reflect the resultant approved Change Update the Variation Instruction Register with corresponding details. Arrange for The Engineer to issue a formal Variation Instruction.
  • When a VIJS is not accepted (remains pending) by the CCC, and further justification is requested, the Change Controller will update the PCCR to reflect that the Change is pending.  The Initiator will then be required to amend the VIJS in order to provide the requested / required information.  The VIJS can then be proposed at a subsequent CCC meeting.
  • When a VIJS is rejected by the CCC, the Change Controller will update the PCCR to reflect that the VIJS was rejected.  It should be noted, that in many instances, such a rejection is likely to result in a Notification of Claim from the Contractor.  This rejection process is managed and controlled by utilising the Procedure for Claims Management.  The Initiator will have the right to re-submit a suitably modified VIJS to the CCC if an alternative decision is deemed appropriate or necessary.

The record of the CCC meeting recommendations and further actions, shall be distributed in the form of Minutes of the meeting.  This will be undertaken by the Change Controller.


The principles contained within the Project Management Procedures, and related procedures will be adhered to at all times.


This procedure should be read in conjunction with all referenced, and future interrelated processes and procedures. 


The following records shall be maintained by the Change Controller:

  • Project Change Control Register
  • Notes of discussion at CCC Meetings 

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