RIBA Outline Plan of Work

Designing and constructing a building is a very complex process, in which regulations have to be followed, permissions need to be sought, and consultation needs to be carried out, amongst many other things.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has created something called the RIBA Outline Plan of Work to help explain the different stages involved in the development of a building. It organises the process of managing, and designing building projects and administering building contracts into a number of key Work Stages.

The main structure is set out below, but for more detailed information on the process, visit RIBA’s website.


Work Stage A: Appraisal
Identification of client’s needs and objectives, business case and possible constraints on development.
Preparation of feasibility studies and assessment of options to enable the client to decide whether to proceed.

Work Stage B: Design Brief
Development of initial statement of requirements into the Design Brief by or on behalf of the client confirming key requirements and constraints.
Identification of procurement method, procedures, organisational structure and range of consultants and others to be engaged for the project.


Work Stage C: Concept
Implementation of Design Brief and preparation of additional data.
Preparation of Concept Design including outline proposals for structural and building services systems, outline specifications and preliminary cost plan.
Review of procurement route.

Work Stage D: Design Development
Development of concept design to include structural and building services systems, updated outline specifications and cost plan.
Completion of Project Brief.
Application for detailed planning permission.

Work Stage E: Technical Design
Preparation of technical design(s) and specifications, sufficient to coordinate components and elements of the project and information for statutory standards and construction safety.


Work Stage F: Production Information
Preparation of detailed information for construction.
Application for statutory approvals.
Preparation of further information for construction required under the building contract. Review of information provided by specialists.

Work Stage G: Tender Documentation
Preparation and/or collation of tender documentation in sufficient detail to enable a tender or tenders to be obtained for the project.

Work Stage H: Tender Action
Identification and evaluation of potential contractors and/or specialists for the project.
Obtaining and appraising tenders; submission of recommendations to the client.


Work Stage J: Mobilisation
Letting the building contract, appointing the contractor.
Issuing of information to the contractor.
Arranging site hand over to the contractor.
Work Stage K: Construction to Practical Completion
Administration of the building contract to Practical Completion.
Provision to the contractor of further Information as and when reasonably required.
Review of information provided by contractors and specialists.


Work Stage L: Post Practical Completion
Administration of the building contract after Practical Completion and making final inspections.
Assisting building user during initial occupation period.
Review of project performance in use.