What is a clerk of works?

The website only gives so much and I know I sound like a dick to ask this. I'm viewing more on the construction side, I've heard they help with design, does that mean they help with drawing and the ideas behind what it is.
 
Back in the late 80s/early 90s, I worked on two big construction projects where HMG was the client. The Clerk of the Works was a civil servant who attended site daily to ensure compliance with material and construction specifications, and to monitor progress. He also recorded the weather conditions, as the contractor might try to use that as mitigation in the event of not meeting deadlines. He was essentially the client's eyes and ears on site, although our one should have gone to specsavers.

He also verified personnel employed on 'extras' to the contract, which they would claim daily rates for. This he was worse than useless at. After a quick cross check of some daywork sheets submitted for different 'bits and pieces' I found we actually had a chap who had worked 21 hours over a range of tasks on the same day! The clerk of Works had agreed them all.

His employer was the PSA (Property Services Agency) which was privatised in the early 90s, most of its idle jobsworth staff were TUPE'd (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations) onto the Facilities Management Contractors that took over their role.
This was a cracking wheeze by the Tory Govt of the day, as they shed all of the dead wood lifers without paying them redundancy, and presumably escaped some of their pension liabilities.

In fairness there must have been some good ones; I never met any, and life's all about personal experience!
 
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They are gobby lance jacks who get dropped in the mess if they stay past their curfew (1830 hrs )
 
The bloke not holding the shovel.
 
Chaucer was a Clerk of the King's Works, conducting CoW duties in the houses of parliament.

Useless fact of the day.
 
L

lumpy2

Guest
You could do worse than google "Big Jim and the Figaro Club" if you want to know what a clerk of the works is ...
 
The website only gives so much and I know I sound like a dick to ask this. I'm viewing more on the construction side, I've heard they help with design, does that mean they help with drawing and the ideas behind what it is.

A military Clerk of Works is quite a different beast to the one what Stainmaster described. Whilst acting as he described is part of the job, it's a small portion of the job.
The bulk of design work for work to be carried out by Military Construction Forces (i.e. Royal Engineers) and the major of concept design work that's contracted out on overseas operations is produced by Clerk of Works and Military Plant Foremen. The professionally qualified engineer officers sign off the designs as complying with the relevant regulations. They only tend to get involved in complex design which is beyond what Clk Wks get taught.
Whilst most RE SNCOs go on the site safety supervisor (or whatever it's called nowadays) course, there is an expectation that a lot of the health and safety stuff on sites goes to them, because of their more in depth knowledge. This includes Authorised Person duties including (but not limited to) confined spaces, working at height, HV electric, LV electric, petroleum, medical gases, airfield ground lighting and boilers/pressure vessels.
There are Clk Wks embedded within Defence Infrastructure Organisation across the globe and within the UK airfield main operating bases, overseeing the infrastructure support contracts, both within the facilities management and works delivery teams.
 
His employer was the PSA (Property Services Agency) which was privatised in the early 90s, most of its idle jobsworth staff were TUPE'd (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations) onto the Facilities Management Contractors that took over their role.
This was a cracking wheeze by the Tory Govt of the day, as they shed all of the dead wood lifers without paying them redundancy, and presumably escaped some of their pension liabilities.
The government doesn't realy shed itself of liability, the redundancy costs, pension liability etc either shift with the people (and the receiving company takes the package with them) or things such as the pension could be parked with a liability remaining against the public purse.

What it does offload is the overhead of being responsible - contractorisation and tupe get rid of nasty civil servant head counts and payrolls but replaces with a contract cost. The lowest bidder states it will do the work for £x, and will probably make redundancies to start off at £y, partly hoping people will get the hump and change job before the date or resign after - ideally resign after.

The only real 'redundancy package' the mod offers these days is a balancing of the individuals pension, so it's your money anyway unless you resign
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Fat
fifty
useless
myopic
drink problem
often to be found asleep in his car
rarely on site on a friday afternoon
should never be allowed near hand tools
that pretty well covers it in civi street
 
A military Clerk of Works is quite a different beast to the one what Stainmaster described. Whilst acting as he described is part of the job, it's a small portion of the job.
The bulk of design work for work to be carried out by Military Construction Forces (i.e. Royal Engineers) and the major of concept design work that's contracted out on overseas operations is produced by Clerk of Works and Military Plant Foremen. The professionally qualified engineer officers sign off the designs as complying with the relevant regulations. They only tend to get involved in complex design which is beyond what Clk Wks get taught.
Whilst most RE SNCOs go on the site safety supervisor (or whatever it's called nowadays) course, there is an expectation that a lot of the health and safety stuff on sites goes to them, because of their more in depth knowledge. This includes Authorised Person duties including (but not limited to) confined spaces, working at height, HV electric, LV electric, petroleum, medical gases, airfield ground lighting and boilers/pressure vessels.
There are Clk Wks embedded within Defence Infrastructure Organisation across the globe and within the UK airfield main operating bases, overseeing the infrastructure support contracts, both within the facilities management and works delivery teams.
Almost correct...except they design a complete task without asking their trade specific SNCOs and specialists as they know everything..then pass it up the chain to get it signed off only for one hairy arsed stripey to glance at the plan and choke on his brew as its hair brained,wrong and 95% of the time dangerous. Then they pull the SSgt/Wo2 wind ur neck in card with a stripey that was banging through Kabul while they were still picking their arse outside the recruitment office and get planked in the mess. Met a few really good ones...and a **** load of dross
 
Almost correct...except they design a complete task without asking their trade specific SNCOs and specialists as they know everything..then pass it up the chain to get it signed off only for one hairy arsed stripey to glance at the plan and choke on his brew as its hair brained,wrong and 95% of the time dangerous. Then they pull the SSgt/Wo2 wind ur neck in card with a stripey that was banging through Kabul while they were still picking their arse outside the recruitment office and get planked in the mess. Met a few really good ones...and a **** load of dross
Or when it was passed to the MCF for design review said SNCOs do a half arsed job was done and then choose to bleat about it later. Also happens. 1 job I was on the Tp SSgt and Tp Sgt couldn’t supervise CGI roof sheet being fixed to the roof straight. They aren’t all trade gurus who know everything that’s for sure. And as for stuff being dangerous how much stuff had to be stripped out on HERRICK because of a “it’ll be alreet” attitude by said SNCOs?
 
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