Technical Officer, Contract & Contractor Management

Contract Manager, Project Manager, Technical Officer, Contract Engineer, User, Commercial Manager, Contract Supervisor – it doesn’t matter what you call the role, these people have an essential job to do in ensuring the safe, fit-for-purpose and cost effective execution of works and services on site.

We can train and support them to do it better, ensuring risks are managed and the planned outcomes are achieved and benefits fully realised.

For most organisations the engagement and management of third parties to undertake work on their behalf is an area fraught with risk; these include safety, environmental, commercial, programme, financial, technical and intellectual property risks. In addition, legislation places obligations on companies to ensure a safe place of work and to owe a duty of care to all those who work on their sites.

To discharge these duties, companies need to manage their contracts to ensure adequate quality and safety performance.

Technical Officer

Unless properly trained and equipped for the job, the people chosen to manage these risks and fulfil these duties, can be overwhelmed by what is expected of them and get lost in the complexities of contract management, thus exposing themselves and the company to legal failures or under-performance of the contractor.

To ensure the risks are adequately identified and managed, it is imperative that all contracts that involve putting people to work on your site or where the overall risk is considered high, are managed by a suitably competent person.

We, at TVC Renewables (with our Power Generation sector background), call this role a “Technical Officer”, or TO (tea-oh) for short.

So what is a Technical Officer?

There are many other names used by in different companies to describe the same or similar role and in some cases there is no specific title given to the role at all. More common titles include End User, Specifier, Contracts Engineer, Contract Manager and Project Manager.

However, it is important to note that it does not always follow that the people with these titles will also have the responsibilities of a Technical Officer e.g. there are many Project Manager roles which do not include contract management responsibilities.

A Technical Officer could be from any department or discipline and carry out many mixed and varied activities unrelated to contracts in their day-to-day job.

This offering is targeted directly at those who deal in the day-to-day management of contracts and contractors, who need to ensure work is executed in a safe and timely manner in accordance with specification and contractual obligations. It is not intended for procurement professionals.

What we do

With knowledge in managing contracts in various industries, our team understand that there’s no single training solution that can be an exact fit for all the requirements of all our clients. We therefore provide three bespoke offerings:

  • Technical Officer training and theory test
  • Technical Officer competency assessment and approval panel
  • Full Technical Officer role definition, process design and implementation

Training & theory test

A 2 – 4 day course, the content of which is determined on a pick ‘n’ mix basis to suit your needs but is structured around a set of core requirements that are universally applicable to managing contracts (to provide a toolkit of basic knowledge/know-how), which is then supplemented with more detailed learning in specific areas (chosen by you to suit your needs/your organisation’s particular contract management profile).

The course is therefore based on a combination of:

  1. Universal standards
  2. Established good practice
  3. Client company specific job descriptions/role specs

A series of learning outcomes, verified and validated with the client, are identified prior to commencement of the course. For example:

  • Develop contract plans, including ITTs, specification and award criteria
  • Identification and management of contractual risks
  • Set up and maintain contract management files and logs
  • Appreciate the legal aspects of contracts
  • Safety obligations of the parties
  • Environmental obligations of the parties
  • Design Key Performance Indicators to suit the contract risk/reward profile

A written assessment at the conclusion of the course verifies participants’ understanding of the theory of contract management and Technical Officer responsibilities. A certificate of successful completion is provided by TVC Renewables.

Competency assessment &
approval panel

This is appropriate where the TO is an authorised post or the requirement for TO competency is part of a client’s corporate governance or business controls.

The objective of the approval process is to ensure that the person responsible for undertaking the TO duties/fulfilling the TO role has had sufficient training and experience to be deemed competent to carry out the role.

During a 6 to 12 month period following attendance at the training course described in A. above, the candidate prepares a folder of evidence to demonstrate competency in a number of core elements of the requirements of a TO.

This evidence is assessed by the approval panel (made up of a senior technical consultant and a procurement specialist from TVC Renewables). The candidate then sits an assessment interview (1.5 to 2 hours) to verify understanding and clarify any areas of concern.

Successful participants are issued with a Certificate of Competence.

Full Technical Officer process

This is suitable where an organisation recognises the value of the Technical Officer capability but does not yet have the structure and processes embedded in their business.

TVC Renewables can design a “Technical Officer” role and process for your organisation from scratch. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Technical Officer governance framework
  • Review of contracting processes and procedures
  • Definition and documentation of the various roles
  • Technical Officer training and authorisations protocol and instructions
  • Implement Training & theory test and Competency assessment & approval panel
  • Establish internal panel and lead technical officers role
  • Provide mentor service for implementation period

Our Experience

We at TVC Renewables have extensive hands on experience in the field of contract management. Indeed, the three founders of TVC Renewables have all managed contracts at a senior level and developed and delivered training in this subject for many years.

For us the term Technical Officer is synonymous with a comprehensive and practical approach to contract management throughout the asset life cycle – development, procurement, construction, operation, maintenance and disposal.

Contractors play a huge part in the successful operation of all major organisations and, as a consequence, we need good TOs to ensure an effective execution of our works and services. We rely on this for improved profitability, shareholder value and market position.

However, in our experience, the single most important reason to train and maintain the Technical Officer competence is to keep people and the environment as safe as practicably possible.

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We’d love to talk to you about your specific requirements so please get in touch.

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