Concept and Comparison to 2007 Plan of Work

The RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007 is part of the mind-set of every architect and most other professionals involved in the construction industry and is woven into their processes. This section sets out the conceptual shift from the former RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007 to the new RIBA Plan of Work 2013.

The former RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007 consisted of eleven stages defined by the letters A–L, a description of key tasks and reference to former Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Gateways™.

The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 consists of eight stages defined by the numbers 0–7, and eight task bars, as illustrated in Figure 2.

Task Bars

In the RIBA Plan of Work 2013, eight task bars replace the ‘Description of key tasks’ in the RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007.

Some task bars are fixed, some are variable (containing options specific to a practice or project-specific Plan of Work) and others are selectable (able to be ‘switched’ on or off).

The fixed bars ensure consistency across all RIBA Plan of Work 2013 documents.

The ability to switch certain task bars on or off and to vary the content of others provides a flexible ‘kit of parts’ that can be used to produce a focused and bespoke practice or project-specific version via the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 Online.


The stages are represented by numbers to avoid confusion with the stages in the RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007, which were represented by letters.

The shift to numbers also allows the stages to be aligned with a set of unified industry stages agreed through the Construction Industry Council (CIC). Aligning the stage numbers in the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 with this structure helps to achieve one of the core objectives of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013, namely greater cohesion within the construction industry.

The eight stages of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 are defined as follows:
Stage 0 Emblem

Stage 0 Strategic Definition is a new stage in which a project is strategically appraised and defined before a detailed brief is created. This is particularly relevant in the context of sustainability, when a refurbishment or extension, or indeed a rationalised space plan, may be more appropriate than a new building. Certain activities in Stage 0 are derived from the former (RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007) Stage A – Appraisal.

Stage 1 Emblem

Stage 1 Preparation and Brief merges the residual tasks from the former Stage A – Appraisal – with the Stage B – Design Brief – tasks that relate to carrying out preparation activities and briefing in tandem.

Stage 2 Emblem

Stage 2 Concept Design maps exactly to the former Stage C – Concept.

Stage 3 Emblem

Stage 3 Developed Design maps broadly to the former Stage D – Design Development – and part of Stage E – Technical Design. The strategic difference is that in the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 the Developed Design will be coordinated and aligned with the Cost Information by the end of Stage 3. This may not increase the amount of design work required, but extra time will be needed to review information and implement any changes that arise from comments made before all the outputs are coordinated prior to the Information Exchange at the end of Stage 3.

Stage 4 Emblem

Stage 4 Technical Design comprises the residual technical work of the core design team members. At the end of Stage 4, the design work of these designers will be completed, although they may have to respond to Design Queries that arise from work undertaken on site during Stage 5. This stage also includes and recognises the importance of design work undertaken by specialist subcontractors and/or suppliers employed by the contractor (Performance Specified Work in JCT contracts) and the need to define this work early in the process in the Design Responsibility Matrix.

Stage 5 Emblem

Stage 5 Construction maps to the former Stage K – Construction to Practical Completion – but also includes Stage J – Mobilisation.

Stage 6 Emblem

Stage 6 Handover and Close Out maps broadly to the former Stage L – Post Practical Completion – services.

Stage 7 Emblem

Stage 7 In Use is a new stage which includes Post-occupancy Evaluation and review of Project Performance as well as new duties that can be undertaken during the In Use period of a building.

Procurement and tendering

Although the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 does not include a stage corresponding to Stages G, H and J of the RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007, which relate to the tendering activities associated with traditional procurement, it includes these activities in the Procurement task bar.
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