Task Bars 1 - 8

Each of the eight task bars that replace the single description of key tasks in the RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007 has a specific purpose. These are detailed below demonstrating the degree of flexibility possible when generating a bespoke practice or project specific Plan of Work and others are 'selectable' (able to be switched on or off).

Jump to Task:
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Stage 5
  • Stage 6
  • Stage 7
  • Stage 8

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Task Bar 1

Core Objectives

In this task bar, the Core Objectives and the principal activities for each stage are set out. This task bar is fixed and is used in all versions of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013.

Task Bars 2, 3, & 4. The three Ps: Procurement, Programme, and (Town) Planning

Procurement, programme and (town) planning activities vary widely from project to project and resolving this conundrum has been one of the biggest challenges in the creation of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. To overcome this variability, the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 allows users to generate their own bespoke practice or project-specific Plan of Work. During the process of generating a bespoke Plan, the user selects a specific task bar for each of these three tasks from a pull-down list and their customised Plan of Work is generated. The specific activities in these task bars generated in a bespoke RIBA Plan of Work 2013 can be seen in RIBA Publishing’s Guide to Using the RIBA Plan of Work 2013.
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Task Bar 2


To allow for a number of forms of procurement, the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 template has a generic Procurement task bar. Users generating their bespoke RIBA Plan of Work 2013 Online can select the type of procurement from a pull-down list. Once the procurement route is selected, the practice or project-specific Plan of Work that is generated will contain a task bar that includes the specific procurement and tendering activities at each stage.

The activities for Stages 2 to 4 that would be contained in a bespoke RIBA Plan of Work 2013 vary depending on the procurement route selected. The options available are:
  • Traditional contract
  • One-stage design and build contract (with Employer’s Requirements defined at Stage 3)
  • Two-stage design and build contract (with Employer’s Requirements defined at Stage 4)
  • Management contract
  • Contractor-led contract
  • A ‘To be determined’ option where the programme and (town) planning strategies are agreed but further flexibility is required in terms of procurement.

These options may be reviewed and extended in the future in line with feedback received.

A fundamental part of determining the procurement strategy for assembling the project team is defining the timing of contractor involvement. The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 advocates establishing the project team during Stage 1. A project-specific Plan of Work would typically be generated during Stage 1; however, the variable task bars have options available that allow a Plan to be generated, or finalised, during a later stage.

Where architects’ practices, clients or other participants involved in the processes frequently use a specific form of procurement, such as traditional or two-stage design and build Building Contracts, they will be able to produce a practice-specific Plan of Work that can be used from the outset of each project.
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Task Bar 3


The stages of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 are generally sequential and follow the progression of a project from commencement to completion and beyond. However, the procurement strategy, or certain client demands, may dictate that a number of stages have to occur simultaneously or overlap. The Programme task bar allows a bespoke practice or project-specific Plan of Work to illustrate and highlight these stage overlaps. The option inserted into a bespoke practice or project- specific Plan of Work is automatically selected based on the procurement route chosen. It is accepted that a multitude of further options may be possible. However, where detailed circumstances specific to a given project require an alternative approach, this should be dealt with using the Project Programme.

This task bar underlines the need on every project for a Project Programme that sets out the duration of each stage and any supporting activities. This programme should dovetail with the Design Programme(s) prepared by the lead designer, with contributions from the other designers, and the more detailed Construction Programme prepared by the contractor. A Project Programme has been a core requirement of collaborative contracts for some time as it ensures that each party is involved in the process of agreeing timescales and is fully aware of the risks that the programme generates in relation to their specific Schedule of Services.
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Task Bar 4

(Town) Planning

The town planning process was identified as a key topic to be addressed by the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. To embrace this, the pull-down options available when generating a bespoke practice or project-specific RIBA Plan of Work 2013 Online allow the user to determine whether the planning application will be made at the end of Stage 2 or Stage 3 (the recommended stage for submitting a planning application) and highlight the need to conclude planning condition submissions prior to work commencing on site. Not-withstanding the two options available for selection, it is acknowledged that in some instances the resolution of planning conditions may need to be undertaken earlier (for example, where it is a contractual imperative to do so before a client enters into a Building Contract). It is also acknowledged that on certain projects (conservation projects, for example) other planning matters may have to be concluded during Stage 5. In both scenarios, the Project Programme should be utilised to clarify these specific durations.

Where planning applications are made at the end of Stage 2, the project lead and lead designer will have to consider the level of detail to be prepared for the Stage 2 Information Exchange. On certain projects, where it is uncertain that consent will be granted, the client may not appoint all of the designers or may appoint them on a restricted Stage 2 Schedule of Services. In these circumstances it may be necessary to include some additional activities for the project team at the start of Stage 3. A project’s Risk Assessment should consider the individual project circumstances, identifying the risks created and setting out how they will be managed.
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Task Bar 5

Key Support Tasks

The Key Support Tasks task bar:
  • Clarifies the activities required to achieve the Sustainability Aspirations, reducing the carbon emissions related to the building, and those required to embed Building Information Modelling (BIM) into the process
  • Sets out key tasks in relation to statutory requirements, such as those relating to Building Regulations submissions and project and design management protocols, roles and responsibilities
  • Ensures that the project team is properly assembled, and that buildability, health and safety and other construction considerations and logistics are considered early in the process by using the Project Execution Plan, Construction Strategy and Health and Safety Strategy in the preparations.

The tasks that are listed are not mandatory; however, they do provide an appropriate level of management and assist in achieving the stated objectives at each stage.

This task bar is fixed and used in all versions of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013.
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Task Bar 6

Sustainability Checkpoints

This task bar has been developed from the Sustainability Checkpoints included in the 2011 Green Overlay to the RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007.

The Sustainability Checkpoints task bar is selectable and can be switched on or off in a practice or project-specific Plan of Work.
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Task Bar 7

Information Exchanges

This task bar provides guidance on the information that would typically be delivered at the Information Exchanges at the end of each stage. The importance of agreeing the precise extent of information and, crucially, the specific level of detail, is discussed in the Guide to Using the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. Preparation of the Design Responsibility Matrix and Schedule of Services are also key tasks as they influence who will produce what and when.

This topic is new to the RIBA Plan of Work and also to the RIBA appointment documents. However, given the degree of variability between practices and between projects, it is appropriate for the RIBA to provide guidance on this essential subject.

This task bar is fixed and used in all versions of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013.
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Task Bar 8

Government Gateways

The UK Government Information Exchanges task bar has been introduced to encourage consideration of the stages that the UK Government requires information to be exchanged. This task bar highlights the fact that the UK Government has its own particular views on this important subject, derived from its 2011 Construction Strategy.

The UK Government recognises that, as a client, it does not need to be involved in every Information Exchange. It requires particular and specific information at certain stages in order to answer the questions pertinent to a given stage. Furthermore, the UK Government is seeking data-rich information that can be used post- occupancy to manage its entire estate and to allow stringent benchmarking activities to occur.

This is a developing subject and further information is best obtained from, including details of COBie, which will be the principal vehicle for delivering information to the UK Government as client on projects instigated in the near future.

This task bar is selectable and can be switched on or off in a bespoke practice or project-specific Plan of Work.
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