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Understanding and Drafting Specifications and Scopes of Supply Training Course

An indepth, practical look at best practice for drafting specifications and scopes of supply. Specifically designed for all those whose knowledge is vital to providing clarity to legal obligations.

15 October 2024 »
from £499

Need help?  Enrol or reserve

Course overview

A Specification / Scope of Supply is a medium of communicating between buyers and suppliers. It details the buyers needs and the promises / obligations of both parties. A buyer may draft it for incorporation into a Request for Quotation (RFQ) / Invitation to Tender (ITT), a supplier may need to respond to a buyer's proposed specification, or draft their own for inclusion within their quotation to the buyer. It is critical that you understand the starting position of any specification - the Sale of Goods Act (Implied terms). From here you can determine how best to write your express term specification to clarify, amend or deviate from the starting position in statute.

This course will enable delegates to draft and evaluate a specification to ensure that the written communication, that legally binding agreement between the contracting parties, is effective and achieves optimum outcome at the keenest price. Appreciating the independent nature of the relationship between buyers and suppliers is critical for a successful outcome. Remember, if a supplier fails, the buyer’s project fails:

A company is as strong as its weakest supply chain partner” (Cousins 2003).

Our expert trainer has designed this course specifically to show delegates how to extract the information necessary from those stakeholders who have the knowledge and expertise which provides the necessary clarity of the contractual obligations. To ask the right questions of them. It also advocates practical solutions enabling a project to move forward when a risk materialises, rather than monetary compensation and litigation.

This course focuses on the promotion of teamwork when drafting a specification to ensure consistency across all the documents which make up the legally binding contract.

Drawing on the trainer’s real-life experiences and using case studies and exercises, the topics are approached in a practical manner to embed learning. 

This course is part of our Commercial Management training courses series which aims to help individuals gain confidence in a range of areas surrounding contract law, and broader business management knowledge.

Benefits of attending

By attending this course, you will:

  • Get to grips with the elements of a contract
  • Learn about the benefits of express terms
  • Understand the extent of promise: best endeavours v reasonable endeavours
  • Evaluate good governance in supply chain management
  • Boost your knowledge of risk management 
  • Appreciate the importance of good drafting to achieve best value for money

Who should attend?

This course has been specifically designed for:

  • Contract and commercial managers and engineers
  • Project and procurement managers
  • Business development managers
  • Contract administrators, officers and specialists


Enrol or reserve

The Understanding and Drafting Specifications and Scopes of Supply course will cover:


Components of a contract and benefits of express terms

  • Implied terms (statute)
  • Express terms (negotiated terms agreed verbally, in writing or by conduct)
  • Benefits of express terms:
    • Clarity
    • Governance / Supply Chain Management (SCM)
    • Proactive risk management
  • Exercise – Silence exercise on Sale of Goods Act

Drafting a specification: for clarity of obligation and liability

  • To comprehensively capture and clarify ALL contractual promises and ownership of them.
    • Use of exclusions, disclaimers, assumptions and caveats.
  • To clarify extent of promise:
    • ‘Best endeavours v reasonable endeavours’.
    • Ownership of ‘fitness for purpose’ obligation, the difference between a Conformance and Performance specification
  • To define the measurement criteria ‘satisfactory quality’ (Sale of Goods Act).
    • Quantitative not qualitative measurement mechanisms, SMART measures.
    • Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 
    • How to use KPIs to reflect the type of specification: input (conformance specification) v output (performance specification)
  • To appreciate the significance of terminology used: ‘shall/will’ v ‘could/may/ recommend’ and the associated risk
  • To understand intent behind buyer’s involvement: visibility or liability. Understanding when and why an indemnity may be requested
  • Exercise – review of a real life scope of supply using ‘word search’ methodology to identify ambiguity
  • Exercise – Completing proforma table identifying what promises have been made, whether they are ambiguous, and ownership of them, plus consequences / liability if a promise is broken and ownership of that liability (reflecting the disclaimer, exclusion, assumptions, caveats and indemnity express term clauses)
  • Exercise – drafting clear output KPIs for a performance specification


Drafting a specification: for good governance and supply chain management

  • Proactive inclusion of express terms for transparency and control:
    • Change control, waiver / concessions, notices, authorised representative
    • Subcontracting
    • Progress reports, meetings, reviews etc.
      • Rights of transparency and associated cost.
      • Use of this information to incentivise or to merely recoup losses, carrot vstick.
      • Relationship objectives
      • Realising opportunities / value engineering
  • Exercise – drafting KPIs – carrots v sticks

Drafting a specification: for proactive risk management

  • Solutions not money. Monetary compensation v practical solutions / remedies / Plan Bs / contingency plans to move the project forward. Avoiding litigation
  • Benefits of incorporating proactive risk management solutions into the legally binding contract at the outset, at time of signing, to promote a harmonious relationship and avoid unnecessary delays
  • Exercise – identifying practical solutions

Drafting a specification: cross checking

  • Cross checking the specification with all other documents which make up the complete agreement for consistency
  • Order of precedence express term clause

Drafting a specification: to achieve best value for money

  • Exercise – Price v Scope or Risk

Final questions

Enrol or reserve

Catherine Hurst
Hurst Consulting and Training Limited

Catherine Hurst BSc(Hons), CIMDip, PgDL, is an independent consultant in the contract and commercial fields. She was formerly a Commercial Manager at BAe Systems, following previous contract/commercial roles with GEC and Siemens. She has extensive practical experience of bid management, contract drafting and negotiation, contract and subcontract management as well as commercial risk management, both with UK and overseas customers and suppliers, in the private and public sectors.

She is a highly experienced trainer, having a style which brings a subject to life, creating interest and stimulating the enthusiasm of delegates. She combines academic best practice with real world experience.

She lecturers Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) diploma, levels 4, 5 & 6 at Chichester college. As well as being a member of CIPS, Catherine has a degree in Management Studies, a Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma and more recently achieved a distinction in her Common Professional Examination (CPE)/Post-grad diploma in law, winning the prize for the highest achieving student in the contract law module.

Catherine has successfully provided training to organisations across a wide variety of industries, including:

Transport / utilities / energy / construction / engineering / IT / telecons: Network Rail, ScotRail, Balfour Beatty, London Underground, Westinghouse Springfields Fuels, General Dynamics, Siemens, Metronet, Thales, ABB, Hitachi, Jungheinrich, Honeywell, PALL Europe, Senior Aerospace BWT, RES (Renewable Energy Systems), AGI, Silvertown, QinetiQ, Clyde Pumps / Weir Pumps, Scottish Power, NCOC (North Caspian Operating Company), Computacentre, CISCO, BT, United Utilities

Health / pharmaceutical / education: Nuffield Health, Surrey PCT, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Newcastle University, Exeter University

Public: Forensic Science Services, Office for National Statistics, DARA (Defence Aviation Repair Agency), Metropolitan Police

Charity: Phoenix Futures, Homegroup

Retail: Co-op

More details

NEW higher discounts for multiple bookings - bring your colleagues to make your training budget go further:

  • 30% off the 2nd delegate*
  • 40% off the 3rd delegate*
  • 50% off the 4th delegate*

Please contact us for pricing if you are interested in booking 5 or more delegates

15 October 2024

Live online

09:30-17:00 UK (London) (UTC+01)
10:30-18:00 Paris (UTC+02)
04:30-12:00 New York (UTC-04)
Course code 14219

  • GBP 499 599
  • EUR 719 859
  • USD 823 979

Until 10 Sep

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* Early booking discounts may not be combined with other discounts or offers. As such, the discounts for 2nd/3rd/4th delegates are based on the full price; and apply only when booking multiple delegates on the same date.

Multiple colleagues? See above for details of our discounts for 2, 3, or 4 delegates. For more, talk to one of our training experts to discuss how to:

Run this course conveniently and cost-effectively in-house for your staff and colleagues

Aleksandra Beer

Aleksandra BEER
Training expert

Yesim Nurko

Training expert

+44 (0)20 7749 4749