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The RIBA plan of work was first developed in 1963. Since it
was first developed, it was the ‘definitive’ UK model for the building design
and construction process, having also a significant influence internationally
as well.

The plan of work has been a bedrock for the architectural
profession and construction industry by setting a framework for the
organisation and the management of how architectural projects are run,
providing a process map and management tool to architects. Split into a number
of key stages, the Plan of work also provides stage reference points in a
multitude of contractual and appointment documents and a good practice guidance.

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During the time since the Plan of work has been developed,
it has evolved and been amended several times to reflect the increasingly
complexity of projects, to incorporate changing regulatory requirements to
reflect the demand of industry and government reports which criticised the
industry. It has gone from

The recent version of the Plan of work has undergone a radical
overhaul with it being described as ‘more flexible’ with stages such as
planning permission and procurement being adjustable, it reflects increasing
requirements for sustainability and Building Information Modelling (BIM)  and it allows simple, project specific plans
to be created. The work stages were restructured and renamed into the
following: Stage 0 – Strategic Definition; Stage 1 – Preparation and Brief;
Stage 2 – Concept design; Stage 3 – Developed Design; Stage 4 – Technical
Design; Stage 5 – Construction; Stage 6 – Handover and Closeout; and Stage 7 –
In Use

The plan of work also included a BIM overlay and a
sustainability overlay, but did no seem to have been updated to reflect the
2013 work stage definitions.

The plan of work has come under criticism as it has
significantly less detail than the plan of work before that (The 2007 plan of
work). A few other criticisms include that it’s flexibility and customisability
is very limited and the definition and naming of the work stages didn’t reflect
the terminology that is used in the industry to date, leading to some confusion
within the profession.

Within the 2007 plan of work two new stages were introduced.
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”.  And stage 7 (In use) 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”. They
were introduced as new stages in the plan of work as a learning process for the
industry to reflect on a project and to help better understand a type of
project for future references.

Although the RIBA 2013 includes many benefits to
the architectural process, there are many concerns that the POW 2013 doesn’t
make sufficient necessities for the aftercare of construction projects (AJ)
Other architects think that the POW could involve architects in unnecessary and
unpaid soft landing activities, leading to use of resources which some
practices cannot afford to

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