Q: What is a reasonable fee for consulting work?
A: Although APEGA supports the notion of fair compensation commensurate with the level of professional services provided, the consultant and client are free to reach their own agreements on what ‘reasonable’ means. The APEGA document Development of Consulting Rate Structures and Contracts presents several alternative methods for establishing consulting fees for professional services without recommending minimums or maximums.
Q: Are consulting
engineers and/or geoscientists required to carry insurance?
A: No, however many do. It is a good idea to discuss project risks with your consultant and the applicability of general liability, property, and/or professional errors and omissions insurance.
Q: Should we
sign a contract for the consulting work?
A: Yes. Sound contracts between the client and the consultant reduce misunderstandings. There is no strict requirement as to the "form" of a contract. Some verbal contracts are enforceable. However to reduce risk and uncertainty, most contracts should be reduced to a single written form and signed by all of the parties to it. The duration and complexity of the project often govern the complexity of the contract. The APEGA document Development of Consulting Rate Structures and Contracts presents a simple standard contract in the appendix.
Note that the contract must be fair to all of the parties. Overly onerous contractual clauses may actually void a consultant’s general liability, professional errors and omissions, property, or third party liability insurance.