Detail of office environment including building plans on a laptop screen and a hard hat on the desk next to it.
© Historic England DP081679
© Historic England DP081679

Appointing Professional Advisers

This section describes ways of appointing the main professional adviser. An adviser will help you carry out a grant-aided repair project in compliance with procurement regulations and with our grant conditions.

If you have already appointed a main professional adviser

If you are applying for a grant from us and you have already appointed a main professional adviser with conservation accreditation, you will need to check that the way you appointed them meets the guidance as set out in the procurement process below. We will discuss this with you during the assessment of your grant application.

If you haven't already appointed a main professional adviser

If you haven't already appointed a professional adviser with conservation accreditation as the main professional adviser for your project, you should do so following the relevant procurement process set out below. Please remember that they must have conservation accreditation. We'll discuss this with you during the assessment of your grant application.

To find more information on how to select your main professional adviser, including information about the range of conservation accreditation schemes for professionals, visit our Conservation Accreditation for Professionals web page.

The procurement process

By the time you start your project you'll need to have appointed professional advisers with the appropriate ability, experience and conservation knowledge, as set out in the Historic England Report written by one of our specialists for your grant project (see 3.3 of the Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk Guidance Notes). This is one of the conditions of the grant contract.

Once you've appointed a main professional adviser for the project, you can ask them to help you appoint any other advisers as set out in the Historic England Report. They can also advertise and seek tenders for the building works on your behalf. You should have a written contract with each of them.

Small professional appointments

Small professional appointments (up to £10,000) are unlikely to need to go through a tender process. But it will be necessary to demonstrate good value for money. This could be done by obtaining one to three written quotations on the basis of an open and transparent process which clearly states the criteria (where applicable) upon which the contract will be awarded.

Professional appointments

For professional appointments worth over £10,000 and up to the services threshold (which can be found on the GOV.UK website) it will be necessary to demonstrate good value for money by obtaining at least three written tenders. You should consider quality as well as cost in this appointment.

We recommend that you follow the process set out below:

  1. Obtain at least three tenders from professionals with conservation accreditation from a recognised body
  2. Tenders should be obtained on the basis of a relevant standard form of written contract, or other comprehensive written terms and conditions document, amended as necessary to grant the client a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to use any intellectual property rights in any material prepared or developed pursuant to the contract
  3. Evaluate the tenders received on the basis of the criteria set out in the invitation to tender documentation
  4. Finally, award the commission on the basis set out in points 2. and 3. above
  5. If requested, provide feedback to the unsuccessful suppliers

Large projects

For a handful of very large projects, where the estimated fees for the project exceed the published threshold for services current at the time of the procurement, there is a further requirement to advertise on Find a Tender. We, therefore, advise you to check the detailed guidance and current thresholds for publicly funded services on the GOV.UK website.  If you think that your project is one of these large projects, please contact your local Historic England office for further advice.

You should keep records of the procurement process so that you can show how you have appointed the professional advisers. We may ask you for details of this.

Aggregation and your project

Please note that this procurement process applies to appointments of professional advisers where it is expected that they will work on several phases of work to the same building/heritage site within a period of five years. This is called aggregation. So, where you expect several phases, you should add up the total value of fees for advisers of the same discipline (for example, architect) for the whole five-year period to find out which threshold applies. Where the expected value of fees is just below a threshold, you may want to follow the process for that threshold in case the cost does increase.

Contact us

For further guidance, please contact your local Historic England office.