The ITA Contractual Practices Checklist for Construction Contracts

ITA Working Group 3 Members authors of contractual practices checklist

ITA Working Group 3 Members

Writing Contracts is Difficult

Writing contracts for construction projects is challenging. Writing contracts for construction projects with underground components, e.g. tunnels and caverns, is especially challenging. In addition to the innumerable issues that must be considered on a normal project, you must also consider all the surprises likely to occur during excavation. The essential problem is that underground works have additional risks caused by the uncertainty of ground conditions, which can cause knock-on effects on the rest of the project.

The ITA WG3 Checklist Can Help

In response to these challenges the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) Working Group 3 on Contractual Practices wrote The ITA Contractual Framework Checklist for Subsurface Construction Contracts. Drawing on decades of experience from major projects from all over the world, the authors, pictured above, cover the major contractual areas that must be considered to ensure a successful project. Particular attention is given to the allocation of ground risk, and consequent risks that derive from it.

The Checklist explains the importance and tradeoffs involved in each contractual area. It is not prescriptive nor does it mandate how each issue must be resolved. The Checklist is compatible with, and provides guidance for reviewing, standard contracts such as FIDIC and NEC.

I am one of the co-authors of the Checklist and have also written two papers, with Andrew Wilson, an experienced project manager of hydropower projects, which describe many of the issues behind the Checklist’s recommendations and how it can be used in practice.

You can download copies of these publications at SoftXS – Papers.


  • Dix, A., et al., The ITA Contractual Framework Checklist for Subsurface Construction Contracts, International Tunnelling Association, Report No. 006, ISBN: 978-2-9700624-7-9, April, 2011
  • Hodgkinson, A., Wilson, A., “The ITA Contractual Practices Checklist of Subsurface Construction Contracts”,Hydro 2014 Conference Proceedings – Building on Recent Development Progress, Cernobbio, Italy, 2014
  • Hodgkinson, A., Wilson, A., “Effective Allocation of Excavation Risk in Hydropower Projects”ICOLD 2015 25th Congress / 83rd Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings, Stavanger, Norway, 2015