Assessing Delay – the SCL Options



By Patrick Weaver

Melbourne, Australia


There are two primary references describing various ways of assessing delay and disruption in construction and engineering projects: The Society of Construction Law Delay and Disruption Protocol (2nd edition), and the AACE® International Recommended Practice No. 29R-03 Forensic Schedule Analysis. The primary focus of this paper is to review the Society of Construction Law Protocol in the light of several relatively recent court judgements in the UK and Australia. A secondary consideration is to compare the SCL Protocol with the AACEi 29R-03[1].

The Society of Construction Law (SCL) was founded in the UK in 1983, and has grown into SCL-International[2], a world-wide federation of eighteen national or regional Society of Construction Law (SCL) organizations (including Australia and the UK), and three affiliate organizations. One of SCL’s more important contributions is the SCL Protocol. It exists to provide guidance on the determination of extensions of time and compensation for delay and disruption to the parties engaged in a construction or engineering project[3].

Overview of the SCL Protocol

The object of the Protocol is to provide useful guidance on some of the common delay and disruption issues that arise on construction projects, where one party wishes to recover from the other an extension of time (EOT) and/or compensation for the additional time spent and the resources used to complete the project. Its primary purpose is to provide a means by which the parties can resolve these matters and avoid unnecessary disputes.

Generally, the SCL Protocol and the AACEi 29R-03 take a very similar approach to delay assessment and management in construction projects. The differences are largely in the way the documents are written:

  • Both documents are copyright protected; AACEi 29R-03 is available for purchase, the SCL Protocol can be downloaded free of change.
  • The SCL Protocol is a principles-based document, with a wider scope than AACEi 29R-03, which is more process focused. Overall, the focus of the SCL Protocol is on helping both parties to a contract avoid disputes related to delay and disruption, whereas AACEi 29R-03 is focused on analyzing the effect of a delay for the purposes of developing expert evidence to use in a dispute.
  • Both documents are predicated on the assumption that a well-constructed CPM schedule is the best basis for identifying, analyzing, and resolving delay claims[4].
  • AACEi 29R-03 documents nine delay assessment methodologies, each with an extensive set of processes and practices that should be followed. The SCL Protocol provides guidance on six methods.

While both documents are focused on the construction industry, the principles-based approach used on the SCL Protocol makes the document a valuable reference on a wide range of other project types.

Core Principles

The SCL identifies 22 core principles, with extensive guidance on each contained in Section B. These principles are sound business practice on almost all projects where there is a commercial contract between the client organization and the organization contracted to deliver the project (many of these concepts are also valuable for internal projects).


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this paper: Weaver, P. (2023). Assessing Delay – the SCL Options; PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue IV, April. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/pmwj128-Apr2023-Weaver-Assessing-Delay-the-SCL-Options.pdf

About the Author

Patrick Weaver              

Melbourne, Australia


 Patrick Weaver, PMP, PMI-SP, FAICD, FCIOB, is the Managing Director of Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd, an Australian project management consultancy specializing in project control systems.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, Australasia (FCIOB) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD). He is a member of the PMI Melbourne Chapter (Australia), as well a full member of AIPM, and the Project Management College of Scheduling (PMCOS).

Patrick has over 50 years’ experience in Project Management. His career was initially focused on the planning and managing of construction, engineering and infrastructure projects in the UK and Australia. The last 35 years has seen his businesses and experience expand to include the successful delivery of project scheduling services and PMOs in a range of government, ICT and business environments; with a strong focus on project management training.

His consultancy work encompasses: developing and advising on project schedules, developing and presenting PM training courses, managing the development of internal project control systems for client organizations, and assisting with dispute resolution and claims management.

In the last few years, Patrick has sought to ‘give back’ to the industry he has participated in since leaving college through contributions to the development of the project management profession. In addition to his committee roles, he has presented papers at a wide range of project management conferences in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, has an on-going role with the PGCS conference in Australia and is part of the Australian delegation to ISO TC258.

Patrick can be contacted at patw@mosaicprojects.com.au or at www.mosaicprojects.com.au.

To view other works by Pat Weaver, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library.net at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/patrick-weaver/ or visit his website.

[1]     A more detailed assessment of AACEi 29R-03 can be found in Assessing Delay and Disruption – Tribunals Beware! https://mosaicprojects.com.au/PDF_Papers/P035_Assessing_Delays.pdf
[2]     See SCL International : https://www.sclinternational.org/home
[3]    The SCL Protocol is published in English, French and Korean versions and can be downloaded free of charge. More information may be found at https://www.scl.org.uk/resources/delay-disruption-protocol.
[4]     This assumption may be questioned, traditional CPM (Critical Path Method) of schedule development is not an appropriate control paradigm for Agile and Distributed projects: