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CHAPTER 4 The standard of reasonable skill and care

Professional Negligence in Construction

Page 59 CHAPTER 4 The standard of reasonable skill and care The standard of reasonable skill and care Section A: the Bolam test 59 Section B: exceptions to the Bolam test 62 Section C: establishing the standard 65 Section D: codes of practice 67 Section E: the band of reasonable actions 68 Section F: outcome, not methodology 69 Section G: seniority, resources and price 71 Section H: delegation 72 Section I: duty to review 74 Section J: skill and care not enough 76 Section A: the Bolam test 4.1 As set out above in Chapter 2 , the contracts of construction professionals almost always require the professional to carry out services with reasonable skill and care. The precise formulation of this contractual standard may vary (and that can introduce subtle variations in the standard) but the practical consequences of such variation are nugatory. In each case, the way in which the professional acted will be measured against the way in which a court or arbitrator thinks that a hypothetical competent construction professional of the relevant discipline would have acted placed in exactly the same situation. This is known as “the Bolam test”.

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