Introduction to Construction Contract Documents

Introduction to Construction Contract Documents

BC Housing: 6 CPD Points


This comprehensive course will walk you through contract documents used at various stages of a project, from what is required to form a valid contract, the components in a tender call/invitation to tender, document hierarchy, to change orders and directives, and more! If you work with construction contract documents in your role, this course is for you. 

The Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC®) defines construction documents in the following way: 

Construction Contract Documents are the written documents that define the roles, responsibilities, and “Work” under the construction Contract, and are legally-binding on the parties (Owner and Contractor)

This is a broad-scope definition that implies that there are many different types of documents involved which is, in fact, true. Understanding the difference between the contract and the various construction contract documents and the role they play is key to the successful execution of a construction project. 

Construction documents may include: Prequalification Forms; Tender forms and documents; Addenda; Construction drawings and plans; Articles of agreement, definitions, and general terms & conditions; Supplementary general terms and conditions; Change orders and directives; Schedules; Shop drawings; Financial breakdowns; Statutory declarations; and, Bonding agreements. 

Course content will cover:

  • Contract Law Fundamentals
  • Contracts vs Contract Documents
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Primary vs Secondary Rights
  • Primary vs Secondary Obligations
  • Assignment of Rights
  • Assignment of Obligations
  • Procurement Options
  • Tender Documents
  • Bonding
  • Prequalification
  • Addenda
  • Construction Contract Arrangements
  • Documents which Form a Contract
  • Contract Form Arrangement
  • Hierarchy of Documents
  • Changes and Extras

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • List the elements required to form a valid, enforceable construction contract
  • Differentiate between the contract and the contract documents
  • List and discuss common components of a tender call/invitation to tender
  • Describe various tender/bid documents
  • List eight common contract documents in order of their hierarchy with respect to common rules of interpretation
  • Differentiate between changes, change orders, and change directives
  • Discuss how changes to the contract are interpreted legally

 This course will involve on-screen interaction with your instructor and classmates, reading/viewing on-screen content like slides or videos, and interacting via typing with questions or responses. You will be expected to have your webcam on during the class and participate in group discussions and other activities with your instructor and classmates during the course.


Delivery Method: Virtual Session – Zoom Meeting             

Course Fee Includes: Access to the course, course materials, and a digital certificate upon completion.  


This course is delivered in partnership with local and provincial construction associations across Canada. You will be participating with a group of industry peers from multiple regions.

Sharing a single registration between two or more individuals is not permitted. Please register each person that will be in attendance. 


We recommend that students have some experience and knowledge in the topic of construction project management/administration.

Those with less experience are welcome to attend but may find it hard to appreciate the material without prior experience or context.

Who Should Attend

If you are new to working with construction contract documents in your role, this introductory-level course is for you. 

All stakeholders in a construction contract need to understand the documents, whether you are a business owner, estimator, project manager, field engineer, or supervisor you will need to access and understand the documents and their various roles and forms. This course will be helpful for those new to the topic and seasoned professionals will find this to be a good refresher. 

Technical Requirements

  1. Computer or laptop

    • This course will involve on-screen interaction with your instructor and classmates, reading/viewing on-screen content (slides or videos), and interacting via typing with questions or responses. For this reason, cellphones may not be adequate

    • Windows 10 or Mac iOS. 

  1. Webcam (Mandatory)– in order to engage and collaborate, participants will be expected to have their webcams on for the duration of the class

  2. Microphone (Mandatory)

  3. Internet connection- For best results, you will want to ensure you have an internet connection with an upload/download speed of 3-5 Mbps. You can test your internet speed here. The minimum recommended speed is 1.5 Mbps, but anything below 3 Mbps may result in loss of quality or buffering. Ideally hardwired connection versus wireless for stability - connect your computer directly to your router using an ethernet cable, rather than using your home wi-fi.

  4. A quiet space with minimal distractions –The microphone will be engaged for interactive sessions. Please plan to be fully engaged in the class and clear your work schedule just as you would for the in-class program.

  5. Comfortable chair