History of International Federation of Consulting Engineers development (FIDIC is the French abbreviation for the Federation’s name) is closely connected with development of the profession of consulting engineer in general and with rapid development of the institution of consulting engineers at the beginning of the 20th century in particular, when there appeared the necessity to coordinate the activity of national engineering associations, where the primary task was to work out common standards for services quality, that are offered by independent engineers.
Further development of international relations and formation of international investment-building market caused the necessity in experience exchange and coordination of activity of consulting engineers from different countries. In 1913 during the International industrial exhibition in Belgium on the initiative of national associations of Belgium and France there took place the first congress of consulting engineers, at which International Federation of Consulting Engineers was founded, it joined five national associations of independent consulting engineers from Europe.
In our days the Federation consists of nearly 100 national associations, which present overwhelming majority of practicing consulting engineers. Its headquarters are in Lausanne (Switzerland).
Initially the Federation’s activity was aimed at creating common international methodological base for regulation of consulting engineers activity. In the course of time, the Federations functions have extended, and now the main efforts are concentrated at working out and publication of typical contracts conditions for use with purpose to regulate interrelations of participants of international investment-building processes.
Besides, the Federation conducts seminars, conferences and other activities, having the following as its objects:
– keeping high level of ethical and professional norms;
– exchange of views and information;
– discussion of problems, that are of interest of associations, the Federation members and financial institutions;
– assistance in development of the profession of consulting engineer in developing countries.
Methodological base, created and fixed by this organization with a view to assist in developing engineering by unificating and standardizing methods of projects realization, is of great importance in the Federation’s activity as applied to modern practice of construction and industrial development. In this regard, the Federation constantly conducts preparation, publication and distribution of a number of methodical manuals and recommendations, that are to help development projects’ participants by preparing and organizing work. Owing to the Federation’s active activity in the area of regulating interrelations of participants of construction process, at present time in international practice the so called FIDIC methods have formed, that are actively applied in international construction.
In the broad sense of the word, FIDIC methods are the way a project is carried out by holding the following activities:
– preparing competitive documentation for holding tendering for goods, work and services supply;
– carrying out project work and services rendering;
– goods, work and services tendering organization and holding;
– work production.
In the narrow sense of the word, FIDIC methods lie in use of legal documents (contracts) of the due form, that contain rules (conditions) for carrying out construction projects. These documents are published by the Federation and are distributed on terms of open use and access.
In the view of its simplicity and completeness, reflection of complexity of interrelations of all participants of construction, FIDIC typical contract documentation has quickly found wide application on industrial-building projects all over the world. Suffice it to say, that all main international financial institutions (World bank, European Commission, European reconstruction and development and so on) as well as prominent state and private clients and investors, by realizing their projects, use these methods and accompanying contract documentation. Taking into account this circumstance in modern construction practice FIDIC is considered by right the main legislator in the sphere of projects organization and realization.