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Project handover in construction project management

Tuesday , January 10, 2023
2 minutes read
Project handover in construction project management

Most businesses will use contractors to install new plants and equipment or modify the current plant and buildings. Therefore, the handover process at the project's end should ensure clients' new asset is safe for use. Besides, the handover must ensure clients can operate, manage and maintain their assets.

Conduct it correctly from the beginning

Clients should clarify their expectations at the project outset to get what they need at handover. This helps prevent confusion or contention later on. Besides, clients can review the four below problems and call on the assistance of their operational and maintenance staff:

  • Available information and documentation at handover
  • The way the client assures about the asset is expected
  • Give instructions to the new asset operation or maintenance
  • Details of the required or recommended maintenance regime.

Choosing the right contractors to be involved in the asset's construction, installation, or modification will benefit the whole process enormously. As part of the selection process, the client could seek evidence that the contractors have successfully managed handovers.

Paper issues

Some construction clients like their health and safety files to form a section of an O&M manual, while others prefer them to be an entirely separate suite of documents. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for detailed handover information. However, this needs to be reflected in the tender and contract documents. Some items at handover are listed below:

  • Names and details of project stakeholders
  • Designs, calculations, and specifications;
  • 'As installed' or 'as built' drawings;
  • Manufacturer's data sheets and conformity declarations
  • Operation and maintenance instructions;
  • Commissioning test results;
  • Inspections records or test witnessing;
  • Details of any training
  • Written schemes of examination;
  • New or revised arrangements and risk assessments for asset maintenance
  • Maintenance details;
  • Third-party approvals
  • Schedules of keys, tools, and equipment to be passed over at handover.

It is helpful to develop an information schedule as early as possible to list what is needed and which person or function is responsible for collating it.

Rest assured

Handover and tests from low-risk, non-technical assets to hazardous and complex assets must be conducted carefully. These details about commissioning tests will be carried out, by whom, when, and to what standards should form part of the overall method statement of the work and be included in the handover documentation.

Sometimes, as an extra level of assurance, commissioning tests will be witnessed by others. For example, it may be consultant company people or the client’s operational and maintenance staff.

Any witnessing activities should be recorded (name, date, time, images or videos, defects noted, corrective actions identified, etc.), and these records should also form part of the overall documentation at handover.


Once the new or modified asset is handed over, relevant staff must be trained in operating and maintaining it. There should be a demonstration of using a new lighting array for formal training. The activity could be delivered by the contractor who installed the asset. The tender and contract documentation should specify this.


Assets management or maintenance can be complex if the details are spread through a broad file. Instead, collate that information into a maintenance schedule or log, listing the assets/components, and detailing the frequency and nature of the maintenance tasks. Additionally, the handover process may involve updating current maintenance and asset registers.

Handover is the final stage of the construction project. It needs to have in the project's life to ensure vital checks and information are missed. This process will be more effective if the project is managed with AECIS - construction project management software. Contact us for a trial.


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