Language Skills for Engineering Consultants – Reading Comprehension

This paragraph is taken from the section called “Client Responsibilities” which outlines what the user of engineering services should do to prepare for the selection process.

Please read through the article and be prepared to answer questions on its content.

Defining the Scope of the Project
“Clients should describe the nature and extent of the project as clearly and precisely as possible, including defining the objective(s) to be met and outlining relevant background information. They should also state their expectations about how objectives will be accomplished and the anticipated involvement of their staff, the engineering consultant and other relevant parties.”

Exercise 1: True/False exercise

Now that you have read the above paragraph, answer true or false to the following statements.

  1. If I, the client, want to hire a team of engineering consultants I must first find the team and then work with them to define the project and project objectives.
  2. A general description of the project is insufficient.
  3. From the perspective of the team of consultants who may bid on this project, a description of the relevant background and context is helpful information
  4. Once a team of engineering consultants is hired for a project, there is no need for the client to dedicate staff time to it.
  5. It is solely up to the engineering consultants to decide how project objectives will be accomplished.
  6. If you have completed the exercise, check our answer key.

Questions to consider
Have you been the client in this situation? The engineering consultant? Both?
Does this process seem to differ from what you know?
If so, how?
Do you think you will be asked to adapt your way of doing things to accommodate this process?
What are some of the skills required in order to define the scope of a project?

Exercise 2: Matching exercise

As stated in the above paragraph, when users of professional engineering services prepare to recruit a team of engineering consultants they must be able to define the scope of the project. There are seven criteria which may help to define the terms of reference for engineering services.

Match the criteria on the left with the correct accompanying questions on the right.

Criteria Question
1. Objective(s) a. What tangible results are expected?
2. Background b. When will the project start/finish?
3. Scope c. What should the project accomplish?
4. Approach d. What will be included in, or excluded from, the project?
5. Resources e. How will the objective(s) be met?
6. Deliverables f. What factors led up to the project?
7. Timing g. Who will be responsible for what?

Now go to the answer key.