The RIAS has drawn up a new 'standard form of appointment' for domestic schemes that will replace the RIBA Plan of Works in Scotland.
The institute believes the new system will be 'more appropriate' for the 700 architects north of the border that work on domestic alterations and extensions.
Those behind the scheme claim that it meets a need - 'recognised for some time' - to provide a simple document that is applicable to both architectural practices and their domestic clients.
It is understood that the RIBA's practice department will be observing the new document with interest - as it is considering following suit.
Gus Macdonald, the RIAS director of practice, told the AJ that the new document was long overdue. 'This has become a genuine issue,' he said. 'The Plan of Works really is very formal, long winded and legalistic.
'There is also another reason for doing this - we really want to encourage architects to formalise the appointment process, something they are often not doing.
'We would very much commend this form to them [architects] and their clients as a means of ensuring that there are no misunderstandings as to the scope of the services to be provided and the fees to be charged,' Macdonald added.
The form is available in PDF format, downloadable free from the RIAS website www.rias.org.uk
to practice services.by Ed Dorrell