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Get access to design advice

If the client team does not already have design expertise, you need to consider how you will get access to independent design advice.

This is important to do as the project team begins its work because you will need to take a view on emerging design proposals and monitor progress against qualitative outcomes that you have set in your brief.

For example, it may be useful for the steering group to include masterplanning experts who are not directly involved in the project, but who can provide additional technical vetting of proposals.

A common way of gaining access to this kind of design advice is through a design review panel. Many local areas have their own, and others exist at the national level and below. The value of this type of input is its independence: a panel of professional experts who do not have any interests in the project can give their view freely on whether an emerging proposal is capable of achieving the client’s qualitative aims. If possible, design review should be planned into the project programme.