The Clerk of the Works
or Clerk of Works
(often abbreviated CoW) is a person employed by the architect
or client on a construction site
. The role is primarily to represent the interests of the client in regard to ensuring the quality of both materials and workmanship are in accordance with the design information such as specification
and engineering drawings
, in addition to recognized quality standards. The role is defined in standard forms of contract
such as those published by the Joint Contracts Tribunal
Historically the CoW was employed by the architect or landscape architect. The landscape architect will refer to this person as a field engineer.
Maître d'Oeuvres is a term used in many European jurisdictions for the office that carries out this job in major projects; in Italy the term used is direttore dei lavori (manager of the works). The Channel Tunnel project had such an office.