Career Paths from Construction Planning to Delay Analyst Employment

Posted by Steve Thomas , Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada on Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Have you worked as a Construction Planner for a few years? If so, have you heard about the exciting career opportunities in construction dispute and resolution work? The Maxim Recruitment team is ready to help you map out some of your potential career opportunities within this rewarding career path.

Construction Planners who have a little bit of experience undertaking delay analysis related project work are in a perfect position to accelerate their careers in the construction industry.

This article focuses on the Engineering or Planning route to becoming a specialised Delay Analyst or Forensic Planner within construction disputes.

What does a Planner do?

A construction Planner's job is to represent the interests of your employer to ensure a project's successful completion on time.   Construction Planners are in charge of managing projects to keep them on schedule and to make sure they are completed within the expected timelines (and hopefully make a profit too).

What are a Construction Planner’s transferable job skills into Dispute and Delay related work?

Lets assume that you have never been involved in a construction dispute, but that you have experience ensuring that projects are kept on schedule by preparing reports and using planning programmes (eg. Primavera P6, Asta Power Project, and Microsoft Project).  Perhaps you have a background in planning or project management and have strong management skills or project recovery experience from a time when a project schedule fell behind the expected time frame and an "as-built vs. as-planned" review had to be analysed to get the schedule and programme back on track. These are highly sought after planning skills that can be converted into the context of delay analysis.

When moving into a dedicated dispute and resolution management, or a specialised project recovery job assignment, all the above types of experience in a Planner/Senior Planner or Forensic Planner role are essential.

Where does a Forensic Planner fit within Construction dispute resolution Job Titles?

The appropriate level you should typically expect to be employed at when you transition your career into a specialised dispute and resolution role is:

Planner/ Forensic Planner > A Consultant (Delay) / Delay Analyst role

Senior Planner/ Forensic Planner > A Senior Consultant (Delay) role

What do Forensic Planning employers look for in Delay Analyst Applicants?

Employers are searching for employees with prior planning experience who have developed transferable skills that can be used in the context of Delay related work. Employers that hire Delay Analysts look for a variety of desirable experience types, including the following:

  • Providing individual assessments of baseline and delay schedule submissions.
  • Performing Critical Path analysis.
  • Appreciation towards various methods of delay analysis and experience using programming software.
  • Compiling As-Built progress data.
  • Developing factual chronologies of events.

How to build a Planning role into a career in Construction Dispute and Resolution

Employers look for consistency and stability in a candidate's career history, as well as evidence of a career plan and an interest in academic and professional development within dispute and resolution. In essence, you should be able to demonstrate:

Regarding the previous point about qualifications, it is reasonable to say that, in comparison to most construction contractors and subcontractors, most of our dispute and resolution employers prefer candidates to be Chartered (Chartered Institute of Building/ CIOB or equivalent) or dedicated working towards a professional qualification in the future.

Can you catch the eyes of employers by having "Dual Qualification”?

In addition, a majority of premium delay claims and dispute employers prefer "dual qualified" candidates, which means that in addition to having a CIOB or an equivalent, candidates are also advised to have or are working towards earning an MSc or LLM in Construction Law in Dispute Resolution.

Why time is crucial when transitioning from a career as a Planner to a specialist Dispute and Resolution role.

There is the potential for a problem with the balance between qualification, experience, and the transition period from being a Planner into dedicated dispute and resolution work. The timing of this career change is crucial. 

There is only a small window of time when a planner has enough experience to transfer into dedicated dispute and resolution work - but not too much experience, which would make them too experienced in non-core delay dispute and resolution jobs, and possibly also too expensive for them to afford.

The alternative of remaining with their current employer and progressing their career to become a Senior Planner or a Project Manager may apply to potential candidates who have missed the opportunity to transfer to a specialist dispute and resolution work and are not willing to take a significant pay cut to move across.

However for good Planners hitting this career choice at the right time in their career development, we can do a lot to enhance both career opportunities and long term salary growth through the move across to the Delay Analysis sector.

Discover career opportunities in Construction Dispute and Resolution with us.

Whatever you decide to do with your education and work experience, the recruitment consultants at Maxim Recruitment are delighted to provide you with advice on the career path and specific job opportunities that are best for you.  If you'd like to get in touch with us, please submit your latest CV in Word format.

You may submit your resume for general review or apply for a particular job in Delay and Forensic Planning by looking through the postings and selecting the one that best matches your requirements using the link here:

For anyone wishing to apply their Planning skills to this specialised area of the construction industry, a career in dispute and resolution may be extremely rewarding. We look forward to offering our assistance.

Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada
Maxim Recruitment

Steve is responsible for Maxim Recruitment in the UK. He is based in the Maxim head office in Leicester, Leicestershire and regularly travels to meet employers, job seekers and to attend construction industry networking events all over the UK. With over 20 years' experience in construction and property recruitment he works with a number of repeat clients and engages in search and headhunting assignments for a range of premium UK and international clients.