This guidance note introduces the subject by looking at the general principles of retention, including areas such as law; reasons for introduction within a contract; levels of retention, and how amounts are deducted, certified or released.

The guidance note then focuses on how the standard forms of contract deal with the issue. A list of the contracts reviewed is included within the table of contents.

The guidance note reviews methods and limits of deduction, inclusion of the retention amount to be included within the contract, release and set off against sums held.

This guidance note concludes with a review of common issues including areas such as commonly occurring problems; financing; insolvency, and defects rectification.

Guidance is given for each of the main groups of contracts and the forms in most regular use within those groups, under the following headings, which map to the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC): General principles (Level 1 - Knowing), Practical application (Level 2 - Doing), Practical considerations (Level 3 - Doing/Advising).

This is part of the RICS QS and Construction Standards.