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NMS Specifications

National Master Specification (NMS)

The National Master Specification (NMS) was created by Public Works and Government Services, presently managed by the National Research Council (NRC), and published under license by Digicon. The NMS has been available to the Canadian construction industry for over 35 years.

Contact the NRC here:

  1. NRC (NMS) (English)
  2. CNRC (DDN) (Français)

Guidelines for the use of NMS in PWGSC projects is documented in the Specification Brief on the NMS web site.

Update Schedule
The NRC co-ordinates a continuous review and update of the over 700 NMS sections. Each year approximately one third of all of the NMS data is reviewed and published resulting in a complete update of the NMS every three years. This review cycle is carried out by industry specialists in both the public and private sectors. The NRC encourages and attempts to respond to all comments and criticisms of the information contained in the NMS.

NMS for Design-Build
Although predominantly prescriptive in nature, the NMS is composed of both performance and prescriptive specification sections. The prescriptive specification sections are targeted primarily at traditional stipulated price type contracts, while the performance specification sections are more geared to serving the rapidly growing design-build market. The performance specification sections have been directed at the requirements of the Canadian Design-Build Institute (CDBI).

NMS User Manual (online)
Please browse to the NRC web site for the NMS User Manual.