The aim of this preliminary research was to identify the key aspects present in collaborative projects, with the objective of producing a clear definition for collaboration within the UK construction industry. The research firstly provides a summary of the different forms of "working together" that have become more prevalent since Latham and Egan's work. These forms include partnering, collaboration, alliancing and joint ventures. Partnering was seen as the ultimate form of collaboration but with the current economic crisis has enjoyed diminishing support. Collaboration is perceived as the new way forward. However the literature on the subject often uses the term collaboration interchangeably with partnering, alliances, joint ventures and networks (Hibbert et al., 2008). Partnering can be described as "a long term commitment between two or more organisations for the purpose of achieving specific business objectives by maximising the effectiveness of each participant's resources" as cited in Himes (1995). This definition however could also represent collaboration. In order to provide a clearer picture of what collaboration is primary research was carried out. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected through a triangulation of questionnaires and interviews. Selective samples of personnel were approached to take part in interviews and then a larger selective sample of personnel were approached to complete the questionnaires, who are, or have been involved in collaborative construction projects. This research aims to provide a list of aspects which are perceived as present by the various personnel which allowed the project approach to be described as collaborative. This was achieved through semi structured interviews. The aspects were then ranked in importance through the use of questionnaires to group the aspects into those that were essential, those that were desirable and those that added an extra dimension to collaboration. This preliminary work on the groups was then used to produce a definition that will be used to inform future research into the measures of performance within the delivery of a collaborative project.