Construction industry hopes to boost efficiency with new Pre-Qualification System
Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) have announced the launch of the first phase of a new pre-qualification (PQ) system designed to reduce inefficiencies that they claim are costing the construction industry up to £1 billion a year.
The two trade bodies suggest that the existing PQ system is “complex and repetitive and a major barrier to improved productivity.” The multitude of schemes currently in operation sees around 180,000 specialist contractors producing over two million pieces of paper every year for 5,000 contractors.
The new system will ultimately allow for greater consistency and efficiency in how companies become pre-qualified for work at the first stage.
The roll-out of this first phase of the new system includes:
· Publication of the Common Assessment Standard used to pre-qualify companies. Based on existing PQ questionnaires, including BSI’s PAS 91, this covers 10 key areas and includes desktop and site-based assessment standards.
· Confirmation of the first recognised assessment bodies to certify companies against the Common Assessment Standard. These organisations are Achilles, CHAS and Constructionline.
· The system is being overseen by an Interim Cross Industry Body consisting of experts from organisations across the sector, including public and private sector clients, contractors and trade associations.
Once the new system is fully up and running, companies will not have to be certified by more than one recognised assessment body. A data sharing arrangement is currently being developed which will allow contractors to obtain PQ information from any one of the recognised assessment bodies. Contractors will be transitioning to the new system over the coming months.
Discussing the new system, Jo Fautley, Deputy Chief Executive of Build UK, said: “The construction industry is making great strides towards more collaborative working and this new PQ system has been developed by industry, for industry, based on standards that clients, contractors and the supply chain have all agreed on. We look forward to the industry getting on board with it over the coming months so we can realise the efficiency gains for everyone’s benefit and boost overall productivity.”