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New Common Assessment Standard for Procuring Suppliers | BUILDING MAGAZINE

New Common Assessment Standard for Procuring Suppliers

A new common assessment standard for procuring suppliers has been adopted by major construction contractors.

Build UK announced that the new industry wide pre-qualification system is now fully up and running, with the aim of simplifying a previously complex system which will benefit everyone in the construction sector.

The hope is that the rollout of the common assessment standard will reduce the duplication of time, effort and resources which are costing the sector up to a £1bn a year.

Major contractors and clients, including Balfour Beatty, Costain, HS2, Mace, Multiplex and Skanska, have all adopted the common assessment standard, meaning that members of their supply chains need to obtain just one certification to tender work with them. This follows the recent implementation of a new data sharing solution, which enables contractors and clients to obtain key PQ data from any one of three recognised assessment bodies, Achilles, CHAS or Constructionline.

The common assessment standard is an industry agreed question set with two levels of certification – desktop and site based – and companies can apply to any of the recognised assessment bodies to get the appropriate level dependant upon their trade, size and requirements of their clients.

Created by Build UK with the support of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the common assessment standard is endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council, which is pushing for its adoption throughout government construction procurement, including the Construction Playbook.

Jo Fautley Build UK deputy chief executive, said: “We’re delighted that the new system is now fully up and running and already being used by major contractors and clients. It’s been a collaborative effort, involving companies across the whole sector and the new system is a huge step towards more efficient working, which is more important than ever in the current challenging economic climate”.

Neil Mant, Vinci procurement director chaired the interim cross industry body that has overseen the development of the new system. He said: “The new PQ system is a huge step forward for construction. With a single common assessment standard and data sharing now in place, we have not only eliminated a huge amount of costly duplication of effort but also raised the bar in assessing the competence of the supply chain. Supply chain companies will need certification from only one of the three recognised bodies and contractors can continue to deal with the body they have an existing relationship with”.

Andy Mitchell, Construction Leadership Council chair said: “The CLC is delighted to endorse the common assessment standard, which is set to transform the construction PQ process. It is a real and practical way of reducing bureaucracy and improving quality in the industry and it comes at just the right time. Companies will be able to demonstrate that they meet an agreed industry standard and clients and contractors will be able to rely on the certification. The CLC will be encouraging the adoption of the common assessment standard throughout public and private sector procurement”.