Highways Agency drops CATs for new prequal audit

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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Highways Agency chiefs are rolling out the next generation of contractor capability assessments for major projects and maintenance contracts.

The new StART system will replace the old CAT rating system, which generated competitive rankings of contractors influencing which firm’s won road work.

The StART – Strategic Alignment ReviewToolkit – is built around driving supply chain alignment in five critical areas.

In future, civil engineering contractors will be audited on leadership, supply chain management, cost as well as new areas of inclusion and sustainability.

Contractor training days are underway to brief the firms on using the the new system to StART.

Firms will be expected to submit their self assessments in coming weeks in time for day long assessment visits by agency staff in January.

The first scores for firms will be published at the end of March.

One contractor told the Enquirer: “The Highways Agency isn’t going to have epic amounts of work going forward but everbody is very focused on making sure they get a good rating to get a chance for what little work is coming up.

“This time round encourging diversity and low carbon footprints seem to be the rage.”

The results of StART will be applied to high value Major Projects and Future Maintenance Contracts (FMC).

In future a scaled down version of StART will be built into the pre-qualification process on lower value contracts.

StART scores could also begin to influence joint venture pairings. Where contractors are bidding in joint ventures firms will be assessed individually and the average of their scores used for short-listing in the prequalification Process.

The contractor’s designer on a major project will not be required to have a StART score.

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