The new Common Assessment Standard will ensure that bidders looking for work with the four main civils consortia – Align, BBV, EK and SCS Railways – will go through identical pre-qualification processes.
With HS2 set to represent 11% of the country’s infrastructure spend over the next decade, the firms hope the new system will chisel away at the estimated £1bn per year spent by the supply chain on tendering for work.
Developed as part of HS2’s ‘Collaboration Hub’ initiative, the contractors worked with two of the sector’s biggest representative organisations, Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, and through industry body, High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group, to agree the new system.
It is hoped the new Common Assessment Standard for PQ will be adopted across the entire industry over time.
The common protocol means that subcontractors and suppliers will now have a choice in assurance provider, creating market competition and reducing the costs associated with infrastructure procurement.
Key players signed up to the common assessment standard include Achilles, Constructionline and CHAS.
It ensures that all suppliers meet a high-quality standard, essential for HS2 to deliver a safe and quality supply chain.
Andy Cross, Procurement Director, HS2 Ltd said: “Building Britain’s new high speed railway provides a significant opportunity for the construction industry to innovate and work together, to leave lasting improvements on the sector as a whole.
“By adopting new approaches, such as the Common Assessment Standard, we can potentially transform the way in which the industry works, and procures goods and services.”
Isabel Coman, project director for Skanska Costain Strabag (SCS) joint venture, said: “All of the main works civil contractors are backing the new standard, which will also create equal opportunity to assessment bodies, creating competition in the marketplace and better value for all involved.”