Common prequal system launches to save £1bn in paperwork

Aaron Morby 2 weeks ago
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Two of the country’s largest contractor trade bodies have launched a nationally recognised single prequalification system for construction with the promise of saving £1bn in industry paperwork.

The rollout of the Common Assessment Standard will significantly reduce the duplication of time, effort and resources.

Under the multitude of schemes currently in operation around 180,000 specialist contractors can produce over two million pieces of paper every year for 5,000 contractors.

Major contractors and clients, including Balfour Beatty, Costain, HS2, Mace, Multiplex and Skanska, have signed up to the Common Assessment Standard meaning that members of their supply chains will need to obtain just one certification to tender for work with them.

The system is being rolled out after agreement on 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 bodies to get the appropriate level dependent upon their trade, size and requirements of their clients.

Jo Fautley, Deputy Chief Executive of Build UK, said: “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, Chair of the Interim Cross Industry Body, which has overseen the development of the new system, 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 Assessment Bodies, and contractors can continue to deal with the body they have an existing relationship with.”

Andy Mitchell, Chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: “The CLC will be encouraging the adoption of the Common Assessment Standard throughout public and private sector procurement.”

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