New construction guidance 'not valuable' for CIPS professionals

11 November 2011

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11 November 2011 | Angeline Albert

New guidance on construction procurement has received a lukewarm response from one senior buyer. According to Rob Douglas, retail support purchasing director at Dixons Retail, the BSI Group’s construction procurement standard may benefit immature purchasing functions, but most purchasers are unlikely to find the standard valuable.

He said: “The guidance covers the basics of buying. Its effectiveness would depend on the maturity of the purchasing organisation that is buying. Basic advice like this could add value for an SME or a less mature buying organisation. We wouldn’t follow it because we have our own internal guidance, which is more detailed about the processes we should follow. A CIPS professional would not find it valuable since they should already be implementing best practice in their procurement processes.”    

The BSI Group launched its procurement standard, BS 8534:2011 – Construction procurement policies, strategies and procedures – Code of Practice yesterday, to remind buyers of best practice purchasing steps required when buying construction work.

The BS 8534:2011 gives buyers guidance on issues including the definition of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for the procurement programme. It also tells buyers that when facing a skills gap, they should gain external expert advice on how to meet the business need and also define a procurement project’s contribution to strategic objectives.

BS 8534:2011 was developed following the 'Rethinking Construction Standards' workshop series sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation &Skills.

The standard was developed in response to the construction industry’s demands for more consistency in the way their work is procured.

Jonathan Griffin, head of market development at BSI said: “BSI strongly believes that the construction industry will benefit from the introduction of a high-level best practice framework in this area since it will eliminate wasteful processes in design, procurement and construction.”

The standard costs £182.00 and can be bought from the BSI online shop


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