HS2 contractors collaborate on pre-qualification system

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
18 October 2019

Construction firms working on HS2 have collaborated to create a common pre-qualification system that will streamline tenders and cut costs.

The Common Assessment Standard will mean bidders looking to work with four of the biggest main contractors on the scheme will go through an identical pre-qualification process.

It is estimated suppliers in the construction industry are spending up to £1bn per year on tendering for work and the new system, which it is envisaged could be used across the wider industry, will avoid duplication and costs.

Andy Cross, procurement director at 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.”

The four contractors – Align, BBV, EK and SCS Railways – worked with industry bodies Build UK, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group to agree the system, developed as part of HS2’s “Collaboration Hub” initiative.

The Collaboration Hub allows contractors to find common approaches and ensure “the best procurement decisions are made for the project”, said HS2 Ltd.

HS2 will represent around 11% of UK infrastructure spend over the next decade and will be the largest individual client in the sector. “The approaches taken to procurement on the project will not only have an impact on HS2 but the wider construction sector,” said HS2.

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