CIPS News


Procurement competencies must be improved in construction sector to make buildings safer

CIPS 30 August 2019

The Procurement working group, chaired by The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) was one of 13 working groups made up of more than 150 institutions and associations across the full spectrum of construction, built environment, fire safety and building owner/manager sectors; all working towards the common purpose of raising competences to improve life safety.

CIPS welcomes the publication of Raising the Bar, the summary and reports from the Working Groups established after the Hackitt Review following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. 

CIPS has been delighted to chair the Procurement Working Group. From that Working Group, key recommendations are now being put forward for the procurement profession directly involved in the design, construction, maintenance and operation on higher risk residential buildings (HRRBs) to make them safer to the public as part of a cross industries group backed by the Government, the Industry Safety Steering Group and Dame Judith Hackitt.

Key Recommendations include:

-       There must be a Procurement Lead for HRRBs with a comprehensive HRRB procurement competence level involved at every stage of the RIBA Plan of Work.

-       HRRB Procurement Lead will be assessed and accredited against a new procurement competence framework which identifies the capabilities and knowledge that are needed to carry out all procurement activities identified for HRRBs

-       Implementing this Procurement Lead role will need a culture change in the construction sector and work is needed to raise awareness of the new competence requirements for procurement activities to ensure appreciation and compliance.

The new measures are now being proposed by the Procurement Working Group, part of the Competence Steering Group (CSG), set up by the Industry Response Group (IRG) to tackle competency failings identified in the Hackitt Review, Building a Safer Future, following the Grenfell Tower fire. In its interim report Raising the Bar, published this month, the CSG is urging all life-safety-critical disciplines working on HRRBs, including designers, engineers, building standards officers, site supervisors, fire safety enforcement officers and fire risk officials, to adopt the measures.

It is also calling on Government to play its part by requiring that any company or individual working on a central Government construction project, including those who retrofit existing HRRBs must meet the competence frameworks set out within the report. Local authorities and the wider public and private sectors are also being urged to follow suit.

Duncan Brock, Group Director, CIPS and Chair of the Procurement working group said: “Throughout the working group discussion there have been many examples provided of poor commercial practices which have led to a focus on price and margin at the expense of safety. We know that profit margins throughout the construction industry are low and with high levels of competition there is a real concern, despite the best intentions of everyone involved in the various working groups, that the culture of low prices and undercutting of competitors will continue.

 “It is recognised that to embed a safety first mentality throughout the sourcing, contracting and contract management process is a significant change from the current operating environment,  A balanced approach to decision-making at every stage of the sourcing, contracting and contract management process is needed.”

The Procurement working group, chaired by The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) was one of 13 working groups made up of more than 150 institutions and associations across the full spectrum of construction, built environment, fire safety and building owner/manager sectors; all working towards the common purpose of raising competences to improve life safety.

Ends

Notes to editors:

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is the world’s largest procurement and supply professional organisation.  It is the worldwide centre of excellence on procurement and supply management issues.  CIPS has a global community of over 200,000 in 180 different countries, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics.  The activities of procurement and supply chain professionals have a major impact on the profitability and efficiency of all types of organisation and CIPS offers corporate solutions packages to improve business profitability. 
www.cips.org; @CIPSNews

Press contacts:

Liz Lees, CIPS;  liz.lees@cips.org;  +44 (0) 1780 761574; 07917 648564

The full Interim Report, Executive Summary and accompanying Annexes can be downloaded here:

Raising the Bar Interim Report 

Raising the Bar Executive Summary http://cic.org.uk/admin/resources/executive-summaryraising-the-barinterimfinal.pdf

Raising the Bar  Appendix A (Working Group 1-3)

Raising the Bar  Appendix A (Working Group 4-12):

Raising the Bar Appendix B – Building Safety Coordinator

 The consultation period for the Interim Report ends on 18 October 2019, following which a final report will be issued. Responses to the report should be sent to enquiries@cic.org.uk

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