Making consideration in construction top of the agenda

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    Robert Biggs, former Chairman of the Considerate Constructors Scheme outlines how the Scheme can address modern day challenges in the construction sector…

    In today’s world, we’re continuously faced with a barrage of information, advice and guidance – much of which can often lead to confusion rather than being helpful. The Considerate Constructors Scheme has reassuringly, a clear and simple objective: to improve the image of the construction industry and encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.

    The not-for-profit Scheme was established by the industry back in 1997, and has become the recognised force for improvement within construction. It’s a pretty important role given construction contributed £92bn in economic output last year (6.1% of the total)1. Furthermore, the industry is forecast to grow 23% by the end of 2018 2. Great growth opportunities and playing a pivotal part in the nation’s economy are, however, met with steep and urgent challenges: construction faces a dearth of workers – over 200,000 more are needed in the next five years, women continue to be underrepresented, and there’s growing pressure on the environment in order to meet the demands of an ever-expanding population.

    The industry recognises the Scheme’s impact in helping to tackle these challenges, so much so that it has become a tendering condition for a large number of publicly and privately funded projects.

    How does it work?

    The Scheme works through the voluntary registration of construction sites, companies, sub-contractors and suppliers. These organisations agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice. They are monitored by industry professionals on their performance in three areas of the Code: consideration towards the general public, the workforce and the environment. Every year, the Scheme registers around 8,000 sites and makes over 15,000 site visits.

    By displaying Considerate Constructors Scheme posters around the site, companies can promote their registration. The posters also provide a name and telephone number of the site manager or company contact and a Freephone number of the Scheme’s administration office should any passers-by wish to comment. Registered companies and suppliers can also display a vehicle sticker or magnet, showing their unique registration number, on every company vehicle used on the public highway.

    Striving for better

    The best performing sites and companies are recognised at the Scheme’s annual National Awards programme. The awards range from the top achievement of ‘Most Considerate Site or Company’ through to Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. Being an award-winner is a real badge of honour, and this achievement is highly revered across the industry.

    Business benefits

    There are a number of compelling cases for gaining Scheme membership: it can often support winning new business and help with the planning process by demonstrating commitment to adding social value, minimising inconvenience for local communities and disruption to the environment. In many cases, registration with the Scheme is mandatory for some clients and the vast majority of major contractors register all of the sites with the Scheme.

    The advice and guidance provided during site visits has been instrumental in helping construction sites to become more efficient, whether it’s in how they communicate with their workforce, through to developing stronger relationships with their supply chain.

    Sharing best practice

    With over 18 years of monitoring construction sites, the Scheme has collected a vast library of examples of best practice which exceed the requirements of the Scheme’s Code. Examples come from a range of organisations and project sizes, covering huge billion-pound projects right through to small scale building works. Earlier this year, the Scheme introduced the Best Practice Hub to share these examples with the industry. Any organisation can use the Hub and, once registered, can update it with their best practice examples, case studies and tips.

    The next generation

    The Scheme plays a vital role in making construction an exciting, challenging and rewarding place for the next generation of employees. The Scheme developed the industry mascot, Ivor Goodsite, a costumed character for construction companies to use to engage with a younger audience to encourage safety on and around construction sites and to promote all that is positive about the UK construction industry.

    The Scheme also works directly with secondary schools, colleges and universities to speak to young people to get the message across that the industry offers great career opportunities – whether it’s skilled technical careers on site or across fields including surveying, architecture, planning, finance, HR, marketing and management.

    For further information about the Considerate Constructors Scheme visit ccscheme.org.uk .

    1 Construction industry: statistics and policy, House of Commons, 2015.

    2 Construction Products Association.

    Considerate Constructors Scheme Code of Considerate Practice

    All organisations registering with the Scheme agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice:

    Care about Appearance

    Constructors should ensure sites appear professional and well managed.

    Respect the Community

    Constructors should give utmost consideration to their impact on neighbours and the public.

    Protect the Environment

    Constructors should protect and enhance the environment.

    Secure everyone’s Safety

    Constructors should attain the highest levels of safety performance.

    Value their Workforce

    Constructors should provide a supportive and caring working environment.

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    Robert Biggs

    Former Chairman of the Considerate

    Constructors Scheme

    Tel: 0800 783 1423

    enquiries@ccscheme.org.uk

    www.ccscheme.org.uk

    www.twitter.com/CCScheme

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