Articles

Code and Checklist 2013

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The Considerate Constructors Scheme is delighted to announce that it will be launching a new Code of Considerate Practice in January 2013 as well as new Checklists, new report formats and a new scoring system for both Site and Company Registration.

The existing format of an eight point Code of Considerate Practice has been around since the Scheme was launched over 14 years ago. The Checklists were designed to support this Code with eight sections containing a number of bold questions to reflect points of compliance, and non-bold questions to address those issues considered to be performance beyond compliance.

The current method results in the site or company being awarded a score of up to five points in each section or a potential score of 40 points altogether. However, the awarding of five points in any one section is reserved for instances where the Scheme Monitor has been able to confirm that, not only have all questions in that section been properly addressed, but they have witnessed an exceptional and unique activity or initiative.

As standards within the industry have improved over the years, the Scheme has updated its Checklists to reflect these ever improving standards and to ‘raise the bar’, supporting its ethos of encouraging a culture of continuous improvement.

Following close consultation with the Scheme’s Board, its Associate Members and many other parties involved with the Scheme back in 2010, it was felt that there may be an opportunity to completely review the Checklists to reduce the number of questions asked whilst still providing a clear focus on the core expectations of the Scheme and giving registered sites and companies the opportunity to really push the boundaries of what could be achieved. Part of this review also looked at the Code itself to establish whether eight sections were still appropriate or whether a more focused approach would be more suitable. Changes over the years have also inevitably led to a few instances of overlap within the Checklists as well as an ever-growing number of questions being asked on the Monitor visits.

Back in 2010, the Scheme’s Document Review Group was tasked with reviewing existing practices and began coming up with potential new models, and these ideas were then discussed with Scheme Monitors through their Regional Meetings in 2011. Further refinement work was then undertaken and two potential models were presented to the Scheme’s Board and the Associate Members, and all feedback and suggestions were carefully reviewed before a new model was put forward for piloting in the field.

Further amendments were then made following this initial pilot and the Scheme now has a final model which it is preparing for launch in January 2013.

Although full details of the changes cannot be released at this stage as there will be further testing throughout 2012, the Scheme can confirm some details of what the new system is likely to look like.

The new Code of Considerate Practice will be split into five sections – appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce – and is made up of a series of bullet points rather than the current narrative style.

The Checklist has been reduced from over 100 individual questions to just 50 across the new five sections. It still includes a small number of bold questions which reflect the Scheme’s core expectations of all sites and will allow the Monitor to quickly ascertain basic compliance with the Scheme’s Code.

Each section will also include a series of open questions to encourage discussion between the Monitor and site manager which looks at performance beyond compliance. The Checklist also includes a series of prompts to guide registered sites and companies on the expectations of the questions.

Looking at the scoring, each of the five sections will be scored out of ten points giving a total achievable score of 50 points, with a five point score in any one section indicating compliance. There will no longer be half point scoring and each score from one to ten will be accompanied by a clear and concise score descriptor so that sites understand why a particular score has been awarded.

References to ‘exceptional and unique’ activities have been replaced with a maximum score in any section being achieved by not only addressing all questions within that section to a high level, but also demonstrating innovative behaviour.

Finally, the new report will be spread over two pages with an executive summary and the listing of any innovative activities or initiatives witnessed by the Monitor. The Scheme will still use bold italic text to highlight areas where items on the Checklist have not been addressed or to indicate potential areas for improvement.

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2012, there is a clear implementation plan in place with some key events and milestones ahead.

Q1 2012
  • Completion of 2nd phase of pilot visits
  • Initial communication to the industry including construction companies, clients, accreditation bodies and other industry bodies
  • Details of implementation plan on website outlining process and timescales
Q2 2012
  • Internal system and process review
  • Initial training of Monitors at the Monitors’ Regional Meetings in April
  • Detailed review of new process at Associate Members meeting in May and Client Partners meeting in June
Q3 2012
  • Live testing conducted by all Scheme Monitors alongside ‘normal’ site visits to provide data for comparative score mapping exercise
  • Finalisation of Code, Checklist, scoring and reporting systems by end of September
  • Development of training including online webinars
Q4 2012
  • Final Code and Checklist published in October
  • Final Monitor refresher training at the Monitors’ Regional Meetings in October
  • Publication of conversion table and guidance documentation
  • New Seminars and Workshops delivered with content based on new system
  • Scheme website, films, marketing material and documentation updated by end of Q4
Q1 2013
  • All visits made after 1st January 2013 on new system, including second visits
  • Intensive reviewing of reports and scores
  • Feedback gathered from sites and companies

Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the Scheme, states:

“This is clearly a major piece of work for the Scheme but is one we are keen to undertake. It is vital that the Code reflects our aims and objectives for the Scheme and the industry that support us. The supporting Checklist must also remain a motivating tool for those sites that register with the Scheme and encourage and reward original thinking and innovative behaviour in implementing new and exciting solutions to the large number of challenges faced by the modern construction industry.

Now that the new versions of the documents are ready, the hard work begins in implementing this in time for January 2013. It involves changes to all of our documentation, from the posters and banners we send out to sites, to the Seminars & Workshops we deliver as well as numerous changes to our own internal systems. We also need to design and deliver a robust training schedule for our own Monitors and for all those who use the Scheme. Communication will be key so that there are no surprises when the new Code and Checklists are launched, hence the desire to communicate our plans at this very early stage. There will be many changes ahead but we will make sure we are open and proactive in letting everyone know what we are doing.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that our aim remains as it ever has been – to improve the image of construction.”