50,000 sites registered

From left to right: Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy and former Scheme Chairmen Norman Reed, Peter Kingdon, David Hardy and Doug Goodsir.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has recently celebrated the registration of its 50,000th site.

Mulalley & Co.’s HFI Area 3 site near King’s Cross in London has become the 50,000th site to register with the Considerate Constructors Scheme since it was launched 14 years ago. This was the 10th and most significant occasion on which the Scheme has celebrated a registration milestone; the first being the 5000th registered site, back in 2002.

The £4m project commenced in October 2010 and runs through to July 2011, and involves the regeneration of a social housing scheme in central London.

Representatives of the Scheme, including all former Chairmen, met with the Directors from Mulalley & Co. Ltd and representatives from the client, Homes for Islington, to celebrate the occasion with the presentation of a commemorative plaque. Scheme Chief Executive, Edward Hardy, presented the plaque to Mulalley & Co.’s Director Eamon O’Malley at a brief ceremony also attended by Mulalley’s Operations Director Bruce Benson.

Edward Hardy, the Scheme’s Chief Executive, added,

Following a record year for Site Registrations in 2010, we are delighted to have reached this significant milestone and it is particularly fitting that we should be celebrating this event with one of our founder Associate Members, Mulalley & Co. Ltd who have been huge supporters of the Scheme since their first Site Registration back in 1999, before becoming a founder Associate Member in 2003.

Such an occasion gives us the ideal opportunity to reflect upon the last 14 years and to look at the progress made by the Scheme and the industry itself in improving the image of construction. When the Scheme was launched in 1997 there was an obvious problem with how the industry was perceived by the general public and, in many instances, by the industry itself. Since then there has been huge progress in addressing this perception but the work is not yet completed and it is important that the Scheme continues to raise the bar in challenging the industry to even higher standards. Reaching 50,000 Site Registrations is an amazing achievement but we are now looking ahead to many more milestones in the future.

Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy and Director of Mulalley & Co. Ltd Eamon O’Malley. 

The original catalyst for the introduction of the Considerate Constructors Scheme was Sir Michael Latham’s review of the construction industry in 1994 which identified a number of key areas for improvement including the need for the industry to better present itself to both potential clients and the general public. One of the first recommendations which emerged from this report and the subsequent review was the adoption of a Considerate Constructors Scheme aimed at encouraging Contractors to observe, and preferably exceed, minimum standards of consideration towards local communities, the general public and site operatives. When agreeing the policies that would govern the Scheme, chief among these was that registration would be voluntary and the emphasis would be on encouragement rather than regulation.

Doug Goodsir was appointed as General Manager of the Scheme when it was launched in 1997.

I am immensely proud to have been involved with the Scheme at its inception back in 1997. My initial task was to travel the UK persuading sites to trial the concept of the Scheme whilst also refining the scoring system and monitoring procedures as well as the Code of Considerate Practice. We initially had just 8 sites registered but this was enough for us to see that the concept was indeed operable and when the Scheme was launched nationally later that year, there were already 178 sites registered.

Although I have no direct involvement today, it still fills me with a tremendous sense of pride when I see the Scheme’s posters and banners on sites the length and breadth of the UK.

David Hardy MBE, Scheme Chief Executive from 1998 to 2003 and Chairman from 2003 to 2005 commented,

When I took over the role of General Manager in 1998, the Scheme had already started to gather momentum and the industry had reacted extremely positively to the concept of self-improvement. Over the next few years, the Scheme continued to grow and we celebrated several significant milestones along the way hitting 5,000 registered sites in the 2002, 10,000 in 2004 and 15,000 in 2006.

We launched the National Site Awards in 1998 which are now viewed as one of the highlights of the construction industry calendar with 11 individual ceremonies being held in 2011.

Along the way, many other new initiatives were launched including a new website in 2000, our Industry Image newsletter in 2002 and, in 2003, we were very proud to have Ivor Goodsite join the team bringing his own brand of enthusiasm to the Scheme assisting our member contractors in their work with local schools.

In 2003, we also launched Associate Membership which provided committed contractors with a platform from which to generate discussion around the Scheme’s key issues as a group with common aims and objectives. This has proved to be immensely successful and we now have 49 Associates on board meeting twice each year.

In 2004, I was delighted to take on the role of Chief Executive and, later that year, the Scheme Board was formed and I was appointed Chairman with my son, Edward Hardy, who also started with the Scheme in 1998, taking over the role of General Manager.

Front: Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy and Director of Mulalley & Co. Ltd Eamon O’Malley. Back: Director of Mulalley & Co Ltd Bruce Benson and the site team. 

In 2006, David’s 2 year term as Chairman came to an end and Peter Kingdon, an established Monitor with vast experience within the industry, took on the role.

By the time I took on the role of Chairman in 2006, the Scheme was already incredibly successful and Site Registrations continued to grow. In 2007 we hit 20,000 sites and also launched the concept of Client Partnership allowing industry Clients to meet collectively with the Scheme to look at how best to encourage the contractors they engage to ever higher standards.

In 2008, Norman Reed, was appointed Scheme Chairman.

Looking back, the Scheme’s success has been built upon our drive towards ‘continuous improvement’ by regularly introducing more demanding questions on our Site Registration Monitors’ Checklist and it has been great to see the industry rise to the challenge every time. It has been particularly gratifying to see that the Scheme has worked at all levels and is just as relevant to an individual tradesman as it is to multi-million pound corporations.

In 2009, we introduced the concept of Company Registration aimed at those companies for which Site Registration wasn’t appropriate either because of the nature of work that they undertook or simply down to operating on shorter duration sites. This, again, has been warmly welcomed by this population who previously viewed the Scheme as beyond their grasp. We have had a huge variety of companies join the Scheme from skip companies to repair and maintenance companies conducting tens of thousands of smaller jobs each year. It has been important to the Scheme that we provided an opportunity to these companies to join the Scheme and this concept continues to develop even today.

Current Chairman, Robert Biggs, commented,

Since the Scheme was launched 14 years ago, it has grown from a simple idea into a revolution that has changed the face of UK construction. With a clear and simple objective – to improve the image of construction – the Scheme has acted as a catalyst for delivering all that is best in considerate site practice across the UK. Attitudes and behaviour on sites have been transformed and many contractors now make an important and practical contribution to general community welfare, leaving behind a positive and friendly impression.

I’m delighted to see that the Scheme continued to grow in 2010 despite the industry’s current recession and the difficult times we find ourselves in. The Scheme has been fortunate in developing at a time when the concept of corporate social responsibility amongst businesses and organisations has also been developing. We are one of the few organisations able to offer an independent view on a large part of a construction company’s corporate social responsibility performance.

Representatives from the Scheme, including former Chairmen, Mulalley & Co. Ltd and the client, Homes for Islington.

Bruce Benson, Director of Mulalley & Co. Ltd, said

We were delighted to be the 50,000th site registered under the Considerate Constructors Scheme and to join with representatives of the Scheme and all of the former Chairmen to celebrate this momentous milestone in the Scheme’s history.

Mulalley have been committed to the Scheme since we registered our first site 12 years ago and since becoming a Founder Associate Member in 2003, we now register all our sites as part of our commitment to improving their image and reducing their impact on the communities within which we work.

Today the Scheme registers around 700 new sites a month and its team of over 130 Monitors carry out around 1500 site inspections each month. The launch of Company Registration also now means that the Scheme can register any site or company of any size from across the UK and serves to increase the Scheme’s influence on UK construction in its aims of improving the image of construction.