Calling all trade contractors!
Since the Considerate Constructors Scheme was launched in 1997 it has continued to grow and develop, sharing best practice and helping raise standards of construction sites’ performance across the UK. While Site Registration remains the cornerstone of the Scheme’s success, the introduction of Company Registration in 2009 allowed smaller companies to register with the Scheme and to enjoy the benefits that registration brings.
During this time, the Scheme has seen a significant number of trade contractors register under Company Registration, not only to directly benefit their own company, but to support the main contractors with whom they work. These supply chain companies play a vital role in any construction project and can have a major impact on how the site is viewed by the general public. Registered trade contractors gain the many benefits of being registered with the Scheme, while main contractors feel secure in the knowledge that any registered trade contractor operating on their site will be working to the highest levels of consideration.
We are now seeing many main contractors, of all sizes and types, encourage their supply chain to register with the Scheme, and a few have even gone as far as to make Company Registration a formal requirement for all their trade contractors. With this in mind, at the end of 2011, we reviewed our Company Registration Checklists and retrained a number of Scheme Monitors to take into account the role that a trade contractor fulfils on a main contractor’s site. It is important that these companies are only assessed on the aspects that they are in direct control of when working on main contractors’ sites, and are not held to account on aspects they have no control over.
The benefits of registering with Company Registration are numerous, and include: membership of a Scheme endorsed by the Government, local authorities and main contractors; gaining a competitive edge with prospective clients and when tendering for new contracts; and the possibility of winning National Company Awards.
Nigel McKay, Procurement Director for Lend Lease, commented:
There are known benefits in registering with the Considerate Constructors Scheme and it is great to see the Scheme encouraging more trade contractors to sign up. Companies will find this type of registration hugely beneficial as they can receive the same benefits that registered sites have been able to enjoy for the last 14 years. I think this means of registration is excellent and will aid trade contractors in gaining a competitive edge by demonstrating a commitment to the highest standards of best practice. I would ask all those involved in the procurement of trade contractors to encourage their supply chain to sign up to this initiative as registration will only help in improving the already high standards of consideration on UK construction sites.
Trade contractor companies can register annually from as little as £250 + VAT, depending on their annual turnover. All registered trade contractor companies are firstly monitored at their offices to assess their systems and procedures and to see how they intend to meet the expectations that registration brings. Further ‘in the field’ site visits will then be made to assess how the company performs against the Scheme’s Company Code of Considerate Practice. The Scheme’s Monitors are experienced industry professionals who will independently assess the registered company’s work and provide a detailed report of their findings, as well as a score out of 40 against the eight point Company Code of Considerate Practice. These scores can be used by the companies, main contractors and clients to benchmark a trade contractor’s performance and ensure they strive for ever higher standards of consideration towards their workforce, the environment and the general public.
Hundreds of companies have already registered with the Scheme and are reaping the numerous benefits that registration brings. Last year, the Scheme hosted the first annual National Company Awards ceremony where the most considerate registered companies were recognised and rewarded for their contribution towards improving the image of construction.
Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive of the National Specialist Contractors’ Council (NSCC), added:
Safe, well run sites are a priority for all contractors and clients, and NSCC supports the efforts made by the Considerate Constructors Scheme in encouraging trade contractors to join. Company Registration means that Specialist Contractors can demonstrate their commitment to raising standards by registering both their sites and their companies with the Scheme.
Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, said:
We have been working closely with our Associate Members to review Company Registration so that trade contractors get the most benefit from registration with the Scheme. We recognise the important role trade contractors play and the real value that can be gained by registering the whole supply chain, ensuring that the entire construction project is performing to the highest levels of consideration.
One day, we hope that all contractors will see the benefit in registering all construction work with the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
The Scheme’s aim of improving the image of construction is a continuous one. Since 1997, thousands of registered sites and companies have been demonstrating and sharing best practice, cementing the UK as a world leader in considerate construction.
N & R Huddersfield Ltd is a small family business that specialises in demolition and strip out works of various sizes and has been registering with the Scheme since June 2010. The Scheme took the opportunity to ask how they have found Company Registration as a trade contractor. Mark Robinson, Director of N & R Huddersfield, explains how being registered with the Scheme has benefited his organisation.
We would highly recommend other companies to join the Considerate Constructors Scheme. In my opinion, it is by far the best scheme in operation and, I believe, the only scheme that operates regular site visits to assess the companies and sites that are registered.
Since registering, all our employees and subcontractors have really taken to the Scheme and get heavily involved in implementing good practice on all of our sites. Joining the Scheme has made me, as director, take a step back and have a good look at what impact our sites have on the local communities and the environment. Through a few small changes in the way we do things, such as ensuring deliveries arrive at different times so roads don’t get congested and speaking with local residents prior to setting up site, we have improved dramatically.
I find the Monitor visits one of the best parts of the Scheme. The Monitors all have previous industry experience and therefore can suggest ideas that can improve how we work. Their advice is invaluable and it’s great to have the feedback of someone looking at the project through an outsider’s eye and making suggestions. There is a healthy dose of friendly competition between our employees to see who can score the highest in our Monitor visits and to see if they have improved themselves against their last project. However, it has become quite a challenge now as our last Monitor visit scored 36 out of 40!
Registering with the Scheme has been hugely beneficial to N & R Huddersfield. Not only have we been able to secure more contracts but we now take a different approach to our work, one which we know plays a small part in improving the image of construction.