The monitoring process
Virtual monitoring visits – Guidance Note for CCS-registered activity
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement (8th December) to reintroduce work from home guidance in England, among other Covid-19 measures, we have reviewed our approach to Considerate Constructors Scheme monitoring visits.
The wellbeing, health and safety of those who work for us, with us and/or are impacted by us is paramount and with this in mind, and in line with the cautious approach demanded, from Monday 13th December CCS will revert to conducting monitoring activity virtually.
Where requested by CCS-registered activity, for first visits only, an on-site visit can be arranged with a CCS Monitor, provided the Site Manager or appropriate contact can confirm that appropriate Covid-19 prevention measures are in place in line with the Site Operating guidance provided by CLC and Construct Scotland.
If a Monitor is not comfortable undertaking an on-site visit at a registered activity’s request, the Scheme will try to reallocate a visit to fulfil the request.
All other visit activities are to be conducted as virtual visits unless otherwise agreed with the Scheme.
Please see further guidance below:
- At an agreed time and using an agreed video conference platform, the Monitor will carry out the virtual monitoring visit. Visits will typically last 1-1.5 hours, and Monitors are flexible with which video platform is used. The different ways Monitors have been carrying out their visits include using WhatsApp, FaceTime (iPhone/iPads only), Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams.
- During virtual visits, Monitors are using their judgement to focus discussions on the most relevant areas for construction activity at this time, such as the current Site Operating Procedures. Monitors also understand which areas may be less relevant at this time, taking account of the unique situation everyone is facing currently.
- CCS-registered activity receiving a virtual visit may share documents or images with the Monitor in support of any points they have made during the virtual visit. This should be discussed with the Monitor prior to or during the visit to decide the best way to share these with the Monitor. Free-to-use document sharing platforms include Dropbox and WeTransfer.
For any further questions you may have around virtual visits, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The advice and guidance provided by the Scheme’s Monitors are a key element of any registration with the Scheme. These are highly experienced industry professionals who review a company’s performance against the Code of Considerate Practice, whilst passing on their knowledge and expertise to help companies develop and improve. .
Initial office visit
Once a company is registered, their details are issued to one of the Scheme’s Monitors who will contact the company to arrange a suitable time to carry out an office visit.
This annual visit is an opportunity to review a company’s performance against the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice, and ensure that the company is meeting the expectations of registration. It involves a detailed discussion around the relevant questions and prompts within the Monitors’ Checklist and a review of the company’s processes, policies and systems.
The office visit will result in the issuing of a report and an ‘indicative’ score that reflects their assumed or expected performance against the Scheme’s criteria based on discussions, observations and evidence where available.
The Monitor is unlikely to be able to give a definitive result without seeing how the company operates ‘in the field’. For this reason, the indicative score will usually be given as a two-point range, e.g. 6-7, which would mean that the Monitor thinks the company is performing to a good or very good level using the descriptors shown here, but needs to verify the discussions before a validated score can be awarded.
It may be possible for the Monitor to award a specific indicative score if they feel confident but equally, they may occasionally use a three point range, e.g. 6-8, if they did not get enough information at the office visit to be confident in narrowing down a score.
If the Monitor is satisfied that the company is performing to at least the basic expectations of registration, the company will receive the appropriate registration material (including Scheme branded posters and vehicle stickers) along with a Certificate of Registration.
Companies failing to meet the basic expectations will be monitored again, once sufficient time has been allowed for non-conformance issues to be addressed.
These Monitor visits take place at the company’s projects, and verify that the standards discussed at the office are being implemented on site. Companies with an annual turnover less than £250k will receive one validation visit each year, while all others will receive two.
Companies will be prompted to provide opportunities for validation visits shortly after the office visit has been completed, giving them ample time to undertake any development work discussed at the office visit. The Scheme Monitor and company will agree on a date and location to conduct the validation visits.
As with the office visit, Monitors will review a company’s considerate performance based on what they witness against the Code using the Monitors’ Checklist to ask questions and guide discussions.
Following the visit, an updated indicative score will be shown on the report which may match that shown on the office report or may be flexed up or down, depending on whether observations at the validation visit matched the discussions that previously took place or whether they actually demonstrated a level of performance better or worse than previously discussed. The report will highlight areas of good practice while also providing advice and guidance on how to further improve.
If the company has a turnover below £250k, this will be the only validated visit and a report will be issued confirming the final validated score along with the appropriate star rating.
For those companies that receive a second validation visit, a further updated indicative score will be shown reflecting observations at that time. The Monitor will also provide a final validated score that reflects how they feel that company is generally performing against the Scheme’s Code and the associated Checklist. The validated score is not a reflection of the second site visited but of overall performance based on discussions and observations across three separate meetings. A star rating will also be issued based on the final validated score.
The Scheme also offers an advisory visit where the Monitor will visit the company’s office to discuss the Scheme’s requirements in more detail and advise on how the company might improve its score. This can be arranged for an additional fee.