No change to 2018 Checklist, but increased expectations
It was agreed towards the end of 2017 that the Scheme would not make any changes to the Checklist for 2018.
Last year was a year of significant change for the Scheme with a rebranding exercise, a complete review of the Company Registration monitoring model, the launch of Ultra Sites, an introduction into Ireland and many other new initiatives. It was therefore felt that everyone would benefit from a period of stability with the Code and Checklist.
However, the Scheme has taken the time to look more closely at a few areas which have typically caused frustration or confusion, and is taking this opportunity to clarify the Scheme’s expectations in these areas.
This topic was added to the Checklist at the start of 2016 and still causes confusion in some areas. In March 2017, the Scheme launched the ‘Spotlight on… illegal workers’ campaign, along with an associated e-learning, which are available free of charge on the Best Practice Hub. This campaign provides clarification on what contractors should be doing to ensure that no-one – directly employed or within the wider supply chain – is working illegally on a registered project.
During 2018, Monitors will be looking much more closely at this area and will be tackling sites, companies and suppliers on what they are doing to ensure that there is no illegal working on their projects or in their businesses.
In 2017, the Scheme delivered the Construction’s First Impressions campaign which is available on the Best Practice Hub. This outlines the importance of construction activities having a first class physical appearance, not only to improve the image of the industry in the eyes of the workforce and the general public, but also to enhance the first impression that tomorrow’s workforce has of the industry.
Construction projects are the industry’s shop window and many are now implementing improvements and ever higher standards to make their sites, vans, operatives etc. look immaculate and professional at all times and only those achieving this high standard should receive the Scheme’s highest scores.
The Scheme is looking for registered sites, companies and suppliers to have appropriate policies and procedures in place to address the growing issue of particulate pollution generated and emitted by construction activities.
Particular consideration should be given to the air that site operatives have to breathe while on site and also the air that the immediate general public and neighbours have to breathe when in the vicinity of works. The Scheme has recently launched the ‘Spotlight On… air pollution’ campaign which provides more information on this important subject as well as case studies, examples of best practice and links to other organisations already working hard in this area.
The Scheme is looking for registered sites, companies and suppliers to promote themselves, their industry and the commitment they have made to operate at a higher standard, and social media is a vital tool that should be used to engage with a wider audience.
Social media platforms can be used to engage and communicate with local communities but also the wider general public. Positive messages and imagery can be used to promote a more positive image of the construction industry, and the use of hashtags such as #loveconstruction, will allow the Scheme to further promote this externally.
With increased expectations in these areas, only those working hard to implement appropriate processes and systems can expect to receive scores of excellent or exceptional. Where it is clear that more should be done to address these areas, sites, companies and suppliers can expect to score no more than a 7, or perhaps less depending on overall performance in other areas.
These topics have a fundamental impact on the image and public perception of the construction industry, and those aspiring to meet the expectations of the Scheme should be aiming to take appropriate steps to ensure they are meeting the highest standards.