Innovation can be defined simply as the demonstration of original thinking relevant to the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice that if replicated across the industry or sector would give a real improvement to the overall performance or image of construction.
This is accomplished through the development and implementation of new or more effective solutions that meet new requirements, existing needs or positive opportunities identified by the site. It may be the establishment of a brand new way of tackling a specific issue, or the enhancement of an existing concept to deal with a new challenge.
It is these activities which go above and beyond the expected which will receive recognition.
- Innovative activities are not necessarily unique and the Scheme will use its discretion about how many times it should reward sites for carrying out similar activities to those witnessed previously. Time scale would play a part in this as innovative activity could sensibly be highlighted on one company’s sites for a period of time but after that would then be considered as more commonplace, and thus no longer innovative.
- Another key consideration which the Scheme will take into account when assessing if an activity is innovative is the scale of the contractor and project. Small to medium sized contractors are less likely to have access to the same resources as larger contractors and projects, and thus will be unable to implement initiatives of the same scale. The Scheme will therefore take into account the activities sites implement with the resources which are available to them. For example, an innovative activity recorded on a small-scale project could be commonplace on large, multi-million pound developments.
- Also taken into account is the type of construction activity, its location and the context of the site. Sites which are situated in rural areas often face different challenges and constraints to those in urban locations.
- A number of excellent or exceptional items do not add up to an innovation
- Monitors will note when an innovative activity has been witnessed – an increased score of 10 score will only be given for such innovative activity where the site’s overall performance in that section of the Checklist already warrants a 9. Where a 9 has not been achieved, the innovative activity will be ‘banked’ and can still count towards a 10 on a subsequent visit.
- An innovative activity will count only once towards a 10 score, unless it is further developed and enhanced, and this improvement is evident to the Monitor at a subsequent site visit.
- If two innovations within the same Code section are identified and approved at the same visit, and one is used to elevate a 9 point score to a 10, the second agreed innovation would be banked and could be used for the second visit without the need to further develop or enhance it in any way.
Please note that all examples of innovation are checked and verified by the Scheme’s Innovations Team and will only be approved if they meet the criteria as outlined above.