Suppliers

Non-compliance procedure

The Considerate Constructors Scheme’s aim is to improve the image of construction by raising standards of construction sites, companies and suppliers through the monitoring of their activities. The Scheme compares the performance of suppliers by monitoring and scoring them against the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice. Suppliers that register with the Scheme are expected to attain levels of at least compliance with the Code of Considerate Practice. The Scheme will help and encourage registered suppliers to achieve levels of compliance. This non-compliance process describes how the Scheme deals with suppliers that do not achieve compliance.

The Checklist contains five sections each with a number of bold ‘compliance’ questions and a number of non-bold ‘beyond compliance’ questions. Each section of the Checklist is scored out of 10 points with a score of 5 indicating compliance.

All questions highlighted in bold on the Checklist must be satisfactorily addressed in order for the supplier to achieve compliance which indicates they have reached a standard beyond statutory requirements.

Any supplier which fails to adequately address all bold compliance questions in a section, to the Monitor’s satisfaction, will be awarded a non-compliant score for that section, regardless of any other positive activities or initiatives undertaken relevant to that section. The non-compliant score to be awarded will depend on the nature and severity of the issues identified taking into account the required course of action. Therefore, when awarding a section a non-compliant score, consideration will be given to the expected course of follow up action though it is still the nature of the issue itself which will dictate the score.

Non-compliance and Disciplinary Process

Minor non-complianceA bold item on the Checklist has not been satisfactorily addressed demonstrating minor non-compliance with the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice. The area highlighted reflects unfavourably on the construction industry; however, it is deemed to be minor and should be quickly and easily addressed. 4

If a supplier is deemed to be ‘minor non-compliant’ and receives a score of 4 in any one section of the Monitor’s Suppliers Report, the Scheme will write to the company highlighting the area(s) of non-compliance requiring attention and will request that appropriate action is taken to address the issue(s) highlighted. No confirmation will be required by the Scheme in these cases.

Major non-complianceMore than one bold item on the Checklist has not been satisfactorily addressed demonstrating major non-compliance with the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice. The areas highlighted reflect poorly on the construction industry and should be dealt with immediately to address the negative impact on the image of construction. 3

If the supplier is deemed to be ‘major non-compliant’ and receives a score of 3 in any section of the report, the Scheme will write to the company highlighting the area(s) of non-compliance and will request that appropriate action is taken to address the issue(s) highlighted. For instances of major non-compliance, the Scheme will require confirmation that the issue(s) highlighted has been addressed. It is up to the Monitor to establish whether compliance can be established by the supplier providing evidence that the matter has been resolved, or whether a revisit to the company is required. In either case, a reassessment will be conducted and an amended report produced.

FailureSeveral bold items on the Checklist have not been satisfactorily addressed demonstrating a failure to achieve compliance with the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice. The areas highlighted reflect seriously on the construction industry and should be dealt with immediately to address the negative impact on the image of construction. 2

If the score is scored as ‘failure’ and receives 2 points in a section of the report, the Scheme will write to the supplier highlighting the area(s) of non-compliance requiring attention and will request that appropriate action is taken to address the issue(s) highlighted. For instances of ‘failure’, the Scheme will conduct a further visit to the company, after an appropriate period of time has elapsed, so that a Scheme Monitor can confirm that the issue(s) has been fully and properly addressed, and produce an updated report.

Gross failureThe majority of bold items on the Checklist have not been satisfactorily addressed demonstrating a gross failure to achieve compliance with the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice. The areas highlighted reflect gravely on the construction industry and should be dealt with immediately to address the negative impact on the image of construction. 1

If the supplier is scored as ‘gross failure’ and receives 1 point in a section of the report, the Scheme will write to the company highlighting the area(s) of non-compliance requiring attention and will request that appropriate action is taken to address the issue(s) highlighted. For instances of gross failure, the Scheme will request a meeting at the supplier’s office to discuss the issue(s) highlighted in the Monitor’s report and the Scheme’s requirements. Following this meeting, the Scheme will conduct a further visit to the supplier, after an appropriate period of time has elapsed, so that a Scheme Monitor can confirm that the issue(s) has been fully and properly addressed, and produce an updated report.

Multiple non-compliance issues

Where the Monitor identifies more than one instance of non-compliance, the lowest score awarded in any section will normally determine the process to be followed. However, several instances of minor non-compliance could indicate a fundamental lack of understanding or commitment, and it may be appropriate for additional action to be undertaken. These instances will be reviewed by the Scheme’s Operations Manager and a course of action agreed.

Confirmation of compliance

When the non-compliance issue is deemed to demonstrate ‘failure’ or ‘gross failure’, a revisit to the supplier will always be required. When minor non-compliance is noted, no confirmation of compliance is required and the supplier is trusted to undertake the necessary action to address the shortfalls identified (though the supplier may choose to provide evidence so that an amended report can be produced). Therefore, it is only instances of ‘major non-compliance’ where the Monitor is requested to advise on the suitable course of action.

When a supplier is deemed to have demonstrated major non-compliance, the Scheme does require confirmation that the issues have been addressed and this can either be done by the supplier providing evidence of compliance for the Monitor to review remotely, or by the Monitor revisiting the company. When completing the additional page for the Monitor’s Supplier Report, the Monitor will note whether a revisit is required and, if not, why not. Where the Monitor feels that a revisit isn’t necessary, they must explain what evidence is required so that this can be incorporated into the letter sent to the supplier.

After reassessing the supplier, either by reviewing the evidence provided, or via a revisit, the Monitor should produce an updated report. If the Monitor is not happy that compliance has been demonstrated, the Scheme will write to the supplier again to request that further action is taken before the company can be reassessed (see ‘continued non-compliance below). When the Monitor is happy that the issue has been addressed, and that compliance has been confirmed, the Scheme will write to the supplier to confirm that it is satisfied that the appropriate action has been taken and that no additional action is required. The amended report will be issued and, where appropriate, a Certificate of Compliance will also be issued.

Continued non-compliance

Should a subsequent reassessment identify that the area(s) of non-compliance have not been adequately addressed, the Scheme will write to the supplier at a senior level to inform them of the area(s) that need to be rectified in order for the supplier to remain registered. The supplier will then be given appropriate time to carry out the necessary work to meet compliance before another reassessment is arranged.

A further visit will be made to check that the supplier now complies with the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice. In the case of the supplier failing to deal with the problem(s) in an effective manner, or for any other reason causing the Scheme to think that the supplier continues to be in breach of the Code, a report of the incident(s) will be passed to the Scheme’s Chairman.

The Chairman will consider the appropriate action to take and may decide that the supplier should be removed from the Scheme. Where the Chairman’s decision is to remove the supplier from the Scheme, the company will be informed in writing, with the client copied in. The supplier must then remove all evidence of registration.

Scheme Appeals Panel

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has established an appeals panel of experienced Monitors who will review any formal appeals received from a supplier whose registration with the Scheme has been cancelled following a breach of the Code of Considerate Practice.

If a supplier wishes to appeal, they must do so within 3 months of receipt of the letter from the Chairman confirming their removal from the Scheme, and the decision to appeal must be confirmed in writing. The supplier must also confirm in writing their reasons for disagreeing with the decision to remove them from the Scheme as this document will form the basis of the appeal.

Once this written confirmation has been received, it will be passed to the panel along with copies of all reports completed on that supplier and all relevant correspondence. The panel will review all of the information and make a formal decision as to whether the removal of the supplier was correct. If they support the original decision, they will confirm their decision in writing with a detailed explanation as to why they have done so. If they agree that the decision to remove the supplier was incorrect, the company will be reinstated immediately and this will be confirmed in writing.

If the supplier disagrees with the panel’s findings, they may proceed to a second independent panel as detailed below.

CIC Independent Appeals Process

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has established an independent Appeals Tribunal for its member bodies. The Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) has subscribed to this service.

The Appeals Tribunal may only be used for appeals against the decisions made by the disciplinary body of the CCS. The Appeals Tribunal may be used in full or part at the discretion of the CCS, subject to their own requirements. The Tribunal cannot be used in instances where the CCS’s disciplinary body has found no case to answer.

Applications for a hearing of the Appeals Tribunal shall be made direct to the CIC when a supplier wishes to appeal against a decision by the CCS’s disciplinary body. The request must be received by the CIC within three months of the date of the letter from the CCS rejecting the appeal. The CIC will then issue the prescribed application form to the appellant together with additional information. When the completed form has been returned, it will be referred to the CCS with a request for an initial response within six weeks. A copy of the initial response by the CCS will be sent to the appellant.

Applications and initial responses will be considered by the Tribunal Management Board Chairman and an independent panel member, to decide if the grounds for the appeal are within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. If the grounds for the appeal are accepted, a hearing will be arranged and the parties notified.

The CCS will advise the CIC as soon as they are aware that an appeal may be made against one of their decisions.

Facts to be aware of:

  • The parties may be represented at their own cost.
  • If one or both parties fail to attend the hearing, it shall be continued in their absence unless there is a good reason to adjourn.
  • The hearing shall be in public but the tribunal members will withdraw to discuss their decision.
  • The public proceedings of the tribunal will be recorded.

The Tribunal shall:

  • decide if the CCS unfairly terminated the registration of a supplier as a result of the performance of the company;
  • decide if the CCS unfairly terminated the registration of a supplier as a result of complaints made against the company;
  • refer the matter to the CCS if new evidence is produced that was not submitted to the disciplinary body of the CCS, and which the tribunal considers could not reasonably have been produced at the disciplinary hearing;
  • ratify or recommend a variation of the sanction imposed by the CCS.

The Tribunal may award CIC costs against:

  • the appellant alone; or
  • the CCS alone; or
  • the appellant and the CCS in proportions decided by the Tribunal.

Following the hearing the Tribunal shall:

  • issue a reasoned judgment;
  • provide copy to the CCS and the appellant.

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