10 December 2014

Competence in Construction Report

Following the launch of a Government strategy in July 2013 to drive up standards of competence and quality in the UK construction industry, the Construction Industry Training Board has published its report Competence in Construction. The report concludes that:

  • Definitions of ‘competence' vary within the construction industry, but the term means broadly the ability independently to perform a role or task to the required standards
  • Individual competence in construction consists of occupational skills and knowledge, health & safety skills and knowledge, continuous improvement and human factors such as situational- and risk-awareness
  • An individual's qualifications can never relieve management and supervisors of their duties and responsibilities
  • From a health & safety viewpoint, competence includes not just safety from injury and death, but the prevention of occupational diseases and ill-health
  • Despite improvements since 2011, employers remain dissatisfied with the unnecessary complexity, confusion and costs of the certification cards scheme
  • To be confident of competence, training must be supported by inspection and refreshed at appropriate intervals
  • Supervisors need support and training on health & safety, person-management skills, coaching and mentoring

The report recommends:

  • Agreement on an industry-wide Framework for Competence
  • Establishing a new Construction Competence Council (‘CCC') to help develop this Framework
  • Establishing a Secretariat to progress CCC decisions, report back on developments and issues, suggest improvements, maintain communication with card schemes and develop and maintain the database of cardholders
  • A CCC consultation with the industry on a common standard for cards
  • Funding the CCC through a percentage of each card fee

What this means for you

This report aims to simplify the law and reduce red tape. It falls short of attempting to draft an industry-wide Framework for Competence, but makes some suggestions about how to set about devising one. As such it makes a useful contribution to the ongoing efforts to simplify certification schemes and promote safety throughout the construction industry.

Category: Article