Engineering services alliance backs industry prequalification Standard

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Actuate UK has expressed its support for the revitalised prequalification Common Assessment Standard.

The Common Assessment Standard, which has been developed by Build UK and a range of industry stakeholders, including Actuate UK member bodies, aims to remove wasteful commercial and public sector prequalification through the adoption of widely specified common assessment prequalification (PQ) questions. 

Significantly, a new ‘data sharing’ solution has been introduced, enabling contractors and clients to obtain key PQ responses from any Recognised Assessment Body. Data sharing is expected to increase the specification of the Standard by main contractors and other buyers and increasingly, suppliers will only need to be certified by one Recognised Assessment Body, saving time and money.

The prequalification system is currently overseen by an Interim Cross-Industry Body including public and private sector clients, contractors and trade associations.

The Government’s Construction Sector Deal specifically supports a standardised prequalification process, to be adopted across public and private sectors. The Construction Leadership Council also supports the Common Assessment Standard and is encouraging its adoption throughout Government construction procurement.  Contractors appointed to the Crown Commercial Service seven-year framework are expected to assess their supply chains using the Common Assessment Standard, while guidance in support of the Construction Playbook is also expected to include how contracting authorities can use the Common Assessment Standard for their tenders.

The new data sharing solution means contractors and clients can access verified key prequalification data for their supply chains with any preferred Recognised Assessment Body - so they will not need to set up an arrangement with every Recognised Assessment Body. There are currently three Recognised Assessment bodies (CHAS, Achilles and Constructionline).

Over time, assessed supplier will need only provide one set of prequalification information annually. The Common Assessment Standard question set is reviewed under an ongoing industry-wide process.

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