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COMPETENCE AND PREQUAL QUESTIONNAIRE SIMPLIFICATION

New spec for construction industry aligns with CDM 2007 requirements

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has developed a publicly available specification (PAC) for pre-qualification criteria in the construction industry.

The specification provides a logically structured protocol incorporating what is currently recognised by experts in the field as good practice in the provision of pre-qualification services.

PAS 91 Construction related procurement – Prequalification questionnaires requires suppliers to demonstrate they possess or have access to: the governance, qualifications and references, expertise, competence, health and safety/environmental/financial and other essential capabilities necessary for them to undertake work and deliver services for potential buyers.

These ‘areas of capability’ are represented in the core question modules and Module A4 concerns health and safety.

Alignment with CDM 2007 ACoP on H&S competence

The core health and safety questions seek the same evidence of supplier capability as the CDM 2007 ACOP which requires H&S competency assessments of suppliers to be carried out as a two stage process:

  • Stage 1: assessment of the supplier’s organisation and arrangements for health and safety, to determine whether these are sufficient to enable the supplier to carry out the work safely and without risk to health. Stage 1 assessments are within the scope of PAS 91.
  • Stage 2: assessment of the supplier’s experience and track record, to establish that it is capable of doing the work (i.e. project, activity or service-specific enquiries), recognizes its limitations and appreciates the risks from doing the work and how these should be reduced. Stage 2 assessments are outside the scope of PAS 91.
Comment

Many are hoping that PAS 91 will ease the burden caused by the proliferation of prequal questionnaires. This will only occurr if the specification become standard across government and widely adopted by the full range of construction clients.

It is estimated that a cost of some £250m is currently incurred in the completion of separate forms for each contract.  

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