CDM regulations and supply chain competency

Health and safety | March 2015

Supply chain competency has always been a hotly debated subject in the construction industry, and is a key topic in the new CDM regulations. It’s an important question too, because it goes to the heart of your procurement processes.

Construction project guidance

worker with helmet in front of construction scaffolding and crane

The criticism from industry and safety practitioners alike has always been that the term ‘competency’ was not clearly defined. Guidance on the requirements was either too limited – or where there was detail, too prescriptive.

The regulators have gone some way to bridging the gap by including guidance for organisations buying in expertise on construction projects, to measure at the pre-qualification stage against PAS 91. However, the rub is that the PAS 91 guidance hasn’t yet been reviewed to match the new CDM regulations: it still focuses on CDM Coordinators, and has not yet captured the competency requirements of a Principal Designer.

Defining competency

Although PAS 91 has filled a small part of the void by providing a benchmark for recognised training and qualifications, it’s important to realise that training by itself is not the only factor for defining competency.

Competency should be a blend of the qualifications, skills, experience and knowledge of an organisation or an individual to carry out a task. Organisations should avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach to competency. Instead, requirements should be modified on a case-by-case basis.

Robust procurement procedures

Robust procurement procedures are needed to ensure that competency, coordination and compliance are achieved across the board, on any construction site. While the revised CDM Regulations address many outstanding issues around the burden of bureaucracy, they also introduce some new ones.

Does your supply chain make the grade?

Speech bubbleFor expert help assessing your supply chain competence, or to learn more about how you can improve this aspect of your procurement processes, please contact us.

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