Construction firms have signalled their support for a transformed approach to quality planning but recognise this will require a significant cultural change within the sector.

This is one of the key findings of an industry consultation carried out on Construction Quality Planning (CQP) over the summer months. CQP is the first in a series of new processes under development by the Construction Innovation Hub in partnership with industry.

Inspired by Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), a process already used widely across leading manufacturing sectors like aerospace and automotive, CQP defines an approach for those firms which supply the construction sector with new products and assemblies that form part of tomorrow’s offsite manufactured buildings.

Some other key findings from the Construction Innovation Hub’s consultation include:

  • The CQP Framework aligns with other quality initiatives including: RIBA Building in Quality initiative and Tracker, CIOB Code for Quality Management, and the Get It Right Initiative (GIRI);
  • Participants highlighted the importance of capturing the ‘voice of the customer’ to ensure products conform to the fit, form and function and would welcome a process which helps to achieves this;
  • There were multiple expressions of interests by different organisations to participate in pilot case studies;
  • The classification of products is seen as highly important for CQP implementation, with the proposed risk-based methodology for classification considered appropriate;
  • Further discussion on a range of factors was suggested to ensure that classification is robust and accounts for the risk of failures in products as well as in integrated systems and buildings;
  • A stronger focus is needed on the skills and competencies that will be required in the sector to ensure successful implementation of CQP.

A full report outlining the conclusions of the Hub’s CQP industry consultation will be published later in October.

Construction Innovation Hub Impact Director for Assurance, Gill Kelleher, said:

“As construction’s transformative journey continues to gather pace, it is vital that our approach to quality and assurance is right at the forefront. This means delivering buildings and infrastructure with robust frameworks and digital tools that provide transparency, assurance and trust.

By observing and learning from leading sectors like aerospace and automotive, we’ve identified best practice methods and are exploring how to adapt them to our sector. Construction Quality Planning (CQP) is the first in a series of new processes under development by the Construction Innovation Hub in partnership with industry.

The response we’ve received from industry so far has been extremely positive and demonstrates strong support for the proposed approach. In the months ahead, we’ll continue to accelerate CQP and our wider suite of tools for industry so that we can help to instil trust and confidence across the built environment.”

Amanda Long, Chief Executive of the Building a Safer Future Charter, commented:  

“Driving change in culture is at the heart of the Building a Safer Future Charter. We have been working closely and collaboratively with the Construction Innovation Hub in developing a benchmarking and independent verification framework for building safety that support the commitments of the Charter, and will help the industry to baseline current culture and leadership maturity and then develop realistic and timely improvements.  

The Construction Innovation Hub’s own leadership in relation to CQP represents an important strategic shift which we believe will make a significant contribution in relation to quality in building safety. We have been jointly exploring ways in which the Charter can use the findings and outputs of the Hub’s CQP work and align this with the Charter going forward to help catalyse the kind of cultural shift required.”

ENDS

Notes to editor:

  • Join Gill Kelleher for a live discussion on how CQP fits into the Hub’s wider assurance agenda at UK Construction Week, Tuesday 6 October at 12.00PM  https://www.ukconstructionweek.com/ukcw-virtual-seminar-agenda-2020
  • The Hub’s industry consultation was carried out between 18 May to 31 August 2020
  • Consultation respondents were predominantly those working in industry (84%), but also included central Government (7%) other public bodies (6%) and academia/research (3%).

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