Almost everyone has heard of the considerate constractor schemes, but what are they, what areas do they cover and why do they matter?
The Corporation of London started the original Considerate Contractor Scheme in 1987, with the aim of encouraging safe and considerate building and engineering works in the City of London. Over time, the scheme has expanded and been adopted in other local authorities.
Two schemes in the City of London
In fact, since 1990 the initiative now has operated in two strands, the:
- Considerate Contractor Scheme (CCS), for building works.
- Considerate Contractor Streetworks Scheme (CCSS), for streetworks.
Joining either of these schemes requires submission to:
- A code of good practice.
- Regular inspections by City of London officials.
- Annual judging, including an awards ceremony recognising good performance.
- A telephone hotline for public comments.
Membership of the schemes is free via the City of London website. Participants simply agree to follow the code of good conduct and display scheme signs and posters on their sites at locations adjacent to the public highway.
Membership is not restricted to “contractors” in the narrow sense, so CCS membership includes other organisations, such as scaffolding companies. Equally, the CCSS has membership options for statutory utilities, as well as streetworks contractors.
PLC Construction understands from the schemes’ operators that membership is not a tender requirement for Corporation of London contracts, with successful tenderers simply invited to join the relevant scheme. However, membership is clearly important, as can be seen from City of London documents such as its guidance for activities on the public highway state clearly that sites should join the relevant scheme.
In fact, most of the benefits are indirect, with membership indicating awareness of local sensitivities. In addition, the annual awards offer free publicity and the chance to be associated with other high profile construction companies.
Schemes outside the square mile and the Considerate Constructors Scheme
The City of London schemes’ success has spawned similar schemes in other areas, such as Cambridge and East Sussex. In addition, there is a similar national initiative, the Considerate Constructors Scheme. This is a scheme owned by the Construction Products Association and the Construction Industry Council. It has similar goals to the City of London schemes, offering membership to main or trade contractor, or for individual construction sites but, unlike the City of London schemes, members pay an annual fee.
The Considerate Constructors Scheme is supported by the Chartered Institute of Building, Constructing Excellence, the National Federation of Builders, the National Specialist Contractors’ Council and the UK Contractors Group. Client partners of the scheme include Manchester City Council, ProCure21+ and the Highways Agency. One high profile supporter of the scheme is Crossrail, which even publishes site assessment scores on the considerate constructors page of its website.