It is estimated that poor quality is costing the construction industry annually more than the combined profits of the companies in the industry. Research by Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) suggested that quality management could save the industry between £7bn and £12bn.
But, for me, the wider consequences of the failure of quality that we have seen is the impact on people’s lives and livelihoods and the reputational damage it has caused to our industry.
What is certain is that our industry needs to face up to the fact that it is failing to consistently deliver the levels of quality that people have a right to expect and work collaboratively to improve standards.
Later this month we will be launching a consultation on a new Code of Quality Practice, and we’ll be inviting you, our members, and wider industry, to have your say on a document that will set the standards of quality that our industry needs to achieve.
Drawing on best practice, the Code will provide practitioners with the knowledge, tools and guidance required to manage quality throughout each stage of the construction process within the framework of a Quality Management Plan.
By consulting with our members, and professionals across the built environment, we hope to ensure that the Code is relevant to the needs of practitioners operating in our industry today.
When published, the Code will be the culmination of a process that began in 2017 when the CIOB announced that it was establishing a Commission to investigate the issue of quality and what needed to be done to improve it. What our research confirmed was that there was an urgent need to raise standards by promoting best practice and providing better education on quality management.
To support this, the CIOB Academy launched a course to provide participants with an introduction to the principles of Quality Management. The first session in November 2018 sold out, an encouraging sign that our mission is backed by the drive and support from professionals in our industry to develop and learn in this area.
The next phase of this work will be to introduce a pilot of a competency-based quality certification that will be based on the Code. It is intended to reintroduce to the industry the knowledge and expertise that has been lost with the decline of the Clerk of Works role.
As the professional body for construction management worldwide, the CIOB has a key role to play in ensuring that we make quality a priority, now and in the future.
For more details about the work of the CIOB’s Construction Quality Commission and to participate in the consultation on the Code of Quality Practice please click the following link: www.ciob.org/quality-code