We are pleased to announce the appointments of Henrietta Frater of The Crown Estate and Cliff Jones of the Commercial Directorate, Department of Health and Social Care as joint chairs of the group.
This announcement coincides with the CCLG's anniversary, celebrating 25 years as the only truly independent client group.
The Group formed in 1994 as the Construction Clients’ Forum, representing and supporting both private and public sector clients engaged in building and infrastructure projects. Its core members originate from those early days, which has evolved into what is now the CCLG. The Group has over 40 participating client members who contribute to Group’s aim, which is to improve value and predictability of outcome for construction clients.
Raising standards and sharing best practice
Much of the Group’s work is carried out by its vibrant Standards Working Group, which tackles subjects like diversity and gender bias, making the principal designer role work for clients and importantly, maintaining an open door policy to reach all clients, including occasional and in many cases first time clients new to working within the construction industry.
The CCLG website is a resource available to any client looking to find best practice examples across a wide range of topics including health and safety, fair payment, modern methods of construction and BIM, among others. These resources are aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of clients to enable them to achieve the best possible results when procuring construction services.
Supporting new and inexperienced clients through the new Client Buddy Scheme
The CCLG recognises that circa half of all construction is bought by clients with limited skills and experience, particularly, understanding their duties as clients, a fundamental part of CDM 2015 compliance. Analysis of many projects over the years invariably cite poor understanding of risk identification and management beginning with the client as the root cause.
Lowest cost procurement and little understanding of true value being top of the list. To combat this, the CCLG has dedicated a section of its website to business owners or managers looking to be better equipped to commence the journey into buying construction. It also offer the facility for enquiring clients to be able to talk to an experienced client, if they still have questions once they have visited the website; this is the “Client Buddy Scheme”, an enterprise supported by its members, as well as the HSE, CIOB and the government department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Women in Construction
Another current focus for the CCLG is on Women in Construction - currently, 2.3 million people work in the construction industry, but women account for only 13% of this figure. Virtually every employer has a diversity policy, and some of these contain robust standards. Conversely, however, there is little evidence of measurable outcomes that illustrate or ascertain whether the policies and standards are being followed and met, particularly across the various tiers of suppliers, including professionals.
The construction industry relies on multidisciplinary teams with different employers working together. This generates a diverse cross-section of cultures, behaviours, skills and experiences that converge in an already pressurised work environment.
We believe that this is where clients can get involved and make a difference by influencing change, and that is what the CCLG has embarked upon, by encouraging clients to set the tone in the work environments they initiate.
Looking ahead - a call for more collaboration
The CCLG recognizes that there are a number of different client groups in existence which focus on different specialist areas, the British Property Federation and the Infrastructure Client Group being two excellent examples.
The CCLG would welcome further intervention by the Construction Leadership Council to draw clients together and achieve a single client voice facing and supporting the industry. Gren Tipper, Operations Director of CCLG says:
“In the area of Health and Safety, we do have a joined-up effort and national picture, which has been created by the Health and Safety Executive through its engagement with industry via its “Helping Great Britain Work Well” campaign. We need a similar approach to other important areas such as procuring for value, eradicating poor quality and more fundamentally, generating a strong feeling of accountability if we are to make real strides in raising standards across the industry as a whole.
“We have decades of excellent case studies on landmark projects, but we have not yet really embraced the whole industry – whilst this is not easy, we think it is possible”.