Report highlights need for construction competence framework

A major construction industry report has called for development and implementation of a wider and more inclusive competence framework to ensure that the workforce is safe, skilled and efficient.

Aimed at addressing the Industrial Strategy for Construction objectives for driving up standards of competence and quality, the Competence in Construction research report by Pye Tait Consulting, was commissioned by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), with the support of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and highlights the need for:

  • Agreement on an industry-wide competence framework to bring much-needed clarity

  • A wider understanding of competence at all levels
  • Further work to define a more-effective means of presenting evidence of competence
  • The report, which builds on the influential 2011 publication Routes to Competence, finds that the construction industry has made significant progress in health and safety over the past 14 years. It concludes that:

    • It is now time to expand understanding of competence in all aspects of construction work – job role, health and safety, human factors, and managerial and organisational capability
    • Training on its own is not sufficient to be confident of competence - It must be supported by verification and refreshed at appropriate intervals.
    • The competence of even the most highly-expert individual can be undermined if elements of managerial or organisational competence are lacking

    • Development of the competence framework and ongoing work to ensure that it remains relevant will require significant input from the whole industry.

      The report recommends that responsibility for overseeing the work should rest with a new Construction Competence Council.

      CITB chief executive Adrian Belton said: “Despite considerable progress in recent years, the construction industry currently lacks a consistent view of what competence means for the industry.

      “This report identifies the issues and makes recommendations on the work that needs to be done to secure pan-industry agreement.

      “The report marks the next stage of our journey towards a competent, world-class workforce and achieving the objectives of the Industrial Strategy for Construction.

      “There is still debate to be had and we will ensure that there are opportunities for everyone to have a say.”

      Philip White, chief inspector of Construction at the HSE, said: “This research report offers the construction industry the building blocks for understanding and agreeing how to deliver a truly competent workforce across all construction related activities.

      “We hope the industry will embrace the report and set the agenda for developing its recommendations without delay.”

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