CIOB Quality Guide to raise standards across industry

Everyone involved in a construction project should be intolerant of poor quality.

That’s one of the key messages to come out of the CIOB Quality Guide, published by the Chartered Institute of Building last month.

The guide sets out best practice for construction quality management, building upon a number of initiatives in both construction and other industries and the BS EN ISO 9000 family of quality management standards.

It explains how quality management can be integrated into company policy and the difference between quality control and quality assurance.

The document also offers guidance on the role of the quality manager and clerk of works, the basics of construction quality management, and the actions needed to achieve it.

Split into several key sections, the guide puts quality management into context, sets out the basics of quality management systems, and establishes the principles of good practice when it comes to quality management standards, stressing the importance of ISO standards.

The Guide is free to CIOB members and is available here.

Paul Nash, chair of the CIOB’s Quality Implementation Group, said: “By focusing on quality during the site production and assembly stage of a project, this guide aims to raise the bar for improving quality on site. The report on the Edinburgh Schools [wall collapse] and the evidence from the Grenfell Inquiry underline why this guide is needed. Along with the Code of Quality Management published last year, the guide is part of the CIOB’s ongoing commitment to raising standards and promoting best practice in quality management and building safety in our industry.”

CIOB president Mark Beard said: “I encourage everyone who works in our industry, from clients to designers, from contractors to supply chain partners to embrace the Guide and use it as a tool to improve quality across all their projects. “Construction has a mixed profile with the wider public and I believe the best way for us to attract the next generation of school leavers to our industry is to demonstrate consistently we are an industry that delivers fabulous new buildings to the highest possible standards; the CIOB Quality Guide will help us all achieve this much-desired outcome and demonstrate how much we all care about the outcomes of our work.”

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  1. i wholeheartedly endorse this move by the CIOB, that will lead to better quality buildings by the participation of all those parties involved at every stage in the briefing, design, procurement, and construction process. It will lead to better quality assets in the built environment which will be more valuable for our society and for future generations.

  2. How exactly will this guide raise standards? Legislation, British Standards, Approved Documents and guidance notes are already in place and have been in place for many years. Quality is only achieved by experience, training, work culture, guidance and supervision and a great work ethic. A body of text alone will not achieve greater quality.

  3. Though, I have not read this guide on quality, but am sure its full of good approaches that will bring about great substances on quality in the construction industry and the build environment.
    Thank you CIOB.

  4. Focusing on quality during the site production and assembly stage of a project is useful but it needs to start at the outset of a project. Clients need to be encouraged to focus on the product deliverables when putting the initial scheme and together to ensure the contractor and his team are inheriting a strong base from which they can continue the development. For example, I looked at a scheme for a developer being put out to tender. When I pointed out the design (with Planning Permission) didn’t comply with basic fire requirements, the in-house PM responsible stated that would be the contractor’s problem. It is easy to see why in such instances, where the contractors main focus will be when he discovers such hidden problems. Sadly, it won’t be “Quality First”.

  5. I too think it’s great that the CIOB are doing this.

    However……..drawing attention will not create the desire. To create that desire, you need to reach those working within the operational nooks and crannies of the industry. The desire might be created by reaching those at the far end of the chain of project teams at the same time as the operational managers.

    And the clients need to be a focus as well. It is true, developers will have their own pressures, and quality will not be top priority if it is not a necessity to the cost goals or legislative requirement.

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