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March 30, 2010

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Consultation – Construction pre-qualification

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a one-month consultation on pre-qualification in construction.

PAS 91: 2010 – Core criteria for pre-qualification in construction tendering – Selection, presentation and application is sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and was launched in response to the widely-held view that excessive construction pre-qualification activity is putting contractors through unnecessary cost and bureaucracy, and leading to confusion.  

The draft PAS allows construction-sector stakeholders to refer – and work – to a set of widely-acceptable pre-qualification questions (PQQs), the aims being to prevent unnecessary variation in such PQQs, and to increase the scope for recognition between various types of PQQ activity, which would reduce duplication and other unnecessary paperwork and cost for both clients and contractors.

The core questions in PAS 91 are general enquiries about supplier capability that can be applied to any construction pre-qualification activity, in both the public and private sectors. They are presented in the following modules:

  • General information;
  • Key roles and contact;
  • Financial;
  • Disclosures (such as prosecutions);
  • Health and safety;
  • Equal opportunity and diversity;
  • Environmental management;
  • -Quality management.

The questions are adapted from those already widely asked across a range of commonly-applied construction PQQs. The aim is that buyers (clients, majors and pre-qualification schemes) elect to
Assess pre-qualification suppliers according to these questions, along with any project-specific questions.

The Electrical Contractors’ Association’s Paul Reeve, who helped draft the document, commented: “We are very keen to hear from those affected by pre-qualification on how close we are to delivering a widely accepted set of ‘core questions’ for construction. We want PAS 91 to work for clients and contractors, and we now need constructive input to help steer PAS 91 on to the target.”

He added: “The draft PAS 91 is not mandatory and does not attempt to cover project-specific questions – these are for the client to add, where necessary. It does not seek to ‘gold-plate’ current PQQ activity, or to raise requirements beyond widely-accepted supply-chain good practice.”

To comment on PAS 91, go to: (Commentators have to log in but this is a simple process.) The consultation period ends on 5 May.


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