The Construction Leadership Council was created with a remit to drive improvement within the construction sector. Since its creation, it has worked to encourage collaboration to build a better industry, and to act as a bridge between the public and private sectors in pursuit of this objective. The challenge of responding to the Covid19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of this, and the necessity of creating a more robust and sustainable industry which can build back better as the UK enters the period of recovery. This is why the CLC, through its own members and also through its wider links with the industry, has collaborated and supported the combined efforts of the Cabinet Office and Infrastructure & Projects Authority, with input from across the public sector, to develop and publish the Construction Playbook, and to endorse its aim of creating a more strategic relationship between Government and the construction sector.
Government Departments, other public bodies and the wider public sector represent key construction clients, investing in nationally significant infrastructure projects, capital programmes such as those in education and healthcare, projects that improve our cities and towns, and supporting the delivery of new homes. This spectrum of activity across the sector means the public sector has the potential to drive industry transformation, and how it approaches the development and delivery of construction can provide a powerful impetus for changes in industry practice and culture that extends beyond the projects it funds directly.
That is why the publication of the Construction Playbook is significant. It aims to embed a new approach to the procurement and delivery of construction projects and programmes, which is more collaborative, engages the whole supply chain, encourages investment in innovation and skills, and supports a more sustainable, resilient and profitable industry, capable of delivering higher-quality, safer and better performing built assets for its clients. It will create the foundation for a new approach to construction, where we can utilise digital and offsite manufacturing technologies to increase the capability of the industry, and accelerate the delivery of built assets.
It will also aim to deliver a better and fairer industry, with stronger and more open relationships between the industry and its clients, fewer disputes, and more equitable contractual terms, that ensure prompt and fair payment and a balanced allocation of risk, where these are managed by the organisation best placed to do so. Finally, it will help ensure that investment in construction projects creates the greatest economic, social and environmental value possible, and contributes to the delivery of strategic policy objectives such as our legal obligation to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 and levelling up across the UK.
These goals are our goals at the CLC. We share the Government’s desire to improve performance through new ways of working. But publishing the Playbook is just the first step in the process. For real change to happen, it is important that both Government and the industry embed the principles of the new approach, and invest in their capability to deliver this. The Government will be working to implement this across all central government Departments and public bodies, and mandating the adoption of this approach whilst recognising there is no-one-size-fits all approach to delivery. The CLC will work with organisations across the industry to ensure that this effort is matched, and that the public and private sectors can support each other in this shared endeavour.
Andy Mitchell, Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council
The Construction Playbook captures commercial best practices and specific sector reforms outlining the government’s expectations of how contracting authorities and suppliers, including the supply chain, should engage with each other.
These are set out in 14 key policies for how the government should assess, procure and deliver public works projects and programmes which all central government departments and their arms length bodies are expected to follow on a ‘comply or explain’ basis.