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ECA News NHIC role for ECA head of Marketing

STEFAN HAY, THE ECA’S HEAD OF Marketing and the FSA, has been elected as one of the new vice- chairmen of the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC). The election took place at the NHIC AGM on 30 March, where Martin Orrill, head of technology at British Gas, handed over the chairmanship to his British Gas colleague Kevin Lowe. Stefan Hay joins Simon Storer of the Construction Products Association

(CPA) as co-vice chairman. NHIC director Andrew Leech commented: ‘The NHIC is very pleased to welcome Kevin Lowe of British Gas as the next chairman and his vice-chairmen, Stefan Hay of the ECA and Simon Storer, of the CPA.’ Stefan Hay said: ‘Naturally, I am pleased and honoured to have been elected to this important role and look forward to supporting the NHIC, of which the ECA is a founding member,

over the next two years. The home improvement market, especially in light of the government’s energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets and the need for greater home security and safety, represents a huge opportunity for ECA and FSA registered members, and I intend to ensure that the interests of those members are promoted extensively throughout the NHIC and its network.’ n See for more info.

Specialist contractors centre stage at SSIP conference

Paul Reeve chairs the SSIP conference

practical communication between the scheme, buyers and contractors on how SSIP can work better.’ He added that, when it came to desktop and other assessments, ‘reputable contractors have no problem with showing they meet the required standard, but they object to having to give time and money to do it more than once’. Professor Rudi Klein, chief

AN ASSESSMENT INDUSTRY scheme to reduce bureaucracy and allow mutual recognition of core competence criteria in construction may become mandatory unless assessors, clients and major contractors fully commit to it. This was a key message from the conference held on 5 April to discuss the progress of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), the umbrella organisation launched 18 months ago to tackle the proliferation of safety pre-qualification schemes.

In that time, 13 individual pre- qualification schemes – including CHAS, SAFEcontractor and Exor – have joined SSIP. Paul Morrell, the government’s chief construction adviser, told delegates at the event at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS): ‘SSIP is the model that other things have to

follow. And PAS 91 is the gateway to a new and better way of working. But we need to make sure that the progress so far doesn’t unravel through different providers trying to gain competitive advantage. If that happens, we will look at nominating just one mandatory provider.’ The key to avoiding this, continued Morrell, is ‘to find new business drivers that promote integration’. HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Philip White, told delegates: ‘We need to convince all those involved in procurement that they can have confidence in SSIP. It needs to evolve and develop.’ Picking up on this, conference chair Paul Reeve, head of Safety at the ECA and a board member of the SSIP, invited stakeholders to ‘let SSIP know if you are not happy with any aspects of the scheme. We need much more

executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC), told delegates that ‘when you have something like the core criteria in CDM there is no excuse for anyone to say that you have to answer the same questions [during pre-qualification] again and again.’

Delegates were also provided with more information on the new ‘SSIP portal’ site, which already details more than 20,000 suppliers who have been assessed by SSIP members. For a modest annual fee, buyers can confirm that a contractor holds current health and safety certification from an SSIP member, and that they have successfully completed a CDM 2007 Core Criteria Stage 1 assessment. Chair Paul Reeve brought the conference to a close by noting substantial achievements so far, but warned that if the SSIP is to thrive, ‘it has to ensure clear, practical delivery of mutual recognition in the next year’. n The ECA has a comprehensive new ‘Q&A’ sheet about both SSIP and PAS 91 on its website at

ECIS and SELECT in affinity deal Electrical Contractors’ Insurance Services (ECIS) has agreed an affinity partnership with SELECT, the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland. The partnership deal will allow ECIS to offer a range of value-added insurance products and services to SELECT members, which will be marketed under the SELECT branding. The new partnership follows the formation of a new affinity group division within ECInsurance announced in February 2011. Alastair Torbet, group sales and

marketing director for ECInsurance, said: ‘Our partnership with SELECT is a significant step forward, not only because it reflects our national expansion, but it allows us to serve a whole new group of professionals. I am delighted to be working with SELECT to ensure the best insurance and risk management services for its members.’

ECS achieves ISO 9001:2008 certification

The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS), administered by the Joint Industry Board for the Electrical Contracting Industry, has achieved the international quality standard ISO 9001:2008 following in-depth assessment of its quality management processes and procedures by BM TRADA.

Certification involved rigorous auditing of the organisation’s day- to-day operation, and enhancing existing systems to meet the precise requirements of the quality standard. Sue Brown, ECS administration

manager, commented: ‘Effective quality management systems improve the way you do business and make organisations become even more efficient. We already had a very good structure in place but the ISO process has driven us to enhance our systems even further.’ ‘Our certification will reassure ECS card holders and our partners that the scheme is fully committed to quality and will remain at the highest standard.’

ECA online You can now follow the ECA on Twitter at The ECA also has a LinkedIn group at www. CONTRACTORS-ASSOCIATION-3605522 Join us and catch up on the latest news from the ECA.

May 2011 ECA Today 11

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