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VIEWPOINT


DRIVING CHANGE FOR SAFER BUILDINGS


Catherine Fyfe, marketing director at Polypipe and Deputy Chair of the CPA’s Marketing Integrity Group, looks at the CPA’s new proposed Code for Construction Product Information.


THE CONSTRUCTION industry has a credibility challenge. In the aftermath of the Grenfell disaster, Dame Judith Hackitt was commissioned to carry out an independent review of Building Regulations and fire safety. Her final report – Building A Safer Future – included important recommendations for greater clarity in construction product information. The report also made clear that action was needed to ensure events like Grenfell never happened again.


In taking action to address the findings of the report, the Construction Products Association (CPA) established the Marketing Integrity Group (MIG) in 2018, to help drive much needed change, ensuring clear, accurate, up-to-date, and unambiguous





This voluntary Code would ensure construction product


manufacturers provide reliable, accurate


information...so users of product information have all the facts when making decisions.


” 1


The Code is broken down into four main sections: .Information creation


Ensure sign off procedures are in place with accountable technical competent person, that version control is used so the latest information is always available and ending the practice of misleading and/or ambiguous wording or images.


2 3


.Core information


Where performance or compliance information is given, it must be supported by evidence.


.Associated information


Ensure information regarding the handling, installation, operation, maintenance, and disposal of construction products is available for the variety of stakeholders of products. This section also covers guarantees and warranties, to ensure manufacturers are transparent about what is covered, excluded, and required to comply with any terms and conditions.


4 . Support and competence


Ensuring access to the people providing support and advice and ensuring they have sufficient training and knowledge for their role.


14


construction product information is provided by manufacturers and accessible by its users. For merchants, the Code impacts in two ways: as manufacturers and users of product information. More on this further down, but firstly, how did the Code come about?


Creating the Code Our first action was to understand what the industry thought about construction product information. We conducted a Call for Evidence survey in 2019, receiving over 500 responses and almost 200 pages of free text information. It was obvious from the detail submitted that users of product information wanted to see a change, and more structure was necessary. The MIG, made up of industry and product manufacturer representatives from across the construction supply chain, set about creating a new Code of Conduct.


This voluntary Code would ensure construction product manufacturers provide reliable, accurate information – across the entirety of the construction product’s life cycle – so users of product information have all the facts when making decisions about specifying, installing, maintaining and disposing their products.


The Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI), which applies to all construction products, is built around five ‘acid tests’, stemmed from the Call for Evidence survey where most respondents told us that to be trustworthy, product information


must be Clear, Accurate, Up-to-date, Accessible and Unambiguous.


Management and Auditing


For this Code of Conduct to be supported, adhered to, and trusted, we also recognised that compliance needs to be independently assessed and verified. We don’t want manufacturers ‘marking their own homework’, but equally, we need to recognise the effort behind compliance.


To create that independence the CPA, with the support of the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), have established Construction Product Information Limited (CPIL) – an independent, not for profit organisation that will be responsible for administering and managing the forthcoming Code, and auditing registrants. While the audit and assessment frameworks are still being developed, the approach will contain an online assessment with human verification. CPIL will have an independent Board as its governance structure with Amanda Long, CEO of CCS also taking on the CEO role for CPIL. All successful assessments will be given a numbered licence, as part of a logo mark, to demonstrate compliance with the CCPI. This licence mark can be used across the manufacturer’s product information to demonstrate their compliance to users. The licence will be valid for one year and subject to ongoing assessment. The CCPI is intended to create a level playing field


www.buildersmerchantsjournal.net April 2021


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