With the industry-wide consultation on the new Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) now closed, the Construction Products Association (CPA) asked Amanda Long, CEO of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, to explain more about the proposed verification process for the CCPI, which will be delivered through ‘Construction Product Information Ltd’ once the company is up and running. Find out more on pages 18-21 of the Consultation report.
A robust independent assessment and verification process must be in place to support implementation of the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI). To deliver this, the independent not-for-profit organisation ‘Construction Product Information Ltd’ (CPI Ltd), is being set-up by the Considerate Constructors Scheme and will be responsible for administering and managing the CCPI. The role of CPI Ltd will be to guard the Code, to assess and verify registrations, and to manage and audit registrants on an ongoing basis.
What is the process for CCPI Verification?
Verification of Product Information is not product certification, it is a verification that Product Information provided by the manufacturer is consistent with the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) clauses.
The first step to obtaining verification of Product Information is to register with CPI and complete a survey measuring the manufacturer’s approach to leadership, culture and ethics. To complete this survey a checklist, designed to measure leadership, culture and ethics within the organisation, is completed by a representative sample of employees. The submitted responses are collated, evaluated and validated by an experienced assessor. Manufacturer’s demonstrating appropriate leadership and cultural values in line with the Code will move to the second step.
The second step will utilise “machine learning” techniques and software algorithms to corroborate your survey score and verify Product Information. This includes, for example, processes for creating and disseminating product information. For example, performance characteristics claimed in Product Information provided by the manufacturer will be checked against product testing and certification held and existing standards, trade associations and industry body for relevant construction products, ensuring claims are not exaggerated and/or use misleading language.
Thirdly, a human verifier will check anomalies identified by the machine learning process and undertake a validation visit (either virtual or on-site) to further assess and validate the outputs and where appropriate recommend verification of Product Information. Those companies not demonstrating the necessary leadership and cultural values and/or compliance with the Code will receive feedback on where improvement is necessary to achieve verification.
Manufacturers have many years of experience of third-party assurance for their business activities and product performance, be it for quality, environment, or health and safety managements systems; or laboratory testing of products. We understand many manufacturers will be cautious about what may be another layer of assurance for their products, and additional burdens this may place on their organisation, in already challenging times.
Recognising the challenge for the industry that any fundamental change brings, the assurance processes for the verification of manufacturer’s Construction Product Information will seek to leverage where possible existing third party assurance and product testing held by manufacturers.
How will the verification of Product Information be recognised?
Once the three steps outlined above are successfully completed, a uniquely numbered verification certificate for each product set passing the verification process will be issued.
Registration and verification of product information is normally valid for 2 years.
How much will it cost?
Registration fees are expected to be banded based on the size of the manufacturer. It is anticipated that product verification fees will be charged as a function of product sets and total number of products requested for verification. Once operational, the delivery and operation of the Code will be self-financing and will benefit from utilising relevant shared services with CCS to keep costs as low as possible for users compatible with delivering a robust process of validation.
We do recognise the industry is made up of a broad range of organisations from large companies to SME’s and our goal is to make this accessible to all.
Help and support
We will be providing tools and information to support any company wishing to register and show compliance with the Code, in the form of onboarding seminars, templates and examples of good practice. We expect these to begin to be available from June 2021 following the completion of the Code consultation and development process.