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CPA consults on new code for construction products

The Construction Products Association is launching an industry-wide consultation into a new proposed Code for Construction Product Information.

The Code, which is die to be foormally launched later this year, has been developed by the CPA’s Marketing Integrity Group in response to the issues raised in Dame Judith Hackitt’s report ‘Building A Safer Future’, and the credibility challenge facing the construction industry following the Grenfell Tower fire. The report confirmed radical change was needed for construction products, particularly in the areas of testing, information and marketing.

The Code, made up of 11 clauses, aims to set the benchmark for how product information is presented and marketed by manufacturers. A new microsite dedicated to this consultation – www.buildingsafely.co.uk – explains the background, and includes a specially written report on the new Code.

The MIG’s work represents two years of open debate and discussion, and of engagement with various parts of the supply chain. It follows detailed analysis of the Call For Evidence survey in 2019, which attracted over 500 responses from across the industry. The survey confirmed that for product and performance information to be trusted, it must be Clear, Accurate, Up-to-date, Accessible and Unambiguous. These five points are the acid tests that now stand behind the 11 Clauses in the new Code.

The MIG is driving a wide-reaching consultation to give manufacturers, specifiers and users of information an opportunity to comment on the new Code, the implementation of its 11 Clauses, and its ongoing management and policing. The consultation is being carried out independently by industry specialists, MRA Research.

MIG Chair Adam Turk says: “Following Grenfell, our industry reputation has been damaged. This Code is an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to setting a level playing field for all construction product manufacturers to ensure that information they provide passes the five acid tests. In particular, that users of our products can once again rely upon the information given to them, to build the great buildings and infrastructure in which we live, work and play.”

The Code is being developed in response to chnages required after the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. Pic: George Rates/Shutterstock

CPA Chief Executive Peter Caplehorn says: “The importance of this new Code and consultation process will be obvious to all those working in the built environment post-Grenfell. It is our responsibility as an industry to regain public trust and credibility in what we do, and to demonstrate that technical competence can be trusted. I believe the Code represents both a determined attempt on behalf of manufacturers to correct disingenuous marketing practices and a proactive and collaborative effort to address the issues highlighted in Dame Judith Hackitt’s Report.

“The first industry consultation in 2019 was key in establishing the way forward. We are now encouraging the industry to have their say once more before the Code is launched. We are reaching out to every organisation across the construction supply chain, whether that be manufacturers, specifiers, suppliers, distributors, contractors or installers. I hope businesses and individuals will embrace the opportunity to be involved, and recognise the urgency of change that is needed for our industry to ensure safe buildings.”

Download the Code for Construction Products Information at www.buildingsafely.co.uk and register to have your say. The consultation will open on 1st February and run until 31st March.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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