A step forward

The results of the CPA’s second consultation show strong support for the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI), says Adam Turk.

The Grenfell Tower disaster has put the construction industry, its products and its practices under intense scrutiny. The construction industry is on trial, and the safety of our buildings is increasingly being questioned. However, we are now one step closer towards making buildings safer following the latest industry-wide consultation on the

Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI).

The Code

The CCPI, developed by the CPA’s Marketing Integrity Group (MIG), addresses how product information is presented and marketed by manufacturers. It responds to Dame Judith Hackitt’s report ‘Building A Safer Future’, which was commissioned in the wake of the Grenfell disaster. The CPA formed the MIG to tackle the shortcomings highlighted in ‘Product Information’, identified in Chapter 7 of the report.

Analysis from a first stage industry consultation in 2019 concluded that for product and performance information to be trusted it had to be clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous.

These five acid tests underpin the framework of the CCPI.

On 1 February, the MIG opened a second industry-wide consultation to gather feedback on the Code. Its 11 Clauses were published in a consultation report in order to give everyone across the industry the widest opportunity to comment. Results came in May and all entries have been included in the analysis. The results make positive reading.

Summary findings

The highly-publicised consultation attracted extensive feedback from 35 trade associations and organisations representing the views of over 37,000 provider and user members, and 180 individual providers (manufacturers) and users (installers, architects, consultants, distributors and others).

Nearly all trade bodies (97%) said the Code was very or fairly important for members to comply. Among Providers, 87% thought it was very

or fairly important to their organisation to comply.

The majority of respondents – 94% of trade bodies, 93% of providers and 83% of users – said the Code met their expectations either completely, almost or in part.

Users expect the Code to have the most positive impact on availability and consistency of manufacturer product information (63% and 67% of users respectively). The lowest expected impact of the Code was on the process for making product substitutions.

Forty-seven per cent of users said they would ‘always’ or ‘often’ specify, stock or install products from companies that are signed up to the Code over those that are not. Sixty-five per cent also said they would report a manufacturer not abiding by the Code. No-one wants another Grenfell!

Next steps

The MIG has published all the results and comments in detail and all the feedback will be considered in order to finalise the Code before it is transferred to Construction Product Information Ltd (CPI Ltd) – an independent not-for-profit organisation set-up by the Considerate Constructors Scheme to administer and manage the CCPI. The CPI Ltd website is due to go live by July.

It is vital that the products specified and installed in buildings are safe and perform as expected, and the CPA recognises that the CCPI is just one key piece of the jigsaw in the drive for safer buildings. However, it is important to recognise that those using construction product information must also be competent to do so, which has been the subject of work undertaken by WG12 on competency. n

Adam Turk is CEO of Siderise and chair of the Construction Products Association’s Marketing Integrity Group.

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