Plaisterers’ Training Awards

Plaisterers’ Training Awards

The Plaisterers’ Training Awards will be presented at a prestigious ceremony and luncheon on 20 November 2018 at Plaisterers’ Hall in London. There are three categories in which FIS members can enter; the closing date is 24 August 2018. The event provides a good opportunity for companies to show off their commitment to training and the quality of their staff. All entries will receive a nomination certificate, with the top three being invited to attend the awards along with a guest.

Categories available for FIS members to enter are as follows:

The British Gypsum Trophy
– recognises excellence in the delivery of training in drylining and is open to all Independent Training Providers including contractors

The Formula Snelling Cup
– recognises excellence in the delivery of training in Fibrous and Heritage Plastering. It has been realised that the majority of training in Fibrous and Heritage is carried out by the contractor members themselves so the qualifying criteria have been extended

The Apprentice of the Year award
– open to any plastering apprentice in the UK

Don’t miss your opportunity to celebrate excellence in plastering training and the chance to showcase the training achievements of your company.

If you are interested in entering and want to know more, please contact  Telephone enquiries can be made to Avril Blanchot on 01568 708163.

You can also download the Nomination and/or application forms here.


Welcome to our new members in April

Welcome to our new members in April

During April, we welcomed three new companies to the FIS membership; two contractor companies and one service provider. Pirin Projects Ltd and S&R London are contractors based in the south-east. MMC Engineer is a structural and civil engineering practice based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

We look forward to a long and successful relationship with our new and existing members in 2018. A range of membership benefits, Special Interest Forums, events and publications are available in the FIS Membership Hub.


Payment reform petition presented to Number 10

Payment reform petition presented to Number 10

A petition on fair payment and retentions, representing over 355,000 businesses, was delivered to Theresa May on Monday by Peter Aldous MP and industry leaders including FIS CEO David Frise. Supporters of the Aldous Bill and the petition on fair payments also gathered outside the gates of Number 10, including business owners directly affected by the collapse of Carillion in January.

The second reading of the Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill which was scheduled for 27 April, has been pushed back to Friday 15 June. The Bill proposes cash retentions be held in trust accounts to protect the supply chain.

FIS members have been writing to their MPs to gather support and other prominent MPs backing the reform include John McDonnell, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Kenneth Clarke, Ed Vaizey, Sir Vince Cable and Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas. Follow the link on the right to download the template letter asking your MP to support the Bill.

Peter Aldous tabled a private member’s bill to protect the millions of pounds of cash retentions withheld from construction SMEs. The Ten Minute Rule Bill will seek to amend the 1996 Construction Act and ensure that retentions within construction are held in a third party trust scheme.

David Frise commented: “The urgent need for reform is clear from the cross-party support the Aldous Bill has. The impact of lost Carillion retention money on apprentices, jobs and investment in the sector is already evident. Holding cash retentions in trust will make sure that the money is safe and does what it is intended to do.”

“The government will surely want to be seen to protect SMEs and to ensure the construction industry is sustainable so it can deliver its ambitious plans for housing and social welfare. SMEs are crucial to the government’s built environment and infrastructure programme.”

“Retentions and delayed payment put thousands of firms at risk of insolvency and undermine their efforts to invest in skills, training and improved productivity.”


Meet our service providers

Meet our service providers

Associate members are an important part of the FIS community; they provide the services that accredited members need to ensure their businesses achieve optimum performance.

The range of services that they provide includes advisory, certification, consultancy, environment, fire and acoustic testing, health and safety, insurance, legal, recruitment, technical and training. Click on the members’ name below to visit their website and find out more.


A D Design Consultants Ltd

Melbury Construction Consultants Ltd

T/A Solutions for Contractors

Wilkinson Construction Consultants Ltd


Foy Certification Ltd



Environmental – Waste Management

Outsource Site Services

Prowaste Management Ltd

Fire and Acoustic Testing

The Building Test Centre, British Gypsum

Health & Safety

Citation Plc

Veritas Consulting Safety Services


Darwin Clayton (UK) Ltd

Trident Insurance Brokers Ltd

E C Insurance Co (ECIC)

Kerry London




The Just Group ( Just Interiors Recruitment )

Thorn Baker Ltd

Endeavour Recruitment

Apex Resources Ltd

Technical & Software

On Centre Software

Steel Construction Institute







Peter Aldous to present petition on 23 April

Peter Aldous to present petition on 23 April

There are now 76 trade bodies and 120 MPs in support of the Aldous Bill, and ahead of the Second Reading on Friday 27 April, Peter Aldous is presenting a petition to 10 Downing Street, representing support for retentions reform and calling on Government to act.

The campaign is at a critical point and FIS members are urged to attend on Monday 23 April when the petition will be presented at around 13:30. People are meeting in Parliament Square, Westminster, at the Churchill statue at 12:30 and it is anticipated that proceedings should be over by 14:00.

The petition represents 341,408 businesses, sole traders and a delegation of:
• Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney
• Mike Cherry, National Chair, Federation of Small Businesses
• Stephen Martin, Director General, Institute of Directors
• Steve Bratt, CEO, ECA
• Brian Berry, CEO, Federation of Master Builders
• David Frise, CEO, BESA and FIS

Media and Peers have been invited to attend.

A meeting will take place in Westminster on Wednesday 18 April for MPs with constituents impacted by Carillion, and industry expertise is very welcome. A press and industry briefing will be held in Portcullis House with Peter Aldous on 25 April also, for those who wish to join.

Your support at the petition presentation may be the difference between government support – or not.


Knauf Readymixed Finishing event

Knauf Readymixed Finishing event

Encon/Nevill Long is hosting a Spray Readymixed Finishing event, with Knauf, on Friday 18 May at its Newcastle branch. FIS members are invited to attend free of charge.

Two live demonstrations will take place at 9 am and 11.30 am. Each session will include:

• A full demonstration of Knauf Airless Finish, showing how fast, clean and efficient the system is
• An opportunity to use the spray machine and see the benefits of a premixed finish
• Free breakfast for everyone who attends
• Machine set-up and finishing, with experts on-hand to offer advice on spray machines

The event will take place at Encon/Nevill Long Newcastle: Unit E2, High Flatworth, Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, North Shields, NE29 7UZ

To register your interest, please email with your details, and which session you would like to attend.

Download the event flyer




UK Construction Week unveils ambitious plans to showcase industry role models

UK Construction Week unveils ambitious plans to showcase industry role models

UK Construction Week is launching a new initiative for 2018 to help the industry compete for talent. It will do this by taking role models in the industry and elevating their profile and their story in a nationwide publicity campaign through trade and consumer media.

Role models will also be asked to take part in an outreach programme, going to colleges and schools in the coming months to talk to students and teachers at key stages of their education to explain what inspired them to choose construction as a career and bust any myths around the image of construction.

UK Construction Week is looking for professionals to apply or to be nominated. This is an opportunity for people to raise their own profile if they feel they deserve it, or for colleagues to nominate professionals they feel deserve recognition.  This is a great chance for a company to raise its profile by showcasing its talent, as well as for unsung heroes to gain valuable encouragement, as well as help recruit a whole new generation of construction professionals.

This is aimed at all walks of the sector, whether you are a newly qualified apprentice, or someone who has transferred into the sector from the military or automotive industries.  You could be working in plastering,  drylining,  partitions,  ceilings and flooring,  digital construction,  facilities management, architecture, site management, bricklaying,  roofing….the list goes on! They want a diverse and representative selection to show the world the myriad of opportunities and talent the sector holds.

Successful UKCW Role Models will be asked to speak at UK Construction Week on their Main stage or individual show stages, to take part in their UKCW student initiative, and they will be asked to write for their Construction Matters blog. They will be invited to selected events in the coming months, as well as being VIPs at the main event in October.

FIS would like show-case the talent that exists within the FIS membership and as a result are encouraging members to nominate individuals from their companies that fit this campaign criteria.   Please email directly with your nominations by close of play 23 April 2018 and we will co-ordinate with UK Construction Week.


Fit-out services required for BBC’s DIY SOS

Fit-out services required for BBC’s DIY SOS

From 15 to 28 May 2018, television’s DIY SOS team will be building for the Grenfell community and they need your help! In order to re-home the Dale Youth Boxing Gym and build a brand new two-storey community centre, the TV show needs local trades and supplies.

If you can help, please email with your trade details, availability, telephone and contact details.

FIS fit-out members needed on BBC DIY SOS

Tackling the plastic problem – Open consultation

Tackling the plastic problem – Open consultation

The Chancellor launched a call for evidence at the Spring Statement to examine how charges or changes to the tax system could tackle the problems associated with single-use plastic waste.  As part of the government’s call for evidence, the Treasury is examining different solutions to reducing single-use plastic waste across a variety of sectors. The Treasury has contacted CPA to ensure that the construction product sector makes its views known through this Call for Evidence.

CPA would like to hear from FIS members about any views and concerns they might have around potential policies. As well as plastic packaging this could include construction products made from plastic and any members who make products from reprocessed plastic.

The deadline for evidence to the Treasury is 18 May so please provide feedback by 27 April to Joe Cilia, Technical Director:


Read the document Tackling the plastic problem – Using the tax system or charges to address single-use plastic waste



Approved Document L (England) – Conservation of Fuel and Power

Approved Document L (England) – Conservation of Fuel and Power

The following updated documents have been published; please see Transitional arrangements (below) for the date of applicability.

1. Approved Document L1b Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings 2010 edition incorporating 2018 amendments. This changes all references to the (3) below

2. 2018 amendments to 2010 edition of AD L1B – Corrigenda Provides a list of the actual changes in (1) above

3. Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide 2013 incorporating 2018 amendments. These changes introduce revised standards concerning the installation and replacement of gas-fired and oil-fired boilers in existing dwellings. The changes affect Sections 2 & 3 and parts of the Introduction section.

All documents can be found here


Transitional arrangements:
These documents come into force on 6 April 2018 only in respect of:

• Work where a building notice was given or full plans deposited on or after 6 April 2018, or

• Work where the contract for the provision of the work was agreed on or after that date in cases where no notification to a building control body is required

The previous editions of AD L1B and domestic building services compliance guide will continue to apply in respect of:

• Work commenced before 6 April 2018

• Work where a building notice or initial notice was given or full plans deposited before 6 April 2018

• Work where a contract for the provision of the work was agreed before 6 April 2018 where no notification to a building control body was required.


Keith Wilson’s funeral

Keith Wilson’s funeral

It is with great sadness that we inform members that Keith Wilson passed away peacefully at the end of March. Keith was a director of fit-out contractor Teewey Office Fitters. He was a founding member of the Partitioning Industry Association (PIA) and served on its Board for many years, becoming President in 1983.

His funeral takes place on 20 April at Weybridge Cemetery, Brooklands Lane, Weybridge KT13 8UX at 1pm and reception at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge. For further details, telephone Stuart Wilson on 07786 141039.


BuildBack is coming to a town near you!

BuildBack is coming to a town near you!

Following the successful Midlands-based BuildBack cohort which took place last month, we are pleased to announce that the nationwide roll-out, part of the Fit-Out Futures strategy, will begin at Sheffield College in May.

The FIS BuildBack programme puts job seekers through two weeks of college drylining training followed by two weeks of onsite work experience with an employer, equipping them with the skills and competencies required to pursue a career in drylining.

We will be hosting a series of employer open days across the country; designed for employers to come along and meet with the drylining trainees and programme partners, look around the college facilities and hear more about the BuildBack programme and how it can benefit their business. Our partner colleges are scheduled to be opening their doors on the following dates:

Sheffield – 9 May 2018

South and City Birmingham – 31 May 2018

Wigan and Leigh (Greater Manchester Colleges Group) – 7 June 2018

NPTC Group of Colleges – 14 June 2018

Lewisham Southwark – 20 June 2018

Astins – 21 June 2018

Colchester – 22 June 2018

Silver Trowel – 5 July 2018

For local employers, this is an ideal opportunity to select semi-skilled drylining trainees for wage-free assistance on their projects. Getting involved in the FIS BuildBack Programme by providing work experience is a prime opportunity for employers to prove some aspects of fulfilment of their Section 106 contractual obligations.

Download the BuildBack Employer Flyer to find out more or register your interest via email:


IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI: March

IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI: March

March data revealed a setback for the UK construction sector following five months of marginal business activity growth. However, survey respondents noted that unusually bad weather conditions had been a key factor behind the drop in construction output, with snow-related disruption having a particularly negative impact on civil engineering projects. Business activity expectations and job creation both picked up in March, which provides a clear signal that construction firms anticipate a rebound in activity during the months ahead.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) fell sharply from 51.4 in February to 47.0 in March, to register below the 50.0 no-change threshold for the first time in six months. Moreover, the latest reading signalled the fastest overall decline in construction output since July 2016. Where a drop in work was reported, survey respondents noted that unusually bad weather had disrupted staff availability and activity on site.

Duncan Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “There was some good news as purchasing levels increased slightly, sustained by the respite of pressure from cost increases which were the lowest since June 2016 and where the worst impact of the weak pound on prices may have dissipated. With the strongest job creation this year, firms had a more hopeful outlook for the coming months coupled with the highest level of optimism since June 2017, as they scoured the wider marketplace for opportunities.”

Download the full report here.



Welcome to our new members in April

Welcome to our new members in March

During March, we welcomed two new companies to the FIS membership; Komfort is a manufacturer of internal glazed and solid partitions with integrated doorsets. Penlaw is a distributor of drywall and associated building products.

We look forward to a long and successful relationship with our new and existing members going forward in 2018. A range of membership benefits, Special Interest Forums, events and publications are available in the FIS Membership Hub.






Technical update: Third-party components

Technical update: Third-party components

We have seen examples of non-system (third-party) products being promoted for use in performance systems, and although they have performance claims and test evidence, they may not have evidence of being tested in manufacturers’ systems.

This may not come to light until compliance evidence is requested, by which time the product may be installed and any performance warranties from system manufacturers become null and void, with dire consequences.

We recommend that any changes to a system by including third-party products are checked before installation and that a letter of confirmation is requested before proceeding. If you are in any doubt, check with your system supplier.

If you have any questions, please contact Joe Cilia, Technical Director:


Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) April webinars

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) April webinars

The HMRC will be running free webinars in April, providing members with advice and support regarding the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). Whether you’re new to CIS or building on your existing knowledge, the online help will explain how the scheme works and your responsibilities.


CIS for subcontractors – Thursday 12 April – 5 pm to 5.45pm

This webinar provides guidance to businesses and includes:
– An overview of the scheme
– Getting started in CIS
– Payment & Deduction statements
– Records you need to keep

Register here


CIS for contractors – Friday 13 April – 9 am to 10 am

This webinar includes:
– An overview of the scheme
– Engaging and paying subcontractors
– What information you need to report to HMRC
– How long you need to keep records for

Register here

You will be able to ask questions during the webinars using the on-screen text box.



Approved Document L (England) – Conservation of Fuel and Power

Indoor air quality – a global approach

More and more public and private stakeholders are considering indoor air quality (IAQ) as a very relevant building performance characteristic. However, existing schemes at national and EU level are falling short of providing a comprehensive system covering design, construction and product information to guarantee reasonable levels of indoor air quality.

The CPA, in discussion with the Subgroup on Dangerous Substances (SGDS) and other stakeholders, have questioned if the focus on product performance only, without including design of buildings/rooms and the installation, is not falling short of creating an efficient approach to provide a safe indoor air environment. The experts of the SGDS have clearly pointed out that this will require more professional expertise than they could provide – in particular, the input of designers and contractors.

FIS members are invited to provide comment and/or work on a European Commission proposal on a global/holistic approach to indoor air quality. Interested member companies or individual experts should download this document and then contact the UK representative by 6 April 2018, cc’ing

If enough interest is received, respondents will be invited to a brainstorming meeting in Brussels before the summer.




Robert Barker to retire

Robert Barker, FIS membership manager, will be retiring on Monday 26 March. Robert joined the company in September 2006 when it was known as the Association of Interior Specialists (AIS). Previously, Robert has worked for a number of members including Burgess Architectural Products (now Burgess CEP), SAS International, Nevill Long Contractors, Sabre Contractors, Phoenix  Flangeclamp and Roskel Contracts. With over 45 years in commercial interiors, Robert has been both a contractor and product sales manager. In the mid-90s he ran his own company called Associated Louvres and Diffusers (ALD) and over the years has worked in Europe, USA, South Africa, Turkey and the Middle East.

David Frise, CEO said: “Robert has been a great servant of the FIS, he has used his vast knowledge about interiors and finishes to help members through many of the pitfalls of fit-out. He has a wealth of experience about products and good practice and a “rolodex” that meant he always knew who to contact. We are going to miss him very much.”

From all of us at FIS we would like to take this opportunity to thank Robert for his hard work and dedication to the role, and we’re sure that you will join us in wishing Robert and Rita a very happy retirement.

CITB’s new Grants Scheme launches on 3 April 2018

CITB’s new Grants Scheme launches on 3 April 2018

CITB will launch its new Construction Training Directory, Construction Training Register and Grants Scheme on 3 April 2018.

Collectively known as the Training Model, the three parts cover:

  • Construction Training Directory – employers can find the right training, in the right place, at the right time supported by Grant.
  • Construction Training Register – employers can see the qualifications each construction worker holds
  • New Grants Scheme – more flexible and focused on supporting construction-related training, allowing CITB to support the areas of greatest training need.

To help give some clarity on how the new Training Model will work and interact, CITB has developed an interactive presentation which can be accessed via the CITB website here.

Any queries regarding the new scheme should be sent to:

There is a CITB YouTube Playlist which provides more guidance.


CITB is currently running Employer Advisory Forums at various locations across England, Scotland and Wales. Find out more and book free tickets here.


Don’t miss the chance to enter your projects and apprentices

Don’t miss the chance to enter your projects and apprentices

All FIS contractor members who completed projects in Scotland during 2017 are eligible to enter the Scottish Awards. Nominations are also sought for apprentices who are training in Scotland. This is your chance to receive recognition and promotion of your work and employees; the closing date for all entries is 31 March 2018.

Entries are visited by two FIS award judges, who will determine the winners in the contract categories of:

  • Interior Fit-Out
  • Partial Fit-Out
  • Drywall Construction
  • Plasterwork (general and heritage)
  • Suspended Ceilings
  • Partitioning
  • Judges’ Award (for projects which do not fit into the above categories)

In addition, the awards include a category for Apprentice of the Year; the apprentice must be training in Scotland. The winners of these awards will be announced and presented at our Scottish Awards Lunch in Glasgow on 28 September 2018.

To gain inspiration for your entry, visit our image gallery which lists all of our previous award winners. We hope to see your projects on the 2018 gallery – click here to enter.