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Report from the Industry Safety Steering Group, on their findings on progress of culture change in construction sector.

The industry safety steering group (ISSG) was established to encourage culture change within the construction industry and to monitor broader industry’s progress on implementing the recommendations in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. Members of the ISSG have been consciously drawn from senior levels in a wide range of sectors including the oil and gas, civil aviation, financial and chemical engineering industries to challenge the construction sector’s current thinking and to offer advice on how other sectors have addressed similar issues.

In their summary report to the Secretary of State to advise of progress, the sector gets far from a clean bill of health.  Overall whilst they recognise considerable progress has made by the majority of representatives who have attended meetings, and with the overall response to the ISSG’s challenges, they are concerned at a lack of collaboration and fragmentation continue to hamper progress.  Key findings are that the ISSG:

  • appreciates the progress made by the Competence Steering Group (CSG). In response to early challenges from ISSG on the progress of reform, CSG have, in partnership with members of the ISSG made significant progress on their proposals for an overarching system for competence;
  • recognises that for some areas progress on raising competence levels may take longer to resolve, but that progress is being made under the leadership of organisations such as Build UK and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. The ISSG will continue to monitor progress, offer support to move forward with culture change and challenge those who are making slower progress to learn from the leaders in the sector;
  • welcomes the work of groups such as the Early Adopters to take early action on prioritising building and fire safety and encourages industry to learn from their early leadership;
  • has noted, however, that progress has been slow across parts of industry due in part to its fragmented nature. In too many cases, organisations remain unwilling to share best practice; and
  • believes that there is still much more work to do to ensure that the message of culture change reaches the whole of industry and that industry needs to have a plan of work going forward to address this in more detail. The publication of the Government’s consultation document represents a significant opportunity to reinforce the message that culture change must happen and that the new regulatory framework will ensure that the industry is held to account.

Competence has been a focus of the ISSG to date and the group have also raised concerns regarding the slow progress. The ISSG remained concerned that the CSG were overly focused on skills and knowledge, which could lead to individuals focusing on just “passing a test”. Many ISSG members felt that not enough work was being done to drive behaviour and culture change.

A full copy of the report is available here.