Reflecting on the 2023 Contractor Awards

Reflecting on the 2023 Contractor Awards

The FIS Contractors Awards 2023 attracted a record crowd and was a fantastic celebration of our amazing community.

Discover the highlights of the FIS Contractor Awards that you may have missed.

You can see all the winners here.
It was also the first time that the FIS community got to hear from their new president, Philip Brown.

You can read Phils Speech

Our CEO, Iain McIlwee also spoke on the FIS’s current and future initiatives.

You can read Iain’s speech here

Below we have included some of the photos from the day.


You can see all of the photos on our FIS Facebook Page here

Congratulations to the winners and again all who made the shortlist, thanks to the judges, Tony Pieri, Colin Hunter, and Robert Fry.  Thanks to our headline sponsor Ecophon, our Award sponsors Minster, SIG, CCF, British Gypsum, Zentia, Nevill Long, Protektor and Euroform. And also our event sponsors Forza Doors, EPD Insulation Group, Fire DNA, Muffle, SPIT, Go Interiors and QIC Trims.

Thanks all for making this an extra special celebration!

FIS aligns vetting process with Common Assessment Standard

FIS aligns vetting process with Common Assessment Standard

As part of measures taken to improve and streamline the FIS membership vetting standards, we have aligned the FIS audit criteria with those of the Common Assessment Standard developed by Build UK.

Build UK developed the common assessment standard to improve efficiency and reduce cost in the construction pre-qualification (PQ) process.

The Common Assessment Standard comprises an industry-agreed question set and corresponding assessment standards for the pre-qualification of suppliers. Companies that have the Common Assessment Standard are certified once a year by a Recognised Assessment Body and this is accepted by a long list of Contractors and Clients who will accept the common assessment standard from any recognised assessment body.

The current pre-qualification schemes from Recognised Assessment Bodies are as follows:

  • Achilles BuildingConfidence Gold
  • CHAS Elite or Assured
  • Constructionline Gold or Platinum
  • CQMS Safety-Scheme Premium or Elite
  • SCCS Build Assured CAS Lite or CAS Elite



FIS is adding its name to a growing list of trade associations that also accept the standard as part of their audit scheme.

This means that in accordance with the principles of the standard, those contractors who are applying for membership of the FIS or have their ongoing vetting due, can have significant aspects of their audit “deemed to satisfy” when already accredited by one of the above schemes without un-necessary duplication of audit processing.

Commenting on this alignment, FIS CEO Iain McIlwee stated:

“The whole point of a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ process) is to bring consistency, support compliance and reduce admin.  The system has evolved and proliferated over time and, in admin terms, the opposite is now true for many in the supply chain who are uploading basically the same information and answering the same information over and over again.  The duplication is a pointless waste of time and with new procurement guidance from Government underpinning the need to look to the Common Assessment Standard and more and more organisations getting on board, accepting Common Assessment Standard, we should now be turning a corner.  It is a natural step and the right time for us now to align the work that we are doing in vetting members to recognise the core compliance aspects in the Common Assessment Standard so that we don’t waste their or our time in rechecking paperwork and can focus on the values and work on site that exemplifies members uphold the values on which FIS is founded”.

Please contact if you have questions about FIS membership vetting.



FIS reveals Contractors Awards shortlist

FIS reveals Contractors Awards shortlist

The FIS Contractors Awards showcase the very best of our industry and after months of project visits, we are excited to announce that our judges have determined their shortlist.

The FIS Contractors Awards aim to promote and encourage high levels of craftsmanship in the finishes and interiors sector. The standard of entries into this year’s Contractors Awards was extremely high, so congratulations to all companies that entered.

To see who made the shortlist click here

The winners in each category, along with the architect or interior designer of the winning project, will be announced in front of a packed audience at the FIS Awards Lunch on 8 June at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. The event is now sold out. If you would like to be added to the waiting list for tickets, email


Discounted Trial of Mafic FAIRPAY technology

Discounted Trial of Mafic FAIRPAY technology

To improve access to new technology and promote the impact that improved motivation and productivity can have in the drylining industry, FIS and Mafic are offering five FIS members the chance to trial Mafic’s FAIRPAY rewards platform.

The platform has been developed to help organisations increase productivity and reduce costs by 10-20% by improving the motivation of their workforce.

This inclusive offer worth £3,500 includes:

–              12 people

–              12 weeks

–              Free setup

–              Subscription costs discounted by 75% to £450+VAT

FIS members taking part will still need to fund the bonuses and incentives that go directly to employees. These incentives drive savings that are multiples of the cost – you reduce cost by paying your best people more money – and Mafic will help to structure this in a way that minimises risk by basing the incentives around improvement.

Based on results elsewhere, it is estimated that you could save £10,000-£20,000 on labour costs from the demonstration, plus other benefits like improved retention rates.  You can see how FIS member Errigal Contracts has benefited from using FAIRPAY here on page 7.

Iain Mcilwee, FIS CEO said:  We are supporting this offer with Mafic in return for anonymised data which will be shared with FIS (i.e. no names, sites, dates, or geographic data) to help us better understand productivity in the industry, so that we can better serve and support our members.  Mafic has just five discounted projects available, so please express an interest early to avoid disappointment.’

For more information contact Ed Burns at or call him on 07967 968 346.

Sector Training Awards now open for entries

Sector Training Awards now open for entries

FIS and The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers have once again joined forces and are delighted to announce that entries are now open for the annual Training Awards, an award event which recognises excellence and achievement in the recruitment, training and development of people in the plastering and interior trades.

Following the huge success of the inaugural Training Awards in 2022, the second annual awards will once again showcase the very best of the sector’s occupations and the achievements of students and apprentices, supportive employers and mentors, colleges and training providers.  Last year saw 11 award winners including Plastering Student of the Year Natasha Williams, Apprentice of the Year (Interior Trades) George Batchelor and training provider winners NPTC College and Craven College all recognised for their outstanding contributions to the sector.

The 2023 awards categories will acknowledge the students, mentors and training providers who have made an exceptional contribution to learning and development in the sector.

The 2023 award categories are:

  • Student of the Year – Plaisterers’ Award for Plastering Trades
  • Student of the Year – FIS Award for Interior Trades
  • Apprentice of the Year – Plaisterers’ Award for Plastering Trades
  • Apprentice of the Year – FIS Award for Interior Trades
  • Colleges and Independent Training Providers (large)
  • Colleges and Independent Training Providers (small)
  • FIS Member Training Programme
  • Mentors Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Trade-specific sponsored awards include the British Gypsum Trophy – which recognises the highest achievement in drylining skills education – and the Formula Trophy, for contributions to the development of skills and long-term future of Fibrous and GRG plasterwork.

Master Plaisterer Stephen Gilbert said: “The Plaisterers’ Company is really pleased to be continuing its partnership with FIS in recognising those within the industry who are going above and beyond their remit either as students, mentors or training providers; it bodes well for the industry.”

FIS President Philip Brown added: “We are delighted to once again recognise and reward the outstanding talent, both in students themselves but also training providers and the mentors that work so hard to help the students forge hugely successful and rewarding careers.”

Entry into the awards is now open and closes on 7 July. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at Plaisterers’ Hall on 21 November.

For more details on entering these awards visit

For further information or for any questions please contact FIS at or call 0121 707 0077 or The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers on or call 0207 7964333.

FIS launch innovation awards

FIS launch innovation awards

FIS has launched its all-new Innovation Awards, which are open to all companies operating in the finishes and interiors sector.

The Awards aim to focus on ideas that help support improvements in efficiency, productivity, performance, quality or perception of the finishes and interiors sector.

The Award categories are:

  • Product Innovation – fit-out
  • Product Innovation – FF&E
  • Digital Innovation
  • Sustainable Innovation

There will also be an overall Innovation of the Year. This will be chosen by the conference audience from the winners of the above four categories.

The awards will be judged by a panel of experts and winners will be announced at the FIS Conference, which is taking place during the Workspace Design Show in February 2023.

Entry will close on 9 December. For more information and to enter click here.

FIS Chief Executive Iain McIlwee said:

“There remains a perception that construction is not an innovative sector, our aim with these awards is to debunk this myth and celebrate innovation in our sector across a number of categories. We are looking for innovation that meets a need in the sector and has evidence of adoption or planned use in a commercial environment. So, the successful exploitation of new ideas and bringing creative ideas to life.”

Joe Cilia, FIS Technical Director, added:

“I can think of at least four products which I have seen in the last few years that have been developed by both large and small
organisations based on need to improve quality, address sustainability or save time and I am looking forward to these awards
to be the showcase they need to get to a wider audience.”

The FIS Conference will be a two-day programme on 27-28 February at the Business Design Centre in London. There will be several 1-hour workshops each day, with the winners of the Innovation Awards announced at the Awards Ceremony on 27 February.

More information on the Conference is available here.