Leaders of GQA Qualifications have officially launched a podcast series that focusses on the subject of competence in the construction industry supply chain. Called ‘Raising the Bar’, the first episode of the podcast was published on 14 April, and features representatives of Wates, AluK and Century Facades.
“The subject of competence lies at the heart of so much of what is currently shaping the changes we’re witnessing in the construction industry,” explained Dan Brown, GQA’s technical officer and strategic relationships manager. “How do we define it, prove it and maintain it? Why is it so important? These are big questions. They’re being asked more and more in this post-Grenfell landscape at a time when the Building Safety Act is currently overhauling the regulation of construction products and the construction of higher-risk buildings in the UK.
“The podcast sheds light on what built environment professionals can do to address these questions, and provides fascinating insights from both ends of the supply chain. I’d say this is required listening for subcontractors, product manufacturers and installers. There is a facades bias to the podcast, but the general principles underpinning how to define competence, measure it and maintain it are valid for all areas of the building industry.”
Key messages from the podcast episode include:
* The key to preventing mis-selling, incorrect installation and shoddy site practice is to drive up competencies through accredited training and qualifications.
* As the Building Safety Regulator has the power to prosecute, contractors may take a ‘who are we safest with’ approach. Proving competence may take precedence over securing the lowest price.
* Accredited training must be functional, not job title focused. If no qualification is in place, new accredited training can be tailored to suit this.