Let’s embed a culture of quality in construction

As an industry, we need to go beyond the bare minimum and seek out the highest possible standards, says Caroline Gumble

We recently published the CIOB Guide to Quality Management in Construction: Site Production and Assembly. Most CM readers will be aware that the CIOB has made improving quality in construction a priority in recent years. Our president, Mark Beard, made it the theme of his presidential year, backing the CIOB in maintaining quality in construction as an area of focus.

His quote, when launching the guide, was that “members are the standard-bearers for quality in the industry. The vast majority of building work that takes place is of high quality, but our customers have a right to expect more. Regrettably, many parts of our industry are stuck in old ways of working, and for this reason, I urge members to champion the new guide, to embed it into your businesses and help everyone in our industry rediscover the pride in doing the job right first time.”

As a call to action to members – and the wider construction community – I echo Mark’s comment. We can’t embed a culture of quality within the industry unless we all raise the issue and share the resources and knowledge we have.

As an industry, we need to go beyond the bare minimum and seek out the highest possible quality standards. My hope is that by embracing this new guide, we can and will achieve better.

This guide promotes an approach to quality management that begins by identifying issues that impact on quality on site, assessing their likelihood and impact, and proposing practical measures that can be taken to either mitigate or remove them. It is intended as a practical guide for use by practitioners working collaboratively throughout the construction supply chain.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the work, including Roger Flanagan and Carol Jewell, the authors, and Paul Nash, who has led the CIOB Quality Implementation Group so effectively. 

Many thanks also to Beard and the Wates Group as their support has allowed us to offer this publication free of charge to members. And thank you to our members for their generosity. 

For the launch of the guide, we suggested that members could show their support for this important piece of work by donating to the CIOB Benevolent Fund, which directly assists members in difficult times. Many of you have done so and I’m very grateful. Thank you.

Caroline Gumble is CEO of the CIOB

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  1. Great Idea – but will the big Builders PAY for it – and more important, will the public accept that it has to be paid for.

    No and YES in that order?

  2. Completely agree. Raising quality far above the bare minimum should be followed by “of course” automatically. Shouldn’t have to be a campaign. But quality is sadly undervalued, and the supply network too pressured. Raising quality won’t happen easily unless pressure is taken off the supply chain. Build for quality is important, But first understand what quality means.

  3. Quality means different things to different people. The culture needs to change and there is only one way to achieve that.

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