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Industry action confirmed to drive construction licensing scheme

13 June 2019

Joint effort by industry bodies has been announced to create a mandatory licensing scheme for the UK construction sector with a view to raising quality and professionalism standards.

The Construction Licensing Task Force will now lead the development of the scheme, following numerous studies that have shown the need for improvement.

Supporting organisations include the Association of Consultancy and Engineering, British Property Federation, Chartered Institute of Building, Construction Products Association, Electrical Contractors' Association, Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Local Authority Building Control, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, TrustMark and Which? Trusted Traders.

Many of the above will be familiar to FMs, real estate managers and service providers, due to the construction sector's close links with FM.

Task force chair Liz Peace CBE said mandatory licensing could "transform our industry into a world-leading sector" by increasing quality and professionalism and improving standards.

She further stated that licensing has support in principle from over 30 construction organisations and consumer groups.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said "we shouldn't be surprised" about the high number of consumers reporting poor service from their builder "given that in the UK, it is perfectly legal for anyone to set up a building firm and start selling their services without any prior experience or qualifications".

He called for a similar system to those established in countries such as Australia and Germany.

The formation of the task force was welcomed by Specialist Engineering Contractors' (SEC) Group chief executive Professor Rudi Klein.

"This initiative by the FMB is to be applauded. We need to catch up with the United States and Australia which have robust systems for licencing construction businesses.

"We need a level playing field in construction. Too often reputable businesses are competing with firms that do not invest in skills and in improving their businesses and yet they still get work because they can offer the cheapest price," said Professor Klein.

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