Construction prequalification standard updated to support Government Construction Strategy

Press release: 8 April 2013

BSI, the business standards company has published a revision to its construction procurement standard, PAS 91 in a move that is welcomed by the Government.

This new edition, simply titled Construction Prequalification Questionnaires now replaces PAS 91: 2010 - Construction related procurement - Prequalification questionnaires. It continues to provide a common language and a uniform structure for the questions used in prequalification questionnaires but these have been honed to improve their ability to solicit the information required in the most straightforward manner.

Presenting and receiving core information in an industry recognized format through the use of PAS 91 has already led to improvements within the construction supply chain - helping to cut costs associated with unnecessary duplication of work and reducing risks related to the interpretation of varying information.

The revised PAS which more closely aligns the question modules with public and defence procurement policy is likely to open more opportunities for small and medium-sized organizations not only through standardization of questions, but also because the information being asked for is kept to a minimum.

Looking ahead, the new edition includes optional questions in respect of BIM. These have been developed with experts from that field to ensure that they meet current market needs and industry requirements and will assist procurers to more easily identify and review competence in BIM and ensure collaborative information exchange.

Jonathan Griffin, Head of Construction Standards at BSI said: “The revision takes a further step towards greater efficiency in prequalification and will have a significant effect on the effectiveness of the process as well as reducing the demand on resources for both buyers and suppliers. Additionally it also assists companies to be ready for the introduction of BIM and brings construction industry protocols right up to date.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "I welcome the new PAS 91 developed in partnership with industry and Government which will remove the burden of prequalification in the construction sector, streamline procedures and ultimately reduce costs for both contractors and their clients. This is a further positive step in Government's drive to simplify ways businesses can compete for new contracts and grow."

In summary Construction Prequalification Questionnaires will help the construction industry as follows.

Benefits to buyers:

  • Greater confidence that they are prequalifying suppliers correctly
  • Less time spent on interpreting information therefore more time to develop project-specific questions
  • Assurance that they are following good best practice and sustainable processes
  • Greater choice and availability of suppliers – with more willingness to bid for work due to certainty of process 

Benefits to suppliers:

  • Greater clarity about what information is required for tender process therefore less time taken to prepare responses
  • Confidence in the process and certainty that questionnaires have been completed correctly
  • More time to spend on other elements of business development
  • Reduction in incidence of repeat completion

Construction Prequalification Questionnaires is published under HM Government with other influential input into the revised standard received from such organizations as: Altius, B&ES, BIS, Builders Profile, Cabinet Office, CHAS, CIOB, Constructionline, DFPNI, East Riding Council, ECA, FMB, Highways Agency, HSE, LaFarge Aggregates, LHC, MOD, RIBA and SSIP.

Construction Prequalification Questionnaires  is now available as a free-of-charge electronically downloadable specification under a license granted to BIS by BSI.

About BSI Group

BSI (British Standards Institution) is the business standards company that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, manage risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated. Famed for its marks of excellence including the instantly recognizable Kitemark®, BSI’s influence spans multiple sectors including aerospace, construction, energy, engineering, finance, healthcare, IT and retail. With over 64,000 clients in 147 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe.