Thought Leadership

The Construction Playbook: A path to building a better future

04 March 2021

Throughout 2020, the government made it abundantly clear that it sees construction as paving the way for pandemic recovery and to meeting its net zero carbon commitments by 2050.

Being published in December 2020, when we were looking towards a new year, and a new era for the UK post-Brexit, the Construction Playbook was perfectly timed in some ways; looking to reset the way in which the government intends to work with the construction industry, to ensure that public works projects are delivered faster, better and greener.

Here, our regional relationship manager for the North, Karen Carter, looks at what the Construction Playbook covers in more detail.

So… What is the Construction Playbook?

The Construction Playbook is a large 83-page document containing the detailed policies,  principles and aims of the government in the procurement and management of construction projects.

Through the Playbook, the government aims to create a better procurement through improving and transforming certain areas, as well as harnessing the power within the excellence already driving the industry.

The Playbook is focussed on getting projects and programmes right from the start. Its detailed principles and policies are designed to transform how public works projects and programmes are assessed, procured and managed throughout their lifetime.

The chapters of the Playbook have been structured around the key stages of a typical procurement and project lifecycle, covering preparation and planning, publication, selection, evaluation, awards, and contract implementation. Within these chapters, 14 key policies are highlighted, each with its own associated guidance. These key policies are:

  1. Commercial pipelines
  2. Market health and capability assessments
  3. Portfolios and longer term contracting
  4. Harmonise, digitise and rationalise demand
  5. Further embed technologies
  6. Early supply chain involvement
  7. Outcome-based approach
  8. Benchmarking and should cost models
  9. Delivery model assessments
  10. Effective contracting
  11. Risk allocation
  12. Payment mechanism and pricing approach
  13. Assessing the economic and financial standing of suppliers
  14. Resolution planning

Throughout the entire Playbook, the government’s wider strategy objectives are abundantly clear; seeking to create a world-class sector that allows for the improvement of building and workplace safety, taking strides towards 2050 net zero commitments and promoting true social value.


What does it mean moving forwards?

At the moment, all central government departments and their arm’s length bodies are expected to follow the 14 key policies outlined in the Playbook on a ‘comply or explain’ basis. However, it all feeds into a best standard for procurement, which is needed across the whole public sector.

Members of our board here at Pagabo have already been sharing our take on the contents of the Playbook, including the need for a gold standard in procurement.

It’s clear from the Playbook that the government is actively recommending the use of frameworks and expects the use of them to grow. As this happens, that need for a gold standard quality benchmark will become even more important to ensure that the public sector and communities around the country benefit from the best procurement processes possible.

We are very pleased at Pagabo to see a big focus from the government on a number of areas that are aligned with our business ethos and practices, including demonstrating true social impact on local communities, moving towards a whole life carbon approach and improving building and workplace safety.

There will be challenges ahead, such as how procurement professionals will be trained on what is needed, but there are also huge opportunities for the entire industry, such as the use of technology and truly procuring for value. We look forward to being a part of the next steps, in driving forward the government initiatives and in turn, maximising all benefits through effective procurement.


Useful links below:

The Construction Playbook

For more information on our frameworks and how they can support you, click below.
Discover our frameworks

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