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PAS91 simplifying prequalification in construction procurement processes and reducing costs

  • 21 Feb 2017

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The Construction Pre-qualification Questionnaire, also known as PAS91, is a publicly available specification that contains question sets suitable for use to assess construction supply chains, in order to reduce costs and simplify pre-qualification in construction procurement processes.

The definition of construction was taken from the CDM regulations therefore PAS91 can cover areas, such as demolition, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, repair and maintenance. 

The questionnaire includes several optional modules and the ability to add further specific questions, as well as mandatory question modules that cover commercial aspects of the company and health and safety.

Sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the steering group was made up of individuals from the public and private sectors, including Altius. PAS91 is now in its second version and in the public sector, uptake has steadily increased.

PAS91 aims to provide a common set of questions meaning that the same familiar questions will be asked of suppliers, such as contractors, service providers designers etc. The PAS91 is intended to reduce effort and significant savings in the procurement process, in addition to the sharing of information. 

Furthermore, it is hoped that it will help encourage more participations from SMEs, many of which have found competing with large organisations for business unviable due to the resource/cost burden of procurement processes.

The use of PAS91 compulsory has not been made compulsory by the CDM Regulations guidance. It is worth considering whether your own process covers the content of PAS91, if you do currently assess your supply chain. It may be an appropriate time to review the content of your current questions if you find significant gaps or if you are asking significantly more. 

You may choose to develop a standard set of answers that you update regularly so that you will be ‘ready to go’ at any time when approached to complete a PAS91 questionnaire. For specific clients you can then tweak your responses appropriately.

As a buyer/client.contracting authority it is sensible to check out any organisation that you are looking to do business with in order to ensure that they are financially viable, well governed and have the organisational capability to work on your behalf.

Clients will often seek to do this by the use of a questionnaire, often referred to as a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. In order to claim compliance, you need to ensure that you ask all the mandatory questions busing the same wording as PAS91, in the same order and using the numbering system provided.

In addition, you’ll be required to publish your criteria for assessing responses, including the scoring system. You should also only consider adding additional questions if they are absolutely necessary at the pre-qualification stage and if they don’t duplicate existing questions.

PAS91 will allow clients to recognise pre-existing certification that are in place and cut down on additional questions. For example, if the supplier has been assessed by a member of SSIP or has ISO 9001 or 14001, they can cut down on the number of required response by providing evidence of this.

Furthermore, for the latest version PAS91:2013, Altius was a member of the steering group. Consequently, Altius can provide a full managed assessment service or can allow you to carry out your own assessments to a standard of your choice by providing cost effective software, with the opportunity to add in additional questions if required.

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