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Earlier this year we published our response to the Government’s review of public sector construction frameworks. We welcome the drive for Gold Standard – as always we’re passionate about procuring frameworks which truly work for you and your organisation.

Since then, we’ve carried out an in-depth review of the report working with Trowers & Hamlins. We’re keen to understand how we already meet the Gold Standard and how we can improve our service offering based on their recommendations. In the Q&A below we spoke to our project leads – Louise Free (Partnerships Manager) and Jenna Hicken (Technical Partnerships Manager) on our actions so far and what it means for us.

What is a Gold Standard Framework?

The Gold Standard is a set of recommendations designed to improve procurement frameworks and their subsequent contracts. It was written by Professor David Mosey. The aim of a Gold Standard framework is to deliver better, safer, faster and greener project outcomes for all parties. It’s all about supporting Contracting Authorities to carry out due diligence on the frameworks they use, and the frameworks we produce.

What is the story so far for SEC? How have we reacted to the report?  

In short, we’re taking the report seriously. We’re in dialogue with Professor Mosey and are looking at all areas of our services. The Gold Standard recommendations have been condensed into 7 themes by Trowers & Hamlins on our behalf. Much of what SEC do is already aligned with the recommendations of the Gold Standard. There are some recommendations that we are exploring further. We’ve used the recommendations to produce an action plan which will develop new and improved strategies.

How do the values of SEC and the Gold Standard report align?  

The great news is that much of what we do at SEC already aligns with the Gold Standard –

  • We understand the importance of delivering compliant procurements that demonstrate transparency and value for money.
  • We assist customers with reducing procurement costs and improving value through the award of longer-term contracts.
  • We prioritise safety and net zero carbon by conducting pre-procurement consultation with our supplier network and organisation partners.
  • We promote the ‘Golden Thread’ of information by educating our customers in the use of BIM and the importance of asset data management.
  • We have established shared and transparent framework systems and met the requirements associated with SME’s. 85% of our framework service providers are SMEs.

How has the report changed SEC’s practices?  

We’ve committed to conduct more research into modern methods of construction (MMC). We will  explore this with our network through events such as our Development PM on 21 September and via our Category Sponsorship Programme.

We’re also reviewing the incorporation of the FAC-1 (Framework Alliancing Contract) into future framework procurements to support the Gold Standard approach.

What’s next?   

We’ll begin to move forward with the areas of improvement identified in our action plan – we’ll update our processes where required and will update you again early 2023 once this is well underway.

Our Annual Conference ‘SEC2022’ is all about ‘Going for Gold’. The day’s sessions will explore all of the above, along with the themes associated with the Gold Standard itself.  The event will be held at London Stadium on 2nd November.  Learn more and register here

Louise Free

Partnerships Manager

Jenna Hicken

Technical Partnerships Manager

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