CPA Stakeholders agree that an improved building and construction product conformance framework is needed. As a result, we’ve utilised all our resources to ensure that materials and products in the construction industry are fit for the purpose in which they’re made.
The following action plan aims to achieve improved productivity, safety and asset value outcomes.
The broad areas of actions outlined below have been distilled from earlier stakeholder work. The plan also encourages all relevant stakeholders to promote government action.
Action 1 - Research: Identify effective conformance frameworks for building and construction products. A “fit for purpose” approach will require appropriate conformance measures for the various levels of requirements
- Research effective regulatory and industry driven voluntary conformance framework schemes nationally and internationally including the mechanisms around codification, surveillance, enforcement, roles, responsibilities and liability of all those in building product supply chains.
- What are the legal / liability / risk levers that currently exist?
- Investigate models that are regarded as effective and least cost, regardless of the industry sector, and consideration given to the possible application of such successful models in building product conformity.
- Research to identify the possibilities of informing regulators in the country of origin of NCP to see if they can act at the source (against overseas manufacturers).
- Identification of gaps and weaknesses in responsibility would inform other actions.
Action 2 - Certification: Identify the key components for effective risk based building and construction product certification systems and encourage the adoption of such systems by market sectors to underpin the existing National Construction Code provisions.
- Identify examples of effective risk based product certification systems.
- Investigate the options available to increase the rigour of first party certification schemes for high risk products (e.g. structural).
- Identify the key elements of successful third party certification schemes and how these can be disseminated to all building product industry associations considering the establishment of such schemes.
- Identify options to improve the quality of third party certificates issued nationally and internationally (NATA and JASANZ have international connections through mutual recognition agreement arrangements).
Action 3 - Surveillance: Develop an effective and efficient building and construction products surveillance and enforcement framework, supported by and including actions from both industry and governments, and implement to improve the existing systems.
- Identify examples of effective surveillance frameworks.
- Investigate the feasibility of establishing either a hotline or portal to gather information (reports) on non-conforming products. Consideration could be given to whether this should be an overarching hotline/ portal for the entire building and construction industry or on a product sub-sector basis (eg existing models such as ACRS, AWA or EWPAA schemes).
- Should such reports be mandatory? By whom? Confidential? What level of information should be contained in reports (A template may be needed)? Who gets the reports? How are the reports used? How is the report information filtered, de-identified or identified and disseminated? Penalties for not reporting?
- Suggest investigating the CROSS and SCOSS schemes (UK based) and the possibility to replicate in Australia. Liaise with Engineers Australia.
- What is the best way to act on reported information and feedback reported information to authorities and the market? Eg via third party schemes and regulators.
Action 4 - Engagement: Achieve recognition of and support for an effective building and construction product conformance framework.
Implementation - This element is primarily the role and function of the Steering Committee with an Advisory Group providing input.
- Develop key messages based on the current state of project outcomes.
- The Steering Committee and this Advisory Group will drive strategic engagement with all stakeholders.
- Where there is a proposal for regulatory change, engage with governments.
Action 5 - Education: Promote awareness and education of the responsibilities and actions required of all building and construction stakeholders with respect to product conformance.
- Based on the work in the areas of Research, Certification and Surveillance, develop an education campaign that will:
- Educate all stakeholders about the current operating environment for building and construction products; and then
- Promote education and awareness regarding changes to the operating environment for building and construction products;
- Consider including information regarding :
- Codification responsibilities;
- Product supply and installation requirements and responsibilities;
- Reporting, surveillance and enforcement responsibilities and scope;
- Consider the target audience and delivery of such an education and awareness campaign (eg webinar, portal, course/forum, booklet, guide).
- Promotion of the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council’s document, “Procurement of Construction Products, A guide to achieving compliance”.
- Consider the establishment of a portal to create a focal point for all activities of the Construction Products Alliance.