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New industry benchmark for public procurement is launched

The Cabinet Office has issued Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 03/24, replacing PPN 03/23 and introducing updates to the Selection Questionnaire (SQ) and accompanying statutory guidance for use in public procurement. This development signals a pivotal shift in procurement practices, mandating the adoption of the Common Assessment Standard (CHAS Elite) by contracting authorities in the public sector.

As of its release, all contracting authorities can assess their supply chains using the Common Assessment Standard (CHAS Elite), with usage mandatory from 27 June 2024. 

The update means that contractors not already accredited to the Common Assessment Standard (CHAS Elite) seeking to engage with the public sector have less than three months to complete their assessments. 

The Common Assessment Standard (CHAS Elite), launched in 2019, offers a comprehensive industry-led questionnaire covering crucial topics such as anti-bribery and corruption, building information modelling (BIM), data protection, equality & diversity, financial information, modern slavery, and quality corporate social responsibility, among others. 

This prioritisation of the Common Assessment Standard within PPN 03/24 aligns with government initiatives to elevate compliance standards in public supply chains and derive greater social value from public expenditure. 

Contractors currently engaged or intending to engage with the public sector must promptly seek accreditation to the Common Assessment Standard. Meanwhile, by 27 June 2024 contracting authorities must ensure all contractors are accredited to CHAS Elite. 

What’s New in PPN 03/24?

Notable changes from PPN 03/23 to 03/24 include:

  • Adoption of Common Assessment Standard (CAS): CAS replaces PAS 91, serving as the new streamlined and enhanced framework for pre-qualifying suppliers. All references to PAS 91 have been removed following its withdrawal by BSI
  • Revision of Selection Questions: Updates have been made to the standard selection questions, particularly focusing on payment practices and steel sourcing to align with current industry standards.
  • Clarity on considering bids from Russian/Belarusian Suppliers: New guidelines offer clarity on evaluating bids
  • Adaptation for E-Procurement: The Selection Questionnaire (SQ) template has been adjusted to better integrate with new e-procurement platforms

Ian McKinnon, Managing Director of Veriforce CHAS and an industry veteran said: The changes introduced in updated Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 03/24 are good news for the huge number of CHAS Contractors already qualified to the Common Assessment Standard (CHAS Elite) who will now have access to an even wider range of work. 

“However if you’re a contractor not yet accredited to the Common Assessment Standard, there’s no time to lose. This isn’t just about meeting new public sector requirements but also ensuring compliance with private sector standards, which are increasingly aligned with the Common Assessment Standard.

“The whole team at Veriforce CHAS is mobilised and ready to assist contractors to upgrade to CHAS Elite and the Common Assessment Standard as quickly as possible. We know how important this is to the construction industry and to the UK Government, and as the pioneer who first got behind CAS, we are best placed to help the sector raise its game rapidly to meet this challenge.”

Navigating FM efforts to sustainability 

As environmental protection demands unified action, transparency, and heightened awareness, Biological Preparations has launched an initiative to catalyse sustainability efforts within the FM sector.

FM businesses face unique challenges and heightened expectations of eco-initiatives from their clients. Yet, behind the scenes in FM businesses, many environmental initiatives, rollouts and even planning, are not broadcasted and transparent.

Have your say: Sustainability Trends in FM 

The UK biotech company’s five-minute, anonymous FM-focused survey, offers FM professionals of all hierarchies with a platform to voice their perspectives and share their experiences. The results from this survey will then be analysed and presented as an industry-specific report, which aims to guide FM businesses helping them benchmark trends, gain clarity on industry challenges, and map out goals and metrics towards sustainability.

To share your experiences, please click here.


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