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There can be no arguments against the ‘Gold Standard’

Scott Clark, ISG's framework lead, reflects on the key drivers behind the new FAC-1 alliance form of contract and the welcome collaborative shift to stimulate enhanced project and societal outcomes.

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Over Christmas I dug out my copy of ‘Collaborative Construction Procurement and Improved Value’ by Professor David Mosey and reflected on the conference I attended last year where he spoke about his latest project - the recently published ‘Constructing the Gold Standard’ review. As one of the key drivers behind the new FAC-1 alliance form of contract, it was clear from listening to David, that he’s a passionate advocate of collaboration to stimulate enhanced project and societal outcomes.
Constructing the Gold Standard is the much-trailed review of the UK’s public sector framework market and now sits alongside the Construction Playbook, answering the question of how we are going to deliver this new procurement vision. The review pulls no punches when it identifies the recurring inadequacies of many current frameworks. The 24 recommendations don’t make for light reading in this 135-page forensic examination, however, what I take from the review is that as an industry, and from the perspective of our single largest client - we are reaching a consensus on what good looks like and there is strong agreement from both sides.
Let’s take a step back and look at this achievement for a moment. We have a collective of the most progressive contractors, consultants, architects and supply chain partners, who have been banging the drum for whole lifecycle approaches to capital investment projects, with environmental, social and governance (ESG) values at their core, aligning perfectly with a client that wants to harness the innovation, skills and integrity of our sector without the burden of cumbersome, inefficient and costly procurement approaches that sap productivity. A client that is pushing and willing, in part, to fund the research and development of modern methods of construction (MMC) technology, driving the net zero agenda and one that openly acknowledges that cost-driven decision making rarely delivers value. 
A high-performing framework – whether public or private sector in nature, is ISG’s natural home. Our people thrive in an environment which actively encourages sharing and listening, challenging perceived notions and innovating with smart people from a diverse spectrum of construction specialisms. I should specifically say that we also gain immensely from collaborating with our traditional competitors – these are equally passionate and driven individuals, that we say with a wry smile, just have the wrong logo on their hard hats. 
The FAC-1 contract, jointly authored by Professor David Mosey, is the catalyst helping dismantle those traditionally adversarial competitor relationships on our £1bn Ministry of Justice (MoJ) New Prisons Programme. This is having a transformational impact on how we work together as framework partners. The combined force of our brightest and best minds all pushing in the same direction for a common goal, with equal reward and opportunity is delivering compelling results even at this earliest of stages.   
Looking beyond the eye-catching headlines, Constructing the Gold Standard, is an immensely important appraisal of the framework procurement methodology responsible for driving many of our industry’s most progressive and innovative behaviours and approaches. The recommendations are eminently sensible, readily adoptable and define a template for the delivery of public infrastructure that is an asset of real value for our communities, the environment and future generations. This is an important moment for construction and an exemplary piece of work by Professor David Mosey to set the conditions for our collective future success. 

A version of this piece appeared in Construction News and can be found here

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