PAS 91 explained

The standard pre-qualification questionnaire PAS 91 was updated and incorporated into the Constructionline question-set in 2013. More than a year on, suppliers are reaping the benefits.

Having started out as a mandated requirement solely for central government contracts, PAS 91 is now recommended for use by all Main Contractors when procuring specialists for their supply chains.

In response, Constructionline adopted the PAS 91 question-set in 2013 – thereby ensuring our Buyer members are automatically PAS 91 compliant. Benefits to suppliers are plenty.

Less duplication

When PAS 91 was developed, it was suppliers who were the government’s focus of attention. The Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) wanted to find ways to reduce their need to complete so many pre-qualification questionnaires for different, and in some cases the same, clients, therefore saving them time and money.

As a result PAS 91 ensures that once suppliers have completed one PAS 91 questionnaire, their answers to core questions can be ‘copied & pasted’ again and again in response to any buyer using PAS 91 – dramatically reducing duplication in the process.

“When you consider the number of pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) that suppliers are required to submit in order to maintain a steady pipeline of work, and the associated costs which can run into thousands, adopting PAS 91 is ever more important in ensuring the livelihood of suppliers – particularly SMEs,” says Neil Thompson, Sales Director at Constructionline. “Simplifying the pre-qualification process like this, is the very essence of what Constructionline stands for.”

Project specific focus

Suppliers can now concentrate on meeting project-specific requirements at stage 2, safe in the knowledge that their first stage pre-qualification data already meets government standards.

Cross over

Contractors who hold certain industry recognised accreditations are exempt from some sections of the PAS 91 questionnaire – another time and effort saving initiative. Relevant accreditations include ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management) and PAS 1192 (building information management) and OHSAS 18001(occupational health and safety management), or a successful health & safety assessment from a registered member of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), such as Acclaim Accreditation.

Moreover, suppliers can even benefit when dealing with buyers who are not on Constructionline because they can use their Constructionline responses to pre-qualify for non-members’ opportunities too, provided the buyer has adopted PAS 91.

Similarly, suppliers can update their Constructionline profile with answers previously given elsewhere to PAS 91 questions.

Constructionline has made the PAS 91 aligned questions in our PQQ easily identifiable. Not only do the questions contain the exact numbering and wording used in the PAS 91 PQQ, they’re also highlighted in purple.

Benefits of buyers’ uptake of PAS 91

Since Constructionline became PAS 91 compliant, over 200 buyer members across the public and private sector have adopted PAS 91. Under the Constructionline umbrella, PAS 91 standardised questions can be applied to projects of varying sizes and types including in OJEU procurement.

Neil Thompson adds: “Wider adoption by buyers will open up more opportunities to SMEs and help ensure the construction industry remains buoyant.”

Constructionline was part of the steering group set up by BIS to modify PAS 91 in 2013, which includes an additional Building Information Modelling (BIM) section for projects requiring it, as well as defence and security questions for suppliers wishing to work for the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Constructionline will form part of the steering group again when PAS 91 is reviewed in 2015.

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