PAS 91 friend or foe? Well the idea is a sound one. However, now that I have seen it the only good thing I can see is that you have to complete it once. While it is not as cumbersome, taken in the SME context, it is much more in depth than some I have seen. Additionally, I think it is still very much weighted in favour of larger organisations. Why? There are a number of reasons, but I think that the main one is that the volume of supporting evidence it is asking for, far outweighs what has previously been requested and that large companies are going to be able to provide more of it and to a higher quality.
Anyway, make your own mind up the document is now freely available. Here is a description taken from the PAS 91
“This publicly available specification (PAS) provides a set of questions to be asked by buyers of potential suppliers to enable prequalification for construction related procurement. This PAS also specifies requirements for the consistent use of those questions, irrespective of the size or nature of the contract. It is intended that the questions are also used by assessment providers in their intermediary role between buyers and suppliers.
It is widely recognized that excessive prequalification activity adds unacceptable cost, bureaucracy and confusion to the construction supply chain. Unnecessary bureaucracy associated with prequalification diverts both buyers’ and suppliers’ resources and attention away from proportionate and effective risk management.
Buyers and assessment providers should only require suppliers to provide the minimum paperwork necessary to demonstrate that the suppliers can provide a satisfactory response to the questions in the PAS 91 modules.
This PAS provides construction sector stakeholders with prequalification questions (PQQs) that:
• are the common questions that are relevant to construction-related procurement’ and
• increase the scope for recognition between various types of PQQ activity, helping to significantly reduce duplication, unnecessary paperwork and cost for both buyers and suppliers.
The questions are presented in modules that cover ‘areas of supplier capability’ as follows:
Annex A – setting out questions that buyers are required to ask in all instances and that suppliers are therefore required to answer.
Table A1 Core question module A1 Supplier identity, key roles and contact information
Table A2 Core question module A2 Financial information
Table A3 Core question module A3 Business and professional standing
Table A4 Core question module A4 Health and safety policy and capability
Annex B – setting out questions on ‘areas of supplier capability’ that buyers frequently require answers to, for use when these are relevant.
Table B1 Supplementary question module B1 Health and safety policy and capability – designers and CDM co-ordinators
Table B2 Supplementary question module B2 Equal opportunity and diversity policy and capability
Table B3 Supplementary question module B3 Environmental management policy and capability
Table B4 Supplementary question module B4 Quality management policy and capability.
The questions provided are already widely asked across a range of commonly applied construction related PQQs. This PAS provides for their use in a uniform manner.
However, this PAS does not cover project-specific questions to suppliers and buyers or assessment providers who may make additional project-specific enquiries whenever necessary.
Annex C Provides example of how the recognition of sector schemes and UKAS accredited certification can be used to further reduce the burden of prequalification.
Annex D Presents the rationale for the development of this PAS and an overview of its approach.
Annex E Addresses PQQ activity in the public and private sectors.
Annex F Provides information on Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), in relation to health and safety assessment.
Annex G Provides a glossary of terms used in construction-related procurement.
Annex H Provides examples of the effort and cost of completing prequalification questionnaires without the benefit of the common questions and formats provided in PAS 91”.