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PPN 03/24:  Making The Common Assessment Standard the New Industry Benchmark

Article, Industry Insights

PPN 03/24:  Making The Common Assessment Standard the New Industry Benchmark

Recent Procurement Shifts in Construction

The construction sector is witnessing a notable shift in procurement practices for all contracting authorities. This is particularly notable as this article on PPN 03/24 follows closely on the coattails of our previous article surrounding PPN 03/23.  

The transition marks a significant move away from the Pre-Qualification Standard PAS 91, which had aimed to streamline pre-qualification processes but has now been withdrawn by the British Standards Institution (BSI).

The introduction of PPN 03/24 ushers in the adoption of the Common Assessment Standard (CAS) for pre-qualifying suppliers in construction contracts inclusive of those within the public sector. This change is reflective of the industry’s ongoing efforts to enhance efficiency, standardisation, and transparency in procurement operations.

By transitioning to BuildUK CAS , as mandated by the updates in PPN 03/24, the public sector is aligning itself with contemporary standards and practices within the construction industry. This move not only simplifies the procurement landscape but also ensures it remains responsive to the evolving demands of sustainability, technological integration, and project complexity.

The shift from PAS 91 to the CAS, facilitated by the latest policy updates, signifies a crucial step towards optimising procurement practices in the public sector, showcasing a commitment to improvement and adaptability for construction works contracts.

PPN 03/23 to PPN 03/24, What’s Changed?

PPN 03/24 introduces updates to procurement practices within the construction industry, reflecting the sector’s evolving needs and regulatory landscape. The key changes include:

  • Common Assessment Standard (CAS): Replacing PAS 91, the CAS now serves as the framework for pre-qualifying suppliers, streamlining the process across the public sector and enhancing standardisation.
  • Revised Selection Questions: Updates to the standard selection questions, especially regarding payment practices and steel sourcing, align with current industry standards, ensuring relevance and comprehensiveness.
  • Guidance on Russian/Belarusian Suppliers: New guidelines provide clarity on evaluating bids from Russian and Belarusian suppliers, in response to geopolitical considerations.
  • Elimination of PAS91 References: The withdrawal of PAS 91 by BSI has led to the removal of its references in PPN 03/24
  • E-Procurement Adaptations: The Selection Questionnaire (SQ) template has been adapted for better integration with e-procurement platforms, facilitating digital procurement processes.

These updates in PPN 03/24 are aimed at making procurement more transparent, efficient, and aligned with modern standards, ensuring a smoother and more standardised process for both contracting authorities and suppliers in the construction sector.

Transition Period and Timeline

The transition to the updated guidelines outlined in PPN 03/24 is structured to ensure a smooth adaptation by both contracting authorities and suppliers within the construction sector. Key aspects of this transition include:

  1. Implementation Timeline: Contracting authorities are given a three-month window from the publication date of PPN 03/24 to fully implement the changes into their procurement processes.
  2. Immediate Use of Revised SQ: While the formal deadline for adopting the revised Selection Questionnaire (SQ) and other changes is set, contracting authorities are encouraged to begin using the updated formats and guidelines immediately.
  3. E-Procurement Platform Updates: Given the emphasis on digital procurement processes, there’s a specific focus on updating e-procurement tools to accommodate the revised SQ format. This includes ensuring that the platforms can handle the new standard selection questions and are aligned with the CAS requirements.

Achilles’ Strategic Support for the Construction Industry in Light of PPN 03/24

Achilles recognises the important role standardised and efficient procurement processes play within the construction industry. Achilles BuildingConfidence, which is endorsed by the world’s largest construction firms provides a robust foundation for construction buyers to connect with an extensively vetted pool of suppliers. As a recognised assessment body for the Common Assessment Standard (CAS), Achilles is ideally positioned to navigate and support organisations through the transition and ensure adherence to the updated PPN 03/24 guidelines.

Alongside BuildingConfidence, and in support of a more inclusive and efficient procurement ecosystem, the Achilles Network has introduced a ‘Member’ level for suppliers. This level grants access to the updated Selection Questionnaire (SQ) question set at no cost, which is especially beneficial for engaging in contracts below the procurement threshold.

Our approach to this PPN supports our commitment to enhancing the procurement process. We ensure that it is robust, transparent, and aligned with the highest industry standards.

Deadline and Implications of PPN 03/24

With the transition period to PPN 03/24 in motion, the urgency to keep procurement processes compliant is essential. It is important for contracting authorities (construction works contracts) to align their practices with the new PPN to avoid falling out of favour in a highly regulated environment.

With the CAS now officially integrated into public sector procurement standards, the current period represents an ideal opportunity for contractors of all sizes to align with the CAS, with the support of Achilles BuildingConfidence. This alignment not only ensures compliance, but also positions organisations favourably in a competitive market.

Schedule a consultation with one of our experts, to explore how these changes impact your procurement strategy. Discover the benefits offered by Achilles in achieving compliance and excellence in your projects.

Schedule a consultation with one of our experts, to explore how these changes impact your procurement strategy.