The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) claim the revisions to PAS 91 set a new standard for pre-qualification and site safety.

The new document, published on 8th April aims to cut down bureaucracy associated with pre-qualification, cutting costs for contractors without compromising on safety.

Paul Reeve, ECA head of business policy and practice, helped draft the updated version of the questionnaire. He commented, “The new look PAS 91 is an overall improvement to generate a greater level of engagement with local authority and other public sector buyers. Significantly, there is a new and voluntary question set on Building Information Modelling (BIM). This anticipates increased BIM activity in the next few years, and aims to show what ‘good’ looks like before clients are drawn into producing an array of different questionnaires.”

Reeve welcomed PAS 91 as a standard bearer for health and safety on-site, adding, “PAS 91 continues to include recognition of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) and OHSAS 18001. There has also been a refinement of questions, based on HSE’s CDM Approved Code of Practice (ACoP). As HSE prepares to take the CDM 2007 ACoP out of commission, PAS 91 is widely anticipated to become the flagship standard for health and safety pre-qualification questionnaires.”

Reeve warned, however, that PAS 91 can only have a positive impact if it is adopted by buyers and suppliers in both the public and private sectors. “If clients and contractors both use the document, this will undoubtedly help reduce the administrative burden and confusion in the supply chain. Doing so will also cut costs – and that, surely will be of benefit to the construction industry as a whole,” he concluded.