Introducing the Common Assessment Standard: Simplifying Pre-Qualification in Construction

February 9, 2024

In the dynamic landscape of the construction industry, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are paramount. Recognising this need, the British Drilling Association (BDA) is pleased to introduce its members to the Common Assessment Standard, a pioneering initiative by Build UK aimed at streamlining the pre-qualification process.


The Common Assessment Standard, meticulously crafted by Build UK, stands as a beacon of innovation in the realm of construction pre-qualification (PQ). Its primary objective? To enhance efficiency and drive down costs associated with the PQ process, benefiting both suppliers and clients alike.

Under this standard, companies undergo certification once annually by a Recognised Assessment Body. Notably, an increasing number of Contractors and Clients now recognise this certification, eliminating the need to specify a particular assessment body.

Moreover, with the endorsement of PPN 03/23, central Government departments and public sector bodies can utilize the Common Assessment Standard to pre-qualify suppliers, further underscoring its credibility and importance.

The Common Assessment Standard

At its core, the Common Assessment Standard comprises an industry-agreed question set and corresponding assessment standards, ensuring a standardised approach to supplier pre-qualification. Notably, there are two levels of certification: desktop and site-based, offering flexibility to businesses of varying sizes and trades.

For smaller companies with fewer than 10 employees and a turnover below £1.8 million, or a balance sheet total less than £1.8 million, assessment standards are applied in a proportionate manner, promoting inclusivity within the industry.

To aid companies in preparing for assessment, a comprehensive guide to the question set has been published, facilitating a smooth and transparent audit process by Recognised Assessment Bodies.

Organisations Utilising the Standard

The adoption of the Common Assessment Standard has gained significant traction across the industry, with esteemed organizations such as ASUC, Balfour Beatty, Kier, Skanska, and many more embracing its principles. This widespread acceptance underscores its efficacy and relevance in today’s construction landscape.

Recognised Assessment Bodies

Central to the successful implementation of the Common Assessment Standard are Recognised Assessment Bodies. These bodies, including Achilles, Constructionline, SCCS, and Veriforce CHAS, demonstrate unparalleled expertise in auditing companies against the Standard, ensuring rigorous compliance and adherence to industry best practices.

Get Involved

For organisations keen on contributing to this transformative initiative, opportunities exist to become Recognised Assessment Bodies. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out via email to to explore this possibility further.

The Common Assessment Standard represents a pivotal advancement in the construction industry, fostering efficiency, reducing costs, and promoting standardization. As members of the British Drilling Association, let us embrace this initiative wholeheartedly, contributing to a more streamlined and resilient construction sector for the benefit of all stakeholders.

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