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Tue September 21 2021

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CPA pushes on with product marketing code

25 Aug The Construction Products Association (CPA) has published the results of its consultation on its proposed Code for Construction Product Information.

Despite numerous concerns being raised, the CPA says that consultation demonstrated overall support
Despite numerous concerns being raised, the CPA says that consultation demonstrated overall support

The 65-page report* details feedback from 35 trade associations and 180 individual provider and user organisations of construction product information.

The upshot is that the code published in draft form in January remains largely unchanged.

The Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) was developed after the Grenfell Tower fire revealed that product manufacturers and suppliers were routinely inexact in the product information that they supplied to specifiers.

After publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s report into the lessons from the fire, Building A Safer Future, it was clear that construction product marketers had to clean up their act if they were to rescue their reputation.

The CPA set up a marketing integrity group, which published the draft CCPI in January 2021. The consultation ran from 1st February until 31st March 2021, initially. This was then extended to the end of May.

According to the CPA and its pollsters, the findings show that the industry “welcomes and supports the code, and considers it a crucial step in the right direction”.

However, it also revealed widespread concern about how compliance with the code would or could be policed, given that disseminating misleading information is already illegal but some companies have been getting away with it for years.

Respondents also wanted clarity around the training and competence requirements, and on what exactly was required to comply with the different clauses of the code.

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Siderise chief executive Adam Turk, who is chair of the CPA’s marketing integrity group (MIG), said: “The published results are slightly later than planned but given the importance of the code, we wanted to make sure all responses were included in the analysis. Strenuous efforts were also made in reaching out to organisations directly to ensure everyone across the industry had the opportunity to comment.”

He continued: “The overwhelming support and constructive feedback has reassured us that the code is absolutely the right step forward for the industry while also giving us a lot of insightful input to enable the MIG to review the wording of the clauses in line with these detailed responses. Whilst changes have been made around the clarity and detail within the code, I can confirm that the 11 clauses remain principally close to those presented in the report.”

CPA chief executive Peter Caplehorn added: “I truly believe the code will achieve meaningful and permanent change in our industry, providing users of construction products with accurate information they can trust.”

However, restoring trust in marketers is not the association’s only post-Grenfell project.

“The CPA is incredibly focused on improving building safety and driving cultural change in our industry,” Petere Caplehorn said. “We are involved in a wide range of initiatives to ensure tragedies like Grenfell never happen again, and the CCPI is just one of those. An essential counterpart to the Code is the activity of the Working Group 12 (WG12) – a sub-group of the IRG’s Competence Steering Group (CSG), led by the CPA. WG12 focuses specifically on the competency of those interacting with products and accessing construction product information. The CSG recognises that good product information on its own is not enough; those that use it must be competent to do so, to understand what they are reading and to be able to apply the performance information appropriately.”

Construction Product Information Ltd (CPI Ltd) is being set up as a not-for-profit company owned by the CPA to administer the code when it is launched later this year. Prior to the Code’s formal launch, the CPI Ltd will be carrying out pilot test cases and will recruiting a board of non-executive directors to develop an independent governance structure.

* The report on the results of the consultation can be downloaded at www.buildingsafely.co.uk

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