UKAS has offered an accreditation service to the UK construction industry for almost forty years, in the areas of testing, inspection and product certification. Initially this only included site sampling and laboratory testing but, the service was further developed to include Certification and control of Highway Sector Schemes as well as Construction Product Regulations, to meet an ever increasingly quality assured sector.
The benefits of UKAS Accreditation in providing confidence in the competence and capabilities of laboratories, as well as inspection and certification bodies has long been recognised by the UK government. Reviews are carried out on all aspects of these processes with frequent changes made to many practices, standards, and regulatory policies. It is accepted that UKAS accreditation is mandatory for conformity in the construction, infrastructure and built environment sectors.
As UKAS developed these services it recognised the need to consult closely with stakeholders. In response to early steering groups this committee was set up in 2005 to provide advice and guidance on the development and implementation of accreditation across all construction industry sectors and was seen to be of great benefit.
The Role of The Construction Industry Technical Advisory Committee
The role of the Construction Industry Technical Advisory Committee is to provide technical advice to UKAS on matters relating to the construction sector.
Its purpose includes providing technical advice on the following:
- The formulation and review of specific technical criteria to facilitate effective and consistent application of UKAS’ activities in the field of construction testing, inspection and product certification
- The acceptability of procedures as a basis for accreditation
- The identification of potential assessors and sources of assessors in the field of construction materials testing, inspection, and certification
- The need for and conduct of proficiency testing
- The impact of regional, national, or international initiatives.
- The need for the establishment of specialist task groups or sub-committees.
The Chairman of the Construction Industry TAC is appointed by the UKAS External Affairs Director for a three-year term and may be re-appointed for a further term or terms.
All members are invited by UKAS. They are selected based on the necessary technical knowledge and expertise to contribute to the work of the TAC, and, when relevant, for their ability to act as representative of their organisation, sector, or other interest.
The Committee Members represent a range of construction stakeholder interests, accredited laboratories, certification and inspection bodies and other agreed industry representation. Membership is reviewed by UKAS in conjunction with the Chairman at least every three years. Members are required to exercise discretion in respect of information received in the course of their duties as Construction Industry TAC members and to treat as confidential any information so marked or related in confidence.
Decisions on issues discussed by the Construction Industry TAC are reached by consensus, i.e. not by voting.
The Construction Industry TAC currently meets approximately every 6 months. Provisional dates are normally set at the previous meeting.
The Construction Industry TAC may establish sub-committees to undertake projects for specific areas of construction testing, product certification or regulation. The sub-committees may co-opt members from outside the Construction Industry TAC membership. The Construction Industry TAC will select the Chairman of the sub-committees from within its membership and a UKAS staff member will act as secretary to each sub-committee.
At the invitation of the Chairman, and with the agreement of UKAS, other parties may attend meetings of the Construction Industry TAC. On such occasions the minutes shall clearly state the affiliations of the invited attendees.