Specifying successful standards

This report looks into how standards and specifications can enable the UK to innovate, lower costs and improve whole life value of UK infrastructure assets. It presents a flexible framework for rationalising and harmonising standards.

Government's Industry Standards Group report 'Specifying successful standards'
Government's Industry Standards Group report 'Specifying successful standards'

The Industry Standards Group report has been prepared in response to the Infrastructure Cost Review programme and is supported by the Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC), a group of leading clients, consultants, contractors and academics, chaired by ICE Past President Peter Hansford.

Who wrote this?

The Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC), a group of leading clients, consultants, contractors and academics, chaired by ICE Past President Peter Hansford. They did this for the Industry Standards Group (ISG), chaired by Terry Hill, which is supported by Department for Transport, Highways Agency, Network Rail, London Underground and the Rail Safety and Standards Board.

Industry Standards Group

  • Terry Hill – Arup – Chair 
  • Andrea Beddard – British Standards Society and Arup
  • Greg Craig – Skanska
  • Steve Denton – Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Bill Hewlett – Costain
  • Mike Low – BSI
  • Bill McElroy – Turner & Townsend
  • Campbell Middleton – University of Cambridge
  • Navil Shetty – Atkins
  • John Tebbit – Construction Products Association

Observers: 

  • David Clarke – Department for Transport
  • Ginny Clarke – Highways Agency
  • Jon Jones – London Underground
  • Mick McManus – Network Rail
  • Len Porter – RSSB
  • Keith Waller – Infrastructure UK

When?

It was first published in July 2012.

Why?

This was prepared to help the Infrastructure Cost Review programme, which aims to increase efficiency and reduce costs in UK infrastructure delivery.

Who should read this?

Anyone who is involved in applying standards to work in infrastructure assets.

Content

Inefficiency is not caused by standards themselves, but by how these are interpreted by different clients. Standards in the UK for infrastructure are construction complex, confusing and contradictory, and the perception they are too prescriptive prevents innovation.This paper gives report four key recommendations:

  • Define outcomes, not inputs
  • Enable standard assets, not asset standards
  • Empower industry to challenge and innovate
  • Measure benefits to drive continuous improvement

It also outlines 15 specific actions in Section 6 that set out a programme of activity for government, clients, standards bodies and industry.

For more information and questions, please contact management@ice.org.uk.

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