Event archive

Event Organiser: Hazards Forum

Hazards from procurement, London

  • Lecture
  • London
  • 21 March 2018
  • 18:00 - 20:30
Hazards from procurement, London

Watch this event

In contracting work, different procurement approaches can incentivise different behaviours, which in turn strongly influence delivery performance in time, cost, quality and safety. But different situations and types of work benefit from different procurement methods: it is not one size fits all.

Where appropriate approaches are used, great work often follows, but in these cases the success is often unsung and the heroes stay under the radar. However, inappropriate approaches lead to relationships unravelling leading to sub-standard and sometimes disastrous results, both within the timeframe of the contract itself and for the quality of the legacy product. Poor quality as a legacy can undermine safety in the long term.

This Hazards Forum event will explore this paradigm from the three perspectives of experience, management research and behavioural science.

Stewart Macartney worked on the Independent Inquiry into the Oxgangs School collapse in Edinburgh in 2016. The revealed how contracting practices (affecting both design activity as well as on-site work and supervision) impacted the eventual product to the detriment of the public it was striving to serve. Stewart will present on the collapse itself and its immediate impacts, and draw out the lessons from which the Scottish industry has learned, and to which all will do well to pay heed.

Jon Gosling undertakes pioneering research into appropriate contracting. Whenever different parties exchange goods or services, he identifies that exchange hazards may occur, most usually in the form of opportunistic behaviours to maximise one party's gain to the detriment of everyone else.

The question is how to control the hazard, or even to play opportunism against itself for the greater good. His presentation will consider appropriate procurement choices and contracting processes to minimise exchange hazards, optimising the underlying incentivization mechanisms, conditions and overall relational climate for a project.

Alan Cheung is a leading figure in the application of behavioural science to achieve practical outcomes. Extending Jon's themes of contracting practice, Alan will examine how the operational climate that appropriate or inappropriate contracts create leads, entirely foreseeably, to the behaviours we see, which often affect worker safety as well as as-built quality.

He will explain why and how the actions of those in the procurement and office functions in firms have as much to do to to ensure good outcomes as those in the front line. His presentation will help us better appreciate how leaders and managers need to think, what they need to think about, their responsibilities, and what decisions and actions they should take.

The event will be chaired by Steve Rowsell, who will bring his lifetime of experience in major project procurement.


Steve Rowsell

Steve Rowsell

Director - Rowsell Wright Limited

Steve Rowsell is the immediate Past-President of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation. He is a chartered Civil Engineer with 40 years' experience in major transport infrastructure delivery.

Steve was the Highways Agency Procurement Director for seven years before establishing the procurement consultancy Rowsell Wright in 2007. Since leaving HA, Steve's roles have included Crossrail Head of Procurement where he developed the procurement strategy for the £15bn project.

Stewart Macartney

Stewart Macartney

Director - Blyth & Blyth Consulting Engineers

Stewart joined Blyth & Blyth following graduation from Aberdeen University in 1989 quickly rising through the ranks to become a Director in 1999.

In addition to design and construction work, Stewart carries out forensic engineering investigations into building and building element failures and has undertaken numerous collapse and failure investigations over last 28 years.

In 2016 he sat on the Independent Inquiry Panel assisting Professor John Cole CBE with the Independent Report into the Construction of Edinburgh Schools which was published in February 2017.

Dr Jonathan Gosling

Dr Jonathan Gosling

Reader in Supply Chain Management at Cardiff University

Jon Gosling is a Reader in Supply Chain Management at Cardiff University, where he also deputy head of research, innovation and engagement for the Logistics and Operations. Jon's research focuses on procurement and supply chain management in engineer-to-order sectors, such as construction, shipbuilding, capital goods and machine tools. Working closely with senior industry figures, he has undertaken project work leading to findings published widely in supply chain management, production, construction management and construction engineering journals.

Alan Cheung

Alan Cheung

Group SHE Operations & Behavioural Management Director - Costain Ltd

Alan Cheung is the Group SHE Operations and Behavioural Management Director at Costain Ltd.

Alan has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the Costain Behavioural Safety (CBS) Programme, which began in 2006. In 2011 he successfully took the CBS Programme through third party accreditation with the Cambridge Center for Behavioural Studies, making CBS the first third party accredited behavioural safety programme in the UK.

Event venue

Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street
London SW1P 3AA
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Elira Alushi

e: [email protected]