Last updated 26 November 2021

The Construction Playbook is a government guidance document about sourcing and contracting public works projects and was launched by Cabinet Office in December 2020.

In this blog, John Welch, Deputy Director Construction explains what The Construction Playbook is, what this means for wider public sector organisations and how it can transform and drive success in your buildings projects.

What is The Construction Playbook?

The Construction Playbook

The Construction Playbook has been co-developed and endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council and wider industry. It aims to encourage collaboration and better strategic relationships between the public and private sectors and to drive improvement and innovation within the construction industry. 

The Playbook captures commercial best practices and specific sector reforms outlining the government’s expectations of how contracting authorities and suppliers, including the supply chain, should engage with each other. And how to get the right from the start.

These are set out in 14 key policies for how the government should assess, procure and deliver public works projects and programmes that all central government departments and their arms length bodies are expected to follow on a ‘comply or explain’ basis recognising that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.

The Playbook sets out what is expected from industry, including continuous improvement in building and workplace safety, cost, speed and quality of delivery, greater sharing of better data, investment in training the future workforce through upskilling and apprenticeships, and adoption of the UK BIM Framework. Providing greater certainty to construction through long term plans for key programmes.


How does it impact me and why does it matter?

COVID19 has emphasised the importance of thinking about programmes and projects in new ways and the necessity of creating a more robust and sustainable industry that can build back better. That’s why all of the wider public sector can benefit from this drive for industry reform in our buying actions. 

Up to £37 billion of contracts across economic and social infrastructure will be brought to market over the next year from Government departments, wider public sector and other public bodies: from building schools, hospitals and prisons, to major infrastructure and the wide range of construction, engineering and other works programmes.

These are programmes that are aimed at improving our cities and towns, supporting the delivery of new homes, enabling more productive education environments and boosting our healthcare provision. 

Andy Mitchell, Co-Chair, Construction Leadership Council, says

“It will aim to deliver a better and fairer industry, with stronger and more open relationships between the industry and its clients, fewer disputes, and more equitable contractual terms, that ensure prompt and fair payment and a balanced allocation of risk, where these are managed by the organisation best placed to do so. 

And it will help ensure that investment in construction projects creates the greatest economic, social and environmental value possible, and contributes to the delivery of strategic policy objectives such as our legal obligation to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 and levelling up across the UK.”


How can CCS help? 

CCS were an integral part of the task force in the development of the Playbook and part of the 1,000+ hours spent on its development.

Having both led, and providing expertise, on early supplier engagement, outcome based specifications, effective contracting including standardisation of terms of conditions as well being embedded in drafting teams on areas like risk management, long term planning and of course the overall procurement process. CCS continues to be part of the steering group supporting and overseeing the Construction Playbook’s implementation.

We have been able to put a lot of the policy areas into practice during our response to COVID19 supporting central government and wider public sector customers. 

We are driving early supplier involvement through our innovative procurement options available and facilitate the idea and design of modern methods of construction into practical application, whilst constantly seeking innovation and best practice from our supply chains.

Our current construction category agreements include all of the policy areas set out in the Construction Playbook putting us in a great position to support you at any stage of your project or programme, and giving you the assurance that you are contributing to a more robust and sustainable industry which can build back better. 


Next steps

For more advice and guidance on getting the best out of your construction projects please fill in our short online form and one of our commercial experts will be in touch. 

You can also explore our full range of construction frameworks on our dedicated construction web page.