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Government deregulation puts construction leaders in the driving seat

The new Government has made deregulation one of its top priorities, which will soon have a significant impact on the way that we all do business, according to Newcastle-upon-Tyne based certification body, Ocean Certification Ltd.

The new Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, promised to cut £10bn from the regulatory burden on business and made it the subject of his very first speech in office in May. Mr Javid said that it would be the first time in modern history that government has successively reduced red tape and continued with reductions in the next parliament.

The Government’s Enterprise Bill published last month commits current and future governments to publishing and reporting progress against a deregulation target – the Business Impact Target (BIT). This provides a wider focus for Government to reduce regulatory burdens on business, ensure there is greater transparency around the impact of regulation on business and enable regulators to contribute to a target of £10bn of regulatory savings during the current parliament.

The Enterprise Bill introduces a new code – The Growth Duty and Regulators’ Code (“the Duties”) aim to support a shift in regulator practice by requiring them to factor in economic growth when excercising regulatory functions. Regulators must be accountable to the Duties and produce annual performance reports demonstrating how this has influenced the delivery of regulatory functions. Businesses can hold regulators to account on how they have performed in relation to the Duties. However, as the regulatory burden on business is being reduced, organisations will still need to evidence that they can competently provide the services and products they offer in a responsible way.

For the construction sector Government has already demonstrated the value of certification with its Building Information Management (BIM) requirements coming into force in 2016 requiring all organisations involve in public procured construction projects to meet BIM level 2. The industry is responding to this by using the PAS1192 standard to demonstrate compliance to these requirements backed by third-party certification from UKAS Accredited bodies such as Ocean Certification.

CEO of Ocean Certification Ltd, Martin Thornley, explains why standards and accreditation are increasingly the Government’s preferred method for businesses to self-regulate and demonstrate credibility. “Instead of looking over our shoulder for sight of a regulator we will be expected to demonstrate that we are fully in charge of our own futures by adopting and maintaining management systems.

“As regulation is rolled back, policymakers will want to ensure that there are still mechanisms in place to safeguard critical business issues such as the quality of goods and services, respect for the environment, and commitment to health and safety among others. Being seen to abandon these priorities is not good politics or good business sense.”

Ocean Certification works nationally with a wide variety of organisations particularly in construction, manufacturing, public administration and the business services sector to provide Quality (ISO9001), Environmental (ISO14001), and Health & Safety (OHSAS18001) certification. It is the only company in the North of England providing these services and was established 13 years ago to meet demand.

Martin Thornley, CEO of Ocean Certification Ltd

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