The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD has launched a new facility which will enable the public, public procurement authorities and construction professionals to search for competent construction companies operating in Ireland.
The Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) has been set up by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) following discussions with the Minister and his Department and aims to separate experienced, competent construction companies from those that have given the industry a bad name.
Members of the public can now go online to the free site and search for construction companies, sole traders and builders operating in their region and who specialise in particular aspects of construction work. CIRI covers 39 distinct categories of activity, including everything from house building to extensions, plastering to carpentry and plumbing to electrical contracting.
CIRI will be placed on a statutory footing in 2015 and the Government has committed to bringing forward the Heads of the Bill to achieve this goal by the end of 2014.
201 construction companies, sole traders and builders are already listed on the CIRI register and another 565 companies and sole traders are at various stages of the application process. It is expected that there will be more than 2,000 entries listed on CIRI by the end of 2015.
The objective of CIRI is to help foster improved standards throughout the Irish construction industry. To be listed on the register, all applicants must show they meet the following criteria:
- Demonstrate they have construction competence and experience.
- Adhere to an industry Code of the Ethics and Obligations.
- Must be tax compliant.
- Commit to undertaking continuous professional development (CPD).
- Comply with health and safety regulations relating to the construction industry.
- Show they have the relevant insurance policies in place.
- Obey all the latest building standards and regulations.
- Attend a CIRI induction course.
All those who wish to remain on the register are required to reapply on an annual basis to ensure they continue to meet these criteria.
Speaking about the launch of CIRI, Minister Hogan said, “I have long been of the belief that we need to bring regulation to the Irish construction industry. For too long we have had a situation in this country whereby anyone can pass themselves off as a builder or construction operative, regardless of their experience and regardless of whether they were following the industry regulations. That is why I asked the CIF to work with my Department in establishing CIRI. Now we have a resource the public can use for free and which aims to separate those construction companies and builders who can meet the standards from those who don’t,” Minister Hogan said.
His comments were echoed by CIF Director General, Tom Parlon, “We want to help promote the work of competent, experienced construction companies and sole traders. Up until now the names of everyone in the industry has been tarnished by those who do not follow the regulations and who do not carry out their work in the proper fashion. That is why CIRI is being set up. CIRI will provide a vetted means of seeing which companies and sole traders are competent and experienced. For the first time there will be a means of separating out legitimate, experienced operators from the rest,” Mr. Parlon said.
“Leaders throughout the industry have wanted to see a registration scheme like this set up for several years now,” said CIF President Philip Crampton. “There has been a concern that those who carry out good work were being banded together with those who have cut corners and whose work is poor in quality. Those in the construction industry who take pride in their projects do not like seeing the reputation of the entire industry tarred. We have to recognise that there many excellent companies and sole traders in our industry. CIRI will provide a means for separating them from the rest. For this and many other reasons there is already serious interest in the register throughout the industry and we expect that interest to grow further as awareness spreads,” Mr. Crampton added.
The Chairman of the Construction Industry Registration Board (CIRB), Hank Fogarty also believes that CIRI will make a positive contribution to the industry, “By setting up the CIRI register we aim to increase and enhance the competence and competitiveness of the construction industry in this country. We want to have companies and sole traders who the public, architects, chartered surveyors and engineers can rely upon. We also want to increase the expertise within the industry and that is why continuing professional development is one of the key criteria for ongoing membership of the register. We hope this will improve the skills and knowledge in the construction sector which will boost the industry and benefit Irish society on a wider level over time,” Mr. Fogarty concluded.
The register is available on www.ciri.ie