Sector - Finance & Legislation

Construction Licensing Task Force Launches

The Federation of Master Builders spearheaded the launch of a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies in June 2019 to protect consumers from cowboy builders.

A new Construction Licensing Task Force, supported by a range of leading industry bodies, is predicted to transform the construction sector into a high-quality and more professionalised industry with the former CEO of the British Property Federation, Liz Peace CBE, presiding as chairwoman.

Ms Peace stated: “Mandatory licensing has the potential to transform our industry into a world-leading sector. Licensing will help drive up standards and help address the issue of quality and professionalism which, in some areas, is falling short.

“At the heart of what we’re trying to do is increase protection for the ordinary person who engages with the construction sector.”

Organisations which will be sitting on the task force will include: the Association of Consultancy and Engineering, the British Property Federation, the Chartered Institute of Building, the Construction Products Association, the Electrical Contractors Association, the Federation of Master Builders, the Glass and Glazing Federation (FENSA), the Local Authority Building Control, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Trust Mark, and Which? Trusted Traders.

Ms Peace went on to state: “I am heartened by the fact that the sector is coming together to lead the industry in a new direction. I’m also pleased that senior civil servants from BEIS and MHCLG will sit on the Task Force as observers as Government engagement right from the outset is crucial to the successful development of the scheme.”

According to data retrieved by the Federation of Master Builders, 32% of homeowners do no undergo major home improvements out of fear of cowboy builders meaning that the UK economy is short of £10Bn per year from construction activity.

As well as this, 77% of SME construction companies support the imposition of construction industry licensing while 78% of consumers similarly support licensing after 55% of people who have commissioned home improvements have suffered negative experiences at the hands of their builder. In fact, 90% of homeowners believe that the Government should criminalise incompetent cowboy builders.

Chief Executive of the FMB, Brian Berry stated: “In countries like Australia and Germany, building firms require a licence and we want to develop a scheme that regulates our industry in a similar manner. I am delighted to be part of the Construction Licensing Task Force and will ensure that any such scheme works for small building firms.”

If you would like to read more articles like this then please click here.