The Government has launched a new facility which will enable architects, the public, public procurement authorities and other 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 former Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD and his Department and aims to separate experienced, competent construction companies from those that have given the industry a bad name.
Architects, construction professionals and members of the public can now go online to the free site and search for construction companies, sole traders and builders operating in their county or 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.
Under the new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations, all those listed on the CIRI are deemed as being ‘competent’. This is important given the emphasis placed on hiring ‘competent’ builders and construction companies under the revised regulations. The register 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.
Over 200 construction companies, sole traders and builders are already listed on the CIRI register and another 500-600 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.
Eligibility to join the Construction Register:
Only those construction companies and sole traders who meet certain standards will be able to join CIRI. This is to ensure that those on the register will follow best practice in the industry. To join CIRI a construction company or sole trader must meet the following criteria: They must adhere to an industry code of ethics and commitments.
• They must demonstrate that they have construction competence and experience generally for a period of no less than three years.
• They must be tax compliant.
• All members of CIRI must commit to undertaking continuous professional development (CPD).
• Everyone on the register must comply with the health and safety regulations relating to the construction industry.
• They must have a knowledge and understanding of the latest building standards and regulations and commit to adhering to them
• They must undertake a CIRI induction training course.
All members of CIRI will be required to renew their membership on an annual basis. This is to ensure everyone on the register continues to meet the relevant standards and CPD requirements. At the recent launch of the CIRI, the then Environment Minister Phil Hogan said:
"For too long, we’ve had a situation in this country whereby anyone can pass as a builder or construction operative, regardless of their experience and regardless of whether they were following the industry regulations,” said the then Environment Minister Phil Hogan at the launch.
“That’s why I asked the CIF to work with the Department in establishing CIRI. Now we’ve a resource anyone can use for free and which aims to separate those construction companies and builders who can meet the standards from those who don’t.”
CIF director general, Tom Parlon echoed his comments, and said the CIF wanted to help promote the work of competent, experienced construction companies and sole traders. “Up until now, everyone in the industry has been tarnished by those who don’t follow the regulations and who don’t carry out their work in the proper fashion. CIRI will provide a vetted means of having construction companies and sole traders deemed competent, something which will be of interest to engineers and other construction professionals given the requirements under the new building regulations.”