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Centre for Digital Built Britain

 

Ian Ronksley, Development Manager for The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), the national accreditation body, provides an update on accreditation and its role in ensuring that the construction industry applies good information management practices when delivering assets.

UKAS is undertaking a Pilot Assessment Programme (pilot) for the accredited certification to ISO 19650-2 ‘Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM) — Information management using building information modelling — Part 2: Delivery phase of the assets’. The pilot methodology is used to confirm the applicability and rigour of the UKAS criteria developed for the assessment and accreditation of the conformity assessment (certification) bodies involved.

Accreditation by UKAS demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of these evaluators and gives confidence in the products and services provided by their clients which we rely on. Within the United Kingdom, UKAS is the national accreditation body appointed by Government to assess organisations which provide certification. In other words, UKAS ‘checks the checkers’

The Construction Playbook, published by the Cabinet Office in December 2020, is focussed on delivering excellent public works to enable the government to deliver the public services we rely on. It recommends that contracting authorities should use the UK BIM Framework to standardise the approach to generating and classifying data, data security and data exchange. The development of accreditation to include certification for ISO 19650-2 will help to drive conformity to the standard, ensuring that organisations are not selectively applying it or making mistakes in the way in which they interpret it in their organisational context.

Suppliers also benefit from being able to demonstrate that they are operating in compliance with internationally agreed standards. Accredited conformity assessment is a tool  which helps businesses comply efficiently and effectively with regulations and standards nationally, and internationally, thus gaining competitive advantage and providing opportunity to expand into new markets.  

There has been interest in accreditation for BIM certification for some years, but it was the development of ISO 19650-2 that provided the necessary clarity to enable progress. Consequently, expressions of interest to participate in the pilot were sought from certification bodies and three certification bodies satisfied the terms of reference for the pilot.

Understandably, the pilot timescales have been negatively impacted by Covid-19 but good progress has been made. The final stage of the accreditation assessment process - UKAS witnessing of certification bodies assessing clients, will occur during the spring and summer. Once witnessing is completed successfully, it is anticipated that UKAS will be able to grant accreditation. UKAS will then announce which organisations have been accredited and they will be open for other organisations seeking accreditation for their ISO 19650-2 certification.

In conclusion, I would want to encourage organisations wanting to demonstrate the alignment of their processes with the UK BIM Framework to seek accredited certification to ISO 19650-2.

For further information about the pilot assessment programme please contact DevelopmentEnquiries@ukas.com

For further information about UKAS accreditation please visit www.ukas.com

For more information on the UK BIM Framework, please visit UK BIM Framework – BIM Standards, Guides & Resources.