Understanding the entry form

Before you start - as with any job, you first need to understand what your customer really wants? To help you to interpret some of the language we have used in the entry forms and to learn more about what is important to the judges, we have prepared some descriptions to help you to write your submission.

The built environment or infrastructure which results from a design and its construction.

Best Practice
Constructing Excellence is always looking for the leading edge and innovative ways in which tomorrow’s best practice will exceed today’s benchmarks.  Those setting best practice are moving ahead and beyond what their peers achieve today.

That said, if everyone were to move up to today’s best practice it would be good for the industry and its clients so we are just as interested in hearing how you have adopted and adapted current best practice as how you may have innovated and set new exemplars.

A big part of Constructing Excellence’s ethos is collaborative working.  Of course, collaboration can come in degrees of numbers of collaborating parties and subjects, but we like to think this definition says what Constructing Excellence means “Collaboration is the process of two or more people organisations working together to realise or achieve something more successfully.  Collaboration is very similar to, but more closely aligned than, cooperation, and both are an opposite of competition.  Most collaboration requires leadership and can be more difficult than traditional hierarchical approaches.  Teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward than resources who are working in a formal hierarchy and simply doing as directed.”

We are referring to the group of people that surround the project, organisation or person that your entry relates to.  This may be a professional community, like professional or trade bodies, construction education providers, etc.  It could be a social community like a charity, local residents, unemployed people, schools, etc.  It may be the end users of your project, like patients, motorists, the public, etc.

Continuous Improvement
Not wanting to stop at the great results you have already achieved and setting new higher and harder stretch targets for the future.

Most entries manage to demonstrate what we are asking for and what they think meets it, but then they fail to evidence it.  For demonstrate, you could also substitute “describe enough for us to understand things”.

A lot of our entry criteria say we are looking for evidence.  Whilst it is easy to write that you did this or achieved that, it is important that you take the trouble to demonstrate it as well.  We cannot tell you what evidence you need – if you have collected it you will know what it is, but just to give you a few examples of the sort of thing judges find “tick their box” to award marks:

  • A testimonial from a satisfied customer;
  • Your Considerate Constructors Scheme score benchmarked against your region’s median for all sites;
  • Other awards you have won;
  • Current ISO certification;
  • A photo of your school involvement day;
  • A graph of your results over time rather than just a single number;
  • A table of your KPI results;
  • A testimonial from the supply chain saying how good you are to work with;

The options are limitless but one thing that is common to all the above – they could all be visual additions i.e. an image and a caption without the use of a lot of your limited word count.

We want something that we can use as an example to others of what best practice regionally and nationally looks and feels like, with business reasons for going the extra mile.

What difference your entry has achieved compared to a less exemplary peer.

This is one of those things that means lots of things to different people.  It could range from doing something new in your organisation to something new to everyone in the industry. If you are harnessing someone else’s existing innovation but it means new progress for you, we would probably consider that to be best practice.  Although, if you adopt their best practice but improve on it, that would be innovation. If you are doing something entirely new to the industry or to the type of work you are undertaking, then we think that is innovation.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the measure of performance of an activity that is critical to the success of an organisation. SmartSite KPIs has been developed in collaboration with Constructing Excellence.

The use of the above KPIs is not mandatory for entries.  Many clients set their own KPIs for use in their frameworks or adopt those from a relevant body, and these are equally acceptable. What we would ask you to remember is that we seek objective benchmarking of your performance compared to your peers to evidence best or better practice.

Health and Safety for example.  You may have your own records of RIDDOR incidents and accidents to quote to us, but we would appreciate them more if they were turned into measurements like Accident Frequency Rate and Accident Incidence Rate (information on the HSE web site).

The capacity to influence people, by means of personal attributes and/or behaviours, to achieve a common goal and vision.  The charismatic approach from the front by a person or organisation that gets the group they lead to perform better, go the extra mile and deliver exemplary results.

Anyone who has an interest in a project or initiative, whether directly contractually involved or peripheral to its design and construction, e.g. the local community or the public in general.

Supply Chain
Supply chains go in two directions, upwards towards the organisation employing you and downwards towards the organisations supplying you. We recommend you don’t forget to look in both directions when answering these types of question.

Something which can be repeated at the same rate and level because it is affordable, has renewable resources and is not destructive.

Triple Bottom Line Sustainability
A thing which address all three considerations of society, environment and economy.

These can be any process, equipment, method or software that serves to enable the desired outcome to be achieved.

In brief, we consider that value is not price. Value is what you get in benefits within the price and it may be more than just the building or civil engineering work that you asked for.  A typical example might be creating jobs and training opportunities or value engineering that delivers more for less (not the same for less!). Added value is the extra provided within the price over and above the specified requirements; examples might be an early completion, a final account below tender sum for the same level of work or turning waste into a beneficial feature on site. Possibilities are endless.

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Constructing Excellence Sussex AGM
11 March 2021
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