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Joining the RQSC will enhance reputations

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The BCSA hasn’t exactly hidden itself behind the scenes over the years – New Steel Construction appearing ten times a year for the past 18 years is by any measure a high-profile achievement – but the association has looked like it is stepping forward a bit more than usual over the past few months.

BCSA will raise its profile by taking a stand for the first time at an important metals industry event – Metals Expo – at the NEC this month (see News). This event uniquely brings the entire metals supply chain together with the engineering and manufacturing sectors, and BCSA will take part in sessions at the accompanying seminars programme discussing how to spread sustainability messages all along supply chains.

Using a BCSA member steelwork contractor is an assured way of bringing benefits to the entire supply chain, due to the quality assured and audited services only BCSA members can provide. The focus at Metals Expo isn’t on just promoting the BCSA itself however, but on spreading the news that the entire supply chain can benefit from membership of the Register of Qualified Steelwork Contractors (Buildings) that is now being opened to non-BCSA members.

The decision by the BCSA to allow non-members to join in the RQSC (Buildings) scheme for the first time takes effect from October. It was announced at the BCSA National Dinner in June that several non-members had already signed up. More will no doubt be following.

Being allowed to show off your competence to clients through the RQSC (Buildings), giving them assurance that they are using a steelwork contractor that can prove it has the capabilities and experience to work under the new building safety regime, is surely a major benefit to steelwork contractors. Clients are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of this.

BCSA has been at the heart of the post-Grenfell tragedy drive to make buildings safer and BCSA experts have played a full role in discussions on what a post-Grenfell tragedy building safety regime should look like.

Under the new building safety legislation, additional competence requirements have been demanded of contractors; this places fresh onus on the industry’s clients to ask all suppliers to prove their competence and capabilities, and RQSC (Buildings) membership will be the best way for steelwork contractors to respond to that. Funders and insurance companies, prospective tenants and other stakeholders will want in future to only work with suppliers who at a minimum will not inflict reputational damage on them, undermining their own efforts to improve building safety and achieve sustainability objectives. Using a BCSA member or, at the least, one that has signed up to RQSC (Buildings), will be reputation enhancing.

The existing RQSC scheme for buildings has been updated, improved and simplified to meet the new building safety challenges, so steelwork contractors who have not taken the opportunity to join the industry leaders will fall even further behind. Those not joining will be taking the equivalent of several steps back, and clients will understandably ask why.

The steel sector has an enviable sustainability case that it is constantly improving on, and it is fully committed to supporting the government’s drive towards net-zero carbon by 2050 and to taking the measures announced in its net-zero Roadmap. Joining the RQSC (Buildings) could be a vital first step on that journey for some.

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