Raising the standards for construction product information

We recently spoke with Amanda Long, CEO of CPI Ltd, about its Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) and the positive change she hopes it will deliver for both installers and the wider construction industry.

What is the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) and how does it benefit the construction industry?

The CCPI is an 11-clause code designed to give greater confidence that construction product information is clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous.

It was established in response to the concerns raised by Dame Judith Hackitt following the Grenfell tragedy, which exposed the issues associated with spurious or confusing product claims and marketing practices. Put simply – the goal of the code is to raise standards and prevent misleading claims being made about products.

However, it is not enough to simply create a code and hope that the industry will self-police. CPI Ltd was founded as a not-for-profit to oversee and uphold the code, requiring industry manufacturers to provide proof, via independent assessment, that their product information is clear, accessible, up-to-date, accurate and unambiguous.  In return, manufacturers get to use our mark to clearly differentiate that the construction product information on a specified product set has been assessed as conforming with the CCPI.

Trust in construction product information is at a very low level; but the CCPI offers manufacturers the opportunity to evidence their claims and have it independently verified. This enables the CCPI to play a critical role in building greater confidence in construction product information and help those manufacturers that want to be part of the solution to restore faith in construction product information.

Have you seen any positive results so far?

The CCPI is still new, but we have been pleased by the positive uptake it has received. We currently have over 60 manufacturers of all different sizes engaging and over 60 product sets bearing our mark.

We also have our demand-side supporters pledge which Barratt Developments PLC, Berkeley Homes PLC, Mace Group, Morgan Sindall Group, Murphy, Persimmon Homes and Skanska UK have already signed up to. These companies are now working with CCPI to engage their strategic suppliers and manufacturers in their supply chains to encourage them to have their products CCPI verified as soon as possible and at the latest by December 2026. And it expected that the list of CCPI Supporters will keep on growing with more announcements over the coming months.

Is there still more work to be done to change the culture of product manufacturing?

Of course, there are thousands of manufacturers in the industry so there is still plenty of work to do but we hope that, as awareness of the CCPI grows, our mark will become a must-have that everyone looks out for when purchasing products.

In the long term we hope that that the CCPI will help to transform the marketing practices of the whole industry. Safety product information is of course critical.  However, the issue extends to all product claims. Environmental and other performance claims carry high importance in relation to the CCPI. So, the CCPI can play a pivotal role in raising standards and protecting people, but also helping to build confidence that a user or consumer gets what they pay for in terms of product information claims.

What can installers do to help enact positive change?

As an installer you have to have confidence in the products you use, and you need to be able to make the right choices based on the information available to you. The CCPI can help with this because independent third-party assessment helps to build greater confidence that the product information is clear, accurate, accessible, up-to-date and unambiguous. This ultimately helps you with the important decisions you make about the construction process. Even under current legislation, following the Building Safety Act 2022, installers who provide design advice could, in some cases, be considered duty holders within the construction scheme. This means that they would have to be able to provide clear information about the products being installed and thus they potentially have some responsibility. As such, third-party independent assessment of product information can be helpful as an extra support to decision making.

We believe installers play a crucial role in raising the standards required for construction product information by demanding CCPI assessed products from their suppliers. That’s why CPI are taking part in the InstallerSHOW 2024, where visitors will be able to hear first-hand about the CCPI from both demand side supporters, but also from the manufacturers themselves.

To find out more about the CPI and the CCPI, head over to cpicode.org.uk.

Amanda Long is speaking at InstallerSHOW 2024. For free tickets visit: installer-2024-splash.reg.buzz