There’s been much talk in recent months about the introduction of the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI), which is set to roll out this summer.
Developed by the CPA’s Marketing Integrity Group (MIG), it is a response to the issues raised in Dame Judith Hackitt’s report, ‘Building A Safer Future’, and it aims to hold building product manufacturers responsible for providing clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous product information.
This post aims to give you a high-level, objective overview of what the CCPI is, and what you could be doing to best prepare for it.
What is ‘The Code’?
The code is split into 11 clauses. It sets a benchmark for how product information is presented and marketed by building product manufacturers.
The eleven clauses, paraphrased, are:
- Having a documented sign-off process for creating product information.
- A formal version control process for all product information.
- Not to use misleading or ambiguous language.
- Provide specific information around compliance/certification.
- Provide verifiable information when making claims outside of certification.
- Make clear on your website the descriptive and physical characteristics of your product.
- Consistency with manufacturers-supplied products.
- Provide information on handling, maintenance, installation of your product(s).
- State clearly information on guarantees/warranties
- Clear technical helpline contact details.
- A robust training program to demonstrate the level of knowledge required for the product(s).
For the full, detailed report, click here.
If you can prove that your website and marketing materials achieve all eleven clauses – and that you’re willing to pay a fee, which has not yet been disclosed - you’ll receive some form of certification. This aims to give specifiers and users more confidence in your products and/or solutions.
The creators behind the CCPI say that,
“[The Code] is an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to setting a level playing field for all construction product manufacturers to ensure that information they provide passes the five acid tests. In particular, that users of our products can once again rely upon the information given to them, to build the great buildings and infrastructure in which we live, work and play.”
Adam Turk, MIG Chair.
Yet critics have said that The Code won’t make much difference, with some even suggesting that it will become a “meaningless box-ticking exercise.”
Many Have Raised Concerns Over the cCPI
A number of names within the industry have raised concerns with the approach. At the forefront of these criticisms has been Darren Lester from Specifiedby, who wrote an incredibly thought-provoking article about the Code’s shortcomings last month. Read it here.
In it, he suggests that the consultation was overseen by the wrong people and that the report has lost sight of the real problem to solve. Alongside this, Lester raises serious concerns around the validity of the research process and criticises the "pay to play" approach.
Construction social strategist, Su Butcher led discussions on the Code, calling for manufacturers to have their say. During the discussion, Butcher asked how people felt about the CCPI. Here are the findings:
If you would like to view the discussion in full, click here.
Where are we currently at with the CCPI?
The consultation went through an industry-wide consultation between 1st February and 31st March 2021 and allowed construction professionals to make comments and share thoughts.
A report of the published findings will be made available at the end of April 2021.
What Can Building Product Manufacturers Do?
It’s important to note that this is not mandatory. It’s not a legal requirement. Nonetheless, many building product manufacturers will have differing views on the CCPI, so if you are considering applying, the best thing you can do is:
- Wait until the report is fully reviewed and amended.
- Read and fully understand the consultation.
- Start taking steps to ensure that you’re achieving all eleven clauses within your building product website.
For those whose websites are quite thin on the ground when it comes to content, you will have an incredibly challenging task on your hands. If this is the case, you should consider outsourcing the handling of your marketing materials onto industry experts who have the capabilities to represent your brand in a clear, unambiguous way.
For those who already have a solid online presence, you will still need to fully understand the code to ensure all current materials are providing clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous.
If you look beyond the politics of it all, the eleven clauses actually provide the essence of what a good building product manufacturer should be doing anyway.
Achieving these 11 ‘goals’ is essentially the Inbound Marketing approach that we firmly advocate here at Insynth.
So, whatever side of the fence you sit on, one thing’s for sure, the people specifying your products deserve accuracy, and the people using your product (i.e. you and me) deserve safety and security.
Speak to an expert at Insynth today to learn more about how you can improve your building product website’s content.
The image used in this blog header is courtesy of TTF.co.uk
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