Working Lunch: Stop The Cowboys


Quality in built environment projects is all too often undercut by a lack of knowledge, skills and experience. These problems are exacerbated by the influence of ‘rogue’ or ‘cowboy’ builders, who continue to operate at all levels within the industry.  These organisations (ranging from companies operating illegally to those who simply lack competence) undercut professional, qualified firms and place downward pressure on standards and quality.

This lunchtime discussion will bring together industry experts to explore issues surrounding certification in construction and will be chaired by Helen Hayes MP. It is being convened by the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) in partnership with the British Board of Agrément (BBA).  The discussion will review the benefits and challenges associated with implementation of an industry-wide licensing/certification scheme. Specifically, we will seek to answer the following questions.

  • How far would implementation of a licensing/certification scheme go to addressing recommendations for competence made within the Hackitt review?
  • What are the alternatives to imposing regulation on the construction industry and are they viable?
  • What can we learn from other countries who have adopted similar schemes such as the USA, Australia, Germany and Denmark?
  • Is there appetite within the industry for a mandatory licensing/certification scheme?
  • What would the role for Government be in developing and implementing a licensing scheme, who would administer it going forward, and how would it tie into the existing Quality Mark framework?

For further details of this event please contact WSBF Policy Manager, robert.allen [at] (subject: Stop%20the%20cowboys) (Rob Allen)