The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is to treble the number of construction employers that are surveyed as part of its compulsory Levy Order Consensus process.

The change is one of a series of improvements being made to ensure that CITB seeks industry’s opinion on a future Levy Order that is truly representative of today’s construction sector.

Planned changes for 2017 include:

  • The sample size of the independent, structured survey, which is carried out by an independent research agency to gauge the views of all employers across industry, will increase from 1,900 to 6,000
  • An independent agency will be appointed to provide external advice on methodology, mechanisms and best practice for the Consensus process
  • Federations are bei""ng asked to provide greater detail on how they engage and consult with their members on Consensus
  • CITB will be sharing greater details on the Consensus process and results to ensure that it is more widely understood and transparent to the whole industry.

Stephen Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, said: “It’s absolutely critical that we have the confidence and support of our industry on our role and purpose. Consensus is the benchmark of that confidence and so we must ensure we reach as many employers as possible and the outcome is truly representative of our sector.

“As part of our ongoing reform, we have listened to what industry has told us and are reflecting the changing nature of construction.

“Therefore we are sharpening up this consultation process. We are casting our net further to reach more levy payers and put transparency and accountability firmly at the heart of the process.”

The independent survey of construction employers is part of the second stage of Consensus, which will take place from August next year at the same time as Consensus Federations seek the views of their members.

The survey was introduced in 2008 to reflect the declining share of levy paying construction employers that are members of Consensus Federations. CITB’s latest estimates show that Consensus Federations account for 35% of the number of levy registered employers and 59% of the value of levy paid. This compares with 47% and 63% respectively at the time of the 2013 Consensus.

This follows the first stage of Consensus in the first half of 2017 when CITB will consult with the industry on a future Levy Order and will engage with it on a new business plan, including a modernised Grants Scheme.

The last Levy Order review conducted in 2013 received support from 86% of levy paying employers and from employers paying 79% of the levy. Both figures are well above the required 50% threshold.