Some examples of assurance
The word assurance is not well understood. To aid this understanding here are some examples from outside the world of construction.
- If I need help in repairing my roof I gain assurance that the contractor I employ is reliable by visiting, “Trust a trader” or “Check a trade” and reading reviews
- If I want to know whether a film is suitable for my sensitive daughter I gain assurance from the certificate given by the British Board of Film Classification
- If a want to know whether the set of accounts I am relying on to aid an investment decision are reliable, I gain assurance by reading the auditor’s opinion
- If I want to gain assurance that the second hand car I am buying is free from any outstanding debt and hasn’t previously been written off I visit a car check specialist
Assurance is therefore all about enhancing confidence.
Common features of reliable assurance providers
To create enhanced confidence, based on these examples, assurance providers should be:
- Able to offer an opinion
Reliable assurance is a valuable asset in an Alliance
The NEC has created a draft Alliance contract for comment where all parties sign up to one agreement. The contract will be performance-based, with risk and reward for achievement of the Alliance Objectives and the members of the Alliance work together as an integrated team. All Alliance members are engaged on an open-book basis with project-specific incentive arrangements agreed at the outset. There are no provisions for dispute resolution.
To build the sort of relationship envisaged by the draft NEC Alliance contract, reliable assurance has a role in enhancing confidence and collaboration. It provides an independent third party view to enable issues to be identified and dealt with on a timely basis. This could be achieved, for example by an independent third party assessing compliance with the Contract over:
- Early warnings
- Compensation events
In an Alliance where so much is done based on trust, a third party providing effective assurance would therefore allow all parties enhanced confidence and enhanced collaboration.