Construction procurement

The construction industry in Scotland employs more than 13,000 people and is worth around £7 billion.

The public sector is a significant customer with an annual spend of more than £4 billion on building or civil engineering works.

We are taking forward a number of actions to improve the procurement of public sector construction projects.

Construction Policy Note (CPN)

We have issued CPN 1/2020 which addresses the Scottish Government’s objectives for the sector during the COVID-19 outbreak

Construction conference

Our construction conference scheduled for Wednesday 17 June has been postponed. We hope to reschedule the conference for later this year, depending on advice, and will keep you posted.

Guidance on construction procurement

Our guidance, 'Client guide to construction projects', consists of three handbooks. These are:

The guidance is primarily to help clients better manage their construction projects but should also be of assistance to contractors and consultants alike in developing their understanding of how the public sector delivers construction projects.

Construction policy notes (CPNs) provide guidance to contracting authorities on various aspects of construction procurement.

Construction Scotland/ Scottish Government Leadership Forum

As committed in the Economic Action Plan, we have established a strategic leadership forum between Scottish Government and Construction Scotland. The leadership forum are working collectively to form a refreshed and stronger relationship between the industry and government around a set of common goals to help the sector grow. The initial focus of the leadership forum is on three key areas: Sustainable pricing, quality, and frameworks within the construction industry.

The group consists of key stakeholders from both the government and the construction industry. Meetings are held quarterly. Notes of previous meetings can be found here.

Covid-19 update

To support the government’s ambition to get the construction industry back to work as soon as possible, a series of extraordinary meetings of the Construction Leadership Forum has being convened, chaired by the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning. Membership is drawn from across the Scottish Government and industry.

As such, the normal work of the group has been paused, with work focusing on the following four workstreams:

  • Industry restart
  • Safe operating procedures
  • Data
  • Skills

Meetings are taking place on a fortnightly basis. Notes of previous meetings can be found here.

Review of Scottish public sector procurement in construction: outputs

This review looked into the procurement of public sector construction projects.

It made a series of recommendations designed to improve and strengthen client and supplier capability through a more efficient and effective procurement process.

Read more about our work to implement the review recommendations

This work is overseen by the Construction Review Delivery Group.

The views of industry are represented by the Construction Scotland Procurement Implementation group.

Project Bank Accounts (PBAs)

We are helping to ensure that contractors and sub-contractors working on building projects by Scottish Government bodies are paid promptly and fairly, through the use of Project Bank Accounts.

Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) are ring-fenced accounts which see members of the construction supply chain working on government projects - many of which are SMEs - get paid directly within contractually agreed dates.

A guide to implementing Project Bank Accounts has been published along with a Construction Policy Note (CPN 1/2019).


You can view construction procurement content prior to 2018 on the archive.


Tel: 0131 244 8492