Construction procurement: project initiation and business cases handbook

One of three handbooks that comprise the Client Guide to Construction Projects, The Project Initiation and Business Cases Handbook provides guidance to assist contracting authorities to successfully deliver construction projects and achieve value for money.

This document is part of a collection

Chapter 19: The Construction Capability Assessment Tool

1. Introduction
2. Overview
3. What it is
4. When to use it
5. Project Assurance
6. CCAT Template


1.1 The successful delivery of construction projects relies on several critical elements being in place, not least of which will be having a team with the right skills, right experience and right expertise in place at the right time. This team may be made up of permanent in-house staff, contracted-in consultants, or a mix of both. The team’s make up will be influenced by a number of factors including:

  • the size of the organisation
  • the frequency which it undertakes construction projects. and
  • the scale and complexity of the projects it manages.

1.2 Some organisations which regularly deliver construction projects may have a permanent construction team capable of managing the most complex of construction projects. For others, it may not be effective either from a cost perspective or in terms of maintaining currency and competency of the team to have permanently employed staff. It may, in these circumstances, be more appropriate to scale up the team at the right time to deliver specific projects. However, teams are resourced and composed, they must be available at the right time and in the right configuration to support the successful delivery of the project.

1.3 The Construction Capability Assessment Tool helps client organisations assess their capability and capacity both in terms of what they are established for and what they will require to deliver a specific project.

1.4 The specific skills and expertise required to deliver a project are discussed in Chapter Three of Project Initiation and Business Case Handbook – Client Team Roles and Responsibilities. A key member of a client project team will be the client advisor, this person will be a construction professional with experience of delivering public sector construction projects. This is a critical role that must be established at the very earliest stage of the project.


2.1 The Construction Capability Assessment Tool has been devised as a self-assessment tool for contracting authorities who procure construction projects. It does this by methodically looking at the various facets of a project and what the client will need to deliver it. It has been designed to encourage reflection and discussion regarding the resources, skills and expertise an organisation currently has for managing construction projects and whether that resource is appropriate for delivering specific projects. It should be used both generally and as part of preparation for the conduct of specific projects.

2.2 The CCAT is not a comparison tool; it is not scored; and does not require to be submitted to the Scottish Government. This tool will help your organisation objectively identify and enable planning for the expertise and resources that need to be in place at the right time to support the delivery of construction projects.

2.3 Some organisations regularly procure construction projects of a complex natures. Others seldomly deliver construction projects. The Construction Capability Assessment tool has been designed for the use of any organisation that delivers construction projects, regardless of their frequency, scale or nature.

2.3 The CCAT links in to the Client Guide to Construction Projects, Construction Policy Notes (CPNs) and Scottish Procurement Policy Notes (SPPNs).

What it is

3.1 The CCAT consists of sixty-five questions in six separate sections. These sections are:

  • Project Management
  • Fair Work and Fair Payment
  • Project and Quality Assurance
  • Sustainability and Community Benefits
  • Procurement Strategy
  • Continuous Improvement

3.2 Instructions on how to use the guide is contained in the introduction to the CCAT. The questions consist of a mixture of closed and leading questions and columns to record actions, further information requirements and conclusions drawn from the analysis.

3.3 As the CCAT is a self-evaluation tool, consequently there is no requirement for it to be submitted to the Scottish Government. Feedback on the form and structure of the process from users will, though, be gratefully received and used to ensure that the CCAT is up-to-date and reflects the needs of users.

When to use it

4.1 The completed CCAT should be maintained as a dynamic document updated as required, for example when circumstances change or a project is about to be commenced. An organisation’s CCAT should be managed and regularly updated to ensure that the learning from it can be applied at short notice if required. We suggest that it should be checked on a quarterly basis to ensure that it does not contain information that is more than twelve months old. It is also applicable at various organisational levels from strategic to delivery. This should help ensure that the appropriate policies are in place along with a staffing resource appropriate to the size of the organisation.

4.2 It should also be used prior to starting any new project either by updating an existing analysis or as a new CCAT assessment. In both cases, the focus would be on the project delivery rather than the wider organisation.

Project Assurance

5.1 Project Assurance teams (e.g., Gateway Review Teams) may benefit from sight of the completed CCAT prior to conduct of reviews to understand how teams have been put together for projects, in particular the proactive, objective and structured process for doing so.

CCAT Template

6.1 The CCAT template along with advice and guidance on the delivery of construction projects is available, on request, from the Construction Procurement Policy Unit



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