Last edited 08 Oct 2020

Common minimum standards

'Government Construction: Common Minimum Standards for procurement of the built environments in the public sector' is generally referred to as the Common Minimum Standards (CMS), although the Government Construction Strategy proposes that it should be renamed the Government Construction Standards.

The CMS can be downloaded in full from the website.

The CMS summarises existing government policy on construction. It states that central government construction projects (including departments, executive agencies and the non-departmental public bodies for which they are responsible) should be carried out '…with full reference to the CMS'. Where public projects have been devolved to the wider public sector, reasonable measures should be taken to ensure that the CMS are adopted.

The CMS is quite short at just 17 pages. It includes guidance on:

Before the CMS was published, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) produced a great deal of guidance about best practice in procurement and project management. OGC has now been absorbed into the Cabinet Office, and OGC guidance has been archived, however, much of the guidance in the CMS mirrors the procedures set out in the OGC Gateway Review Process, and OGC guidance is referenced in the CMS.

Similarities between the OGC Gateway Review process and the CMS include:

The CMS also includes references to:

The CMS is updated regularly and includes details of progress made in key areas.

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