- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 29 Mar 2021
Constructionline was launched by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) in 1998 to reduce the administrative burden of the pre-qualification process. It was set up as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), owned by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) but operated by Capita Plc under a concession agreement.
Pre-qualification involves assessing the level of experience, capacity and financial standing of potential suppliers, enabling clients to produce a short list of suppliers that are likely to be most appropriate for their particular project. This saves time for potential tenderers who would not have a realistic chance of winning the contract and saves time for the client meaning they do not have to process inappropriate tenders.
Constructionline was created to provide a single site for the collection of standard pre-qualification data by suppliers. This reduces duplication of effort, meaning that suppliers do not have to continually prepare the same information for different clients in slightly different ways. Instead, supplier data is collected and validated annually, and entered onto a register of pre-qualified suppliers for construction contracts. Suppliers pay an annual fee for this service.
In 2009, Sir Michael Latham said "Constructionline has continued to play a vital role in improving and simplifying the PQQ (pre-qualification questionnaire) process… to provide a critical business improvement tool." In 2014, Constructionline included more than 22,000 suppliers and 8,000 buyers.
However, on 15 July 2014, at the end of the latest concession agreement, BIS announced it intended to sell Constructionline. Ref BIS, Government sale to help Constructionline exploit growing markets. 15 July 2014.
A BIS spokesperson said; "Constructionline offers valuable services to the construction industry, particularly small and medium sized businesses. It has grown significantly under government ownership, and now is the time to enable it to expand further to meet the needs of a changing industry. Gaining access to private capital will enable Constructionline to become even more competitive and branch out into new markets. Bids will be welcomed from buyers who plan to grow the services provided by Constructionline."
Constructionline was subsequently purchased from the government by Capita in 2015 for £35 million. But in January 2018, following the liquidation of Carillion and a profit warning from Capita, Constructionline was again put up for sale.
Capita Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Lewis said; “An immediate priority is to strengthen the balance sheet through a combination of cost savings, non-core disposals and new equity. We have identified a small number of quality businesses that do not fit with our core skills for which there will be better owners and a process to maximise value will commence shortly.”
In June 2018, private equity investor Warburg Pincus purchased Constructionline for £160m.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Capita plc.
- Tender process.
- PAS 91.
- Pre-qualification questionnaire.
- Pre-qualification standard 2021.
 External references
- Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Government sale to help Constructionline exploit growing markets. 15 July 2014
Featured articles and news
A definitive book on a pioneer of green architecture.
Using heritage as a catalyst for reviving historic centres.
Declaration prioritising sustainable urbanisation adopted.
Some brief words about the actuator.
After 34 years at the Institute.
To support the next generation of engineers.
CIAT reporting from the Competition and Markets Authority.
Making sustainable construction number one priority.
Interview with ECA CEO.
Many provisions came into force on June 28, 2022.
With room to expand.
Refurbishment, Energy Efficiency, Indoor air and process.
Why building acoustic considerations must be non-negotiable.
Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) is one example.
Inventors and innovators at ICE.
Life, death and art at the Stuart court. Book review.
Real estate, place adaptation and innovation.
Review and comment on the revised draft before July 11.
Write about something you know, help us build and grow !
A blended event and triumphant return.
Mark Reynolds succeeds Andy Mitchell as Co-Chair of CLC
Designing Buildings is 10 years old.
From alteration to deconstruction on DB.