The new Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) was launched in 2014 by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, providing for the online registration of construction contractors. The objective of CIRI is to provide an on-line register that procuring authorities, construction professionals and the public can search to find experienced and competent construction contractors that meet certain minimum eligibility requirements.
The launch of CIRI followed significant changes introduced under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (the “2014 Regulations”) and reflects the Government’s commitment to reforming the construction sector in Ireland in the wake of numerous high profile cases concerning defective buildings. Under the 2014 Regulations, building owners who commission works to which the 2014 Regulations apply, have an obligation to appoint competent builders, designers and assigned certifiers. The launch of CIRI offers a level of comfort for building owners given that only those that pass strict vetting procedures are permitted to enter the register.
CIRI covers 39 distinct categories of activity and can be accessed at www.ciri.ie.
The register is operated by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). Initially registration is on a voluntary basis, but the Government has indicated that CIRI will be placed on a statutory footing in 2015. In order to register on CIRI, a construction contractor must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- adhere to an industry code of ethics and commitments;
- demonstrate that they have construction competence and experience generally for a period of no less than 3 years;
- submit their current tax clearance certificate;
- have knowledge of building practice, building regulations and regulatory obligations;
- commit to on-going training and development so that membership can be maintained and renewed;
- demonstrate that they have the relevant insurance policies in place; and
- undertake an induction training course.
The application process is overseen by the Construction Industry Registration Board (CIRB), who assess the eligibility of an applicant for listing on CIRI. Crucially, registration is not a once off process and all members of CIRI are required to renew their membership on an annual basis. This is a welcome protective measure that will help ensure that industry standards are being maintained. In relation to timing, we understand that applications for admission to CIRI can take on average between 6-8 weeks to be processed.
Currently, 505 entities have registered with CIRI, including main contractors, sub-contractors and sole traders across a range of disciplines in the sector. Upon being placed on a statutory basis, it is expected that in excess of 2,000 entries will be listed on CIRI. The expectation of the CIF is that “over time, the CIRI website will become the main resource for anyone who is looking to engage a construction company or sole trader for work”. The launch of CIRI marks another significant milestone in the creation of a more robust construction sector and will be an invaluable resource to anyone looking to engage construction contractors.