Public Private Partnerships - PPP's: Implications from Policy Changes for Practice in Managing Risks"

Authors:WuJiin, Henry Liu, MCSing, Richard Humphrey, JianFeng Zhao

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have been widely used to develop infrastructure systems since the 1980s. However, they are currently being plagued with controversy, as some of the projects were subject to substantial cost/time overrun and/or poor service quality. Essentially, a variety of risks can contribute to the failure of PPPs (e.g., political, legal and commercial risks); therefore, identifying and assessing risky factors plays a decisive role during PPP risk management process. Notably, implementations of PPPs in developing countries are normally subject to higher legal risks, owing to immature regulatory systems. With this in mind, this paper conducts a case study of China’s institutional arrangements for PPPs, aiming to not only identify and assessing the risks resulting from local legal practices. Impacts of the identified risk factors on PPP initiation and implementation are interpreted by using an analytical technique of Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) view below. The CLDs developed in this study are theoretical significant and practical, as they can provide private entities of PPPs with a clear and useful insight into deriving appropriate strategies to hedge legal risks and enabling effective planning for infrastructure development in developing countries.

Professional Awards

Congratulations to:

Karolina Koubar MCIOB

Ananda Jayasinghe MCIOB

Who were both awarded Chartered status with the Chartered Institute of Building CIOB, via our Professional Review service successfully achieved and can proudly use post nominals MCIOB and the designation of “Chartered Construction Manager” , we are delighted to have helped both in their route towards achievement of this prestigous designation and recognition of their sugnificant professional experience, skills and competence. Well done again !

Achievements to share

Congratulations to Rodger Temple, Mark Shackley and Gareth Collins in achieving MCIOB Chartered Construction Manager status via our end to end CIOB “Chartered Membership Programme”

Other more recent successes have been attained as Martinez Montrose, Ananda Jayasinghe, Russ Parks, Gary Singleton and Michael Cairns passed their “Chartered Membership Programme” examinations and are currently working towards future successful attainment of “Chartered Construction Manager” status via our Professional Review service provision.

This further supports our 100% strike rate and successful outcomes with examination and Professional Review candidates.

How to Develop Skills, Competences and Confidence - My Story . . .

“Being a member of a Professional Body and Holding a Professional Qualification can bring an estimated lifetime benefit of £152k to an individual, compared to those without Professional Qualifications”

Quote from CIOB “Understanding the Value of Professional Qualifications and Professional Bodies Report (CIOB 2015)


My story . . .

I became interested in construction at around 13 years old watching my father with home improvements, and when I was a few years older, I started to take a deeper interest in his trade(Bricklayer), and thanks to his encouragement my career path started to evolve and my family supported me when I later studied Building Construction for 5 years, which then inspired me to want to become MCIOB; and following some successful grades and gaining employment, my aim was to gain Chartered status with CIOB; however due to procrastination on my part and lack of inspiration and support from a previous employer I did not pursue this.
When I sourced Constructing Professionals Ltd (Richard Humphrey FCIOB), in 2016 I quickly realised this was the best move to date in my career progression; and the guidance and support provided with bespoke 1-2-1 training excellent resources and learning materials really made me feel at ease and confidence grew to the point where I achieved great results at the 10-day open book examinations in June 2017.
The approach and style of preparing me, for the examination was so good I didn’t realise it was happening.
Following that I was prepared for the Professional Review, which again provided the result of being awarded MCIOB “Chartered Construction Manager” status in February 2018, the buzz and confidence boost from the journey and this outstanding outcome has provided me with a calm and professional confidence I never had before of which colleagues and associates have commented on the change and my professional approach, clients respect my Professional status, and this supports my personal profile and employer’s opportunities for growth.


Andrew J Mason MCIOB
Chartered Construction Manager

Success Stories . . .

We are proud to announce and offer congratulations on signifcant successes in recent CIOB Chartered Membership Programme examinations:

Stephen R Morrison

John Edward Davison

Both achieved distinctions and have converted that into further achievements by succesful submission to the Professional Review panel and being awarded MCIOB Chartred  Construction Manager status, looks quite different.


Stephen R Morrison MCIOB

Chartered Construction Manager

John Edward Davison MCIOB

Chartered Construction Manager


We are proud to share this and also that they are both success stories from Constructing Professionals Ltd – Professional Development Programmes – The key to success.

Refurbishment & Maintenance of Buildings

This is a really good case study, an even better Professionally created and presented short documentary on the subject, by some fabulous young Professionals and future Leaders of our Industry.

“Its the balance to the challenging debate on Future Leaders blog  . . .”

A must view opportunity . . .




Developing Future Leaders Discussion

Developing leaders of the future; “a few thoughts to stimulate debate”


I read an article some time ago and whilst with a great deal of interest, I also held quite a degree more of cynicism than the author on some of the subject matter touched upon, the theme of which suggested;

“It’s time to ask ourselves some awkward questions: are older leaders up to the job of reinventing businesses and customer experiences?
Here are the three characteristics the “high-potential leader” must possess

This is a key, core question as well as an awkward question on the future of leadership.

After I read the article I reflected on my personal experience and interaction with aspiring and future leaders of this generation. I have consistently noticed how many of future leaders who proclaim their ambitions overtly fancy their chances at leading large organisations. From my past and current roles as a long serving practitioner in industry as well as academia and education, may I suggest that to achieve this ambition they require more than “the skills” alone.

Positive, appropriate, and relevant behaviours strike me as a primary requisite, and hopefully without being too generalist or stereotypical at this stage, I have yet to bear witness to the positive leadership behaviours on a wider scale they state that they value actually being demonstrated by them.

From extensive and varied interactions across face to face training, lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences as well as formal and informal operating and meeting environments, and a proven track record of successful outcomes in leadership environments(“so I’m reliably informed” – some humility here),both in the UK and internationally I offer the following thoughts based on my observations:

1. Their level of understanding – this is quite good since they read, network, and social media interact until their eyes and thumbs bleed; so, knowledge is to be expected.

2. Their requirements, values, and expectations – When questioned and /or engaged and involved in research and interactive forums they most often hold what many would call “traditional” values, behaviours, and traits. Often saying that “Emotional Intelligence” and strong will as well many more recognised leadership competencies and behaviours being high on their lists.

3. Their application and the impact of technological advancement – this is where it becomes more interesting and intriguing and many of these future leaders suggest that those traditional values they hold so high up their list are rapidly diminishing and perhaps even becoming extinct.
“None of the above!”
This may seem extreme but it could be that the human behaviour based/ humanistic approach to leadership is becoming extinct – like the dinosaurs before it; some of these aspiring leaders even say, like some of those old leaders that they compare to those dinosaurs (who couldn’t do it but wrote very clearly about it!)
How and why is this happening?

The age of the powerful handheld mobile computer is in full play – text speak, social media platforms and all its formats, false news nightmares, LinkedIn de-professionalisation to name but a few. Many of these are used for the wrong reasons and to negative effect by the current generation and by future aspiring leaders. The speed and degree of their “Interconnectivity” is seemingly more important than interaction on a human and interpersonal scale (despite some small pockets of resentment at the loss of human interactions here and there).

Take a for instance; I have asked them questions on what leaders possess, what they want from and how they value leadership and their role models and I most often simply get responses that fit the usual criteria such as emotional intelligence …crucially, this is proffered by them as they stare into their smart phones and tablets. They consistently dis-engage in lectures (if/when they attend), workshops, conferences appearing unaware of what is happening round them. What interests them more is in keeping up to date with social media and others downfall – that seems to be more important. There is growing pressure in the higher education system as there are more reactions of criticism at the facilitator or medium and then look at ways to demand their money back or for another chance to engage because…Well, they were so busy.

A further significant point to note is regarding business Start-ups fresh from the university schools of entrepreneurship, who portray themselves as already on the Richard Branson and Alan Sugar trail to stardom, before even a month of their business registration is counted down. Have we become guilty of “over-inspiring” and creating models for failure? Or, are we actually creating aspirations with significant substance and resources in support to enable success? The latter would seem to be more appropriate and required in the current social-economic climate.

Reflecting upon the above experiences, I also considered what the theorists and great leaders of our time may do to address this… and it may be look towards tried, tested and trusted outcomes. I had a quick thought to suggest a simple equation that may help, in some small way, to help move this discussion to a different level or in a different direction.

Einstein in his Theory of Relativity created:

E=MC2 (Energy = Mass x speed of light squared)

My suggestion (for leadership):

L=EV2 (Leadership = Engagement x Visibility squared)

I hope that’s a useful perspective…then again, I may be classed as something of a dinosaur by future leaders…

Comments encouraged . . .

"BIM - A thought, or two . . ."



David E Morton BA(Hons) Arch. B.Arch(Hons) Dip.PPM Dip.Hsg. MSc. Urban UDG CIAT ARB RIBA PGCertAPL FHEA
Associate Professor Northumbria University Newcastle.

Richard Humphrey FCIOB, FCMI, FIoD, FinstLM, PGCertAPL, FHEA
Managing Director “Constructing Professionals Ltd”,visiting Industry Teaching Fellow Northumbria University; and Visiting Lecturer Salford University.

The impact of CAD on the construction world was huge; it allowed the accurate realisation of the brief through the Architects design, drawn in a format that allowed each design team member to take a slice of the design cake and serve it up into a different dish. The key here is that the information is from the same source. It is, hopefully, not replicated but used from the original GA drawings for other parties to embellish with further useful and user friendly constructional information. However, this is a perfect world scenario and the “real world” version of this is more akin to “A mad hatters tea party” where the original cake (architects drawings) is served up without checking who or what each design team member “really” needs. The end result is often a mixed bag of information that requires each design team member to disassemble the in formation they have been given and more often than not redraw some information in order to complete their own work packages. As the mad hatter surveys his rather messy table, with cake, tea and biscuits now mashed into the cakes… the contractor surveys his working packages wondering why items simply don’t fit together.

Enter stage left BIM, the saviour of this rather messy tea party; it is the holistic cake that will stand proudly at centre table from which everyone around it will be served.
Both the architectural and construction industry is undergoing a significant shift away from the use of two-dimensional CAD for design and towards three-dimensional, data rich, digital models. This type of approach is referred to as Building Information Modelling (BIM), is being used in some form by an increasing sector of the construction industry. A survey by McGraw Hill Construction found that in 2008, 45% of architects, engineers, contractors and building owners surveyed used BIM on 30% or more of their projects. That was almost ten years ago, so what’s happened during this time? Has the usage of BIM increased as was forecast? It has grown, but by how much? And will it to continue growing sharply in the coming years?
There lies the challenge for us all. As an industry we rely heavily on collaboration to achieve our common and communal goals, to build buildings to time and budget that are designed to meet a quality and enrich those that use them.

Remember BIM is not a tool but a process and we should not become software snobs akin to those who frequent coffee shops with certain well known “fruit” hanging on the back on their laptops. The main challenge that faces SME’s in the construction industry is to use the BIM tools more effectively. BIM is most definitely NOT the new CAD.

The fundamentals of effective bid writing

Evaluation of bids for work can often be based on price or lowest cost only but many procuring employers, particularly public sector organisations or those with a public sector ethos, ask for substantial amounts of other information for you to demonstrate your abilities and experience as part of the tender. Here are some top tips from CP Ltd to remember when putting your bid together:

Assess what chance you have of winning – A common approach to assessing bids is for employers to have a scoring matrix. This lists their key criteria for projects. They may have statements across the matrix that they will compare your submission to. The closer the bid you submit comes to the statement in their grid then that is the score you will be assigned. If some criteria are very important to them they then weight the criteria. Study the evaluation criteria and ask where it is not clear . It is important to put effort into addressing each criteria or point as fully as possible.

There is no silver bullet or magic formula to writing a successful bid – aim to:

Follow the basics; Be truthful and succinct; Break down requests into manageable bite-sized pieces; Spread the load

Plan what you are going to do – discuss and write down on a plan of bid actions what is to be completed.

Use the support available from the procuring organisation – particularly public sector procurers are driven towards transparency in decision making and are governed by procurement rules and they need you to deliver against the objectives and targets that they have. They will not support local communities, build skills or refurbish needed facilities. They need you for this. Use them to help you understand the bidding and procurement process, put your response together and make sense of their procedures. Use their skills to help you.

Resourcing and proving ability to deliver – Where will you deliver this service? How will you deliver it? You must be clear on the resources to deliver the project for staffing and inputs. When will this project start and end?

Show clear project management –  who, within the organisation, can drive the project forward. The person leading a project is crucial to the success of the project. Ownership from an early stage (even when bidding) leads to more effective projects. You must develop implementation strategies and consider a project plan, timetable and potential outputs. It is important that monitoring issues are considered at the earliest point.

Understand the procuring organisation / employer and your alignment – You  should strive to understand why the client is procuring and how you can help them meet their objectives. For example, if the aim is “to decrease social isolation within disadvantaged communities‟, you have to ensure that this information is within the answers that you offer to their questions. Consider setting SMART objectives for your responses.

Specific – You must be able to clearly define your objectives that you want to achieve. Measurable – You should be able to measure whether you are making progress and meeting the objectives or not. Achievable – Are the objectives you set achievable and attainable? Realistic – Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have? Time – You should have a time-frame within which you will achieve the set objectives. The client needs to have confidence in the bidder and that you have credibility. Demonstrate that you learn from what works elsewhere and bring some of these ideas to bear on their project. Can you show that you have done this?

Build and show a strong partnership approach – Select, approach and work with partners that complement your skills and experience. Work with others who add value to your bid. Partnership working has been the watchword of the public sector for some years. A substantially increased emphasis on social enterprise and social value impacts now underpins much policy development and has widespread cross-party support. At the same time, partnership working in practice is difficult – aim to show the benefits of collaborative advantage.

Be clear and use Plain English and graphics –  You must be clear and concise. Avoid as far as possible the use of jargon. You must express yourself succinctly.  For example, write ”We aim to help‟ and not ”We believe that our work will help”. You should use one word instead of four and use short sentences. (Have pity on the person reading these bids!) You should be enthusiastic and persuasive. The term AIDA is often used. This means that you will:  Attract – attract the reader’s attention;  Interest – create interest in your project; Desire -make the reader desire to help; and Action – inspire action).

Exploit chances you have to stand out from the crowd – Many projects have a real opportunity to do this because each one of them is trying to do something that is inspirational and worthwhile. The challenge is to make it jump off the page or roll off the tongue in a way that proves to be irresistible. This is easier said than done. All projects can describe what activities they are proposing and what facilities they are building, but is this really irresistible? Will this jump out at someone reading through the hundredth proposition? Probably not. So here are some further tips for building your story; for making the mundane magical; for lighting a little flame of curiosity in the mind of the reader.

Don’t slip up – do what you are told! – do not presume to know better than the employer/client. Do what you are asked to do in the Invitation to Tender guidance. Submit in the format requested (electronically? Paper? Or both?) All the documentation requested must be enclosed. The structure and layouts are often prescriptive so be sure to follow the guidance. Give yourself time to plan.

The deadline must be met! Deadline dates and time are absolutes; failure to submit on time will mean your bid is rejected. With regard to Appendices and additional documents people often ask whether they should add other documents such as: Business Plan, pictures or brochures. As stated above, you should do as you are told but unless specific items are requested don’t send anything in.

There may be a possibility of supplying further detail after your bid is submitted so just get it in on time.

Farmer Review gaining traction

It’s now 5 months since Mark Farmer published his comprehensive review of the Construction sector model “ Modernise or Die” and it appears his recommendations are already having an impact on Government policy and sector plans but is it clear in what ways?

Here CP Ltd provide a quick perspective to help de- mystify some of the issues from what we consider to be one of the most profound, independent reports into the current state and potential future of construction in recent times.

1.Fixing the Broken Housing Market: the Housing White Paper( February 2017) – UK Government seriously considered some of the key recommendations including :

The Farmer Review sets out several challenges for industry. The White paper states this is “an important moment and we should make the most of the opportunity for industry to invest in its workforce, alongside tackling the issues raised by the Farmer Review”. The larger companies need to take responsibility for ensuring that they have a sustainable supply chain, working with contractors to address skills requirements.

Government recognises that the housebuilding industry is less productive than the wider economy, partly because it has been slow to modernise and make use of more efficient and faster ways of building. By increasing innovation and making greater use of modern methods of construction. The Review backed a revolution in making new homes in factories and then assembling them on site, as a way of speeding up construction and also to ease a skills crisis by offering more attractive, warmer jobs more to do with precision engineering than traditional building roles.

2.Impact on providers and the market –  large scale providers are now actively seeking different delivery models that the Farmer report suggested were the industry’s real untapped opportunity. From late 2016 there were various announcements regarding new players entering the market using innovative delivery models at a scale not seen before – and that trend is continuing into 2017 supported by government housing and industry strategy policies and increasing international interest in the UK pre-manufactured construction opportunities.

3.Training and skills development – a trend of decline in skilled labour, exacerbated in every downturn by an acceleration of industry labour leakage which has not been replaced . Training in construction is difficult concept as the self-employed nature of much of it and the reliance on a fragmented supply chain mean there’s little incentive for subcontractors to invest in long term employee development. The government has recognised the scale of the problem and is now actively looking for solutions. Farmer is working with the Construction Leadership Council, at the request of ministers Brandon Lewis and Nick Boles, to draw up an action plan to explore potential new business models which address both skills shortages and methods of working that hopefully will lead to more workers entering to the industry whilst also making it more productive.

4.Collaboration & Building Information Modelling(BIM) – Farmer argued that to enable change at scale, the private sector needs to start using BIM as a matter of course, not as an experiment or a “nice to have”, but driven by a quantifiable benefits case that hard-nosed and commercially driven commissioning clients can get comfortable with and who will then will insist on this approach on their projects which others will then take notice of.  The impact of BIM is still fragmented with many still pointing to the technical benefits of BIM as a collaborative tool almost as a panacea. In many instances ‘BIM’ is in reality various partial “Revit” or other software models being developed around a project and then being badged as ‘BIM’ despite no discernible impact on procurement, cost management, risk management, or contract payment practices. The truly collaborative inter-disciplinary, inter-company working with a fragmented Design/Main Contractor/Sub-Contractor model is just too unattractive to clients who want to achieve value for money – the fundamental contractual structures and behavioural inertia in many organisations still needs to be tackled.

5.Developing a Modern Industrial Strategy Green Paper (January 2017) – the UK Government published this discussion paper after the Brexit vote in an aim to build an industrial strategy that delivers a high-skilled, competitive economy that benefits people throughout the UK as whilst many people, places and businesses are thriving, opportunities and growth are still spread unevenly across the country. This modern industrial strategy is proposed to be founded on 10 pillars of Industry many of which chime with the Farmer Review recommendations including:

  • Developing skills – we must help people and businesses to thrive by: ensuring everyone has the basic skills needed in a modern economy; building a new system of technical education to benefit the half of young people who do not go to university; boosting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills, digital skills and numeracy; and by raising skill levels in lagging areas.
  • Improving procurement – we must use strategic government procurement to drive innovation and enable the development of UK supply chains

The full impact of these and other aspects of Farmer’s recommendations will take more time to become clear. CP Ltd will provide updated perspectives on these key issues as they develop.

We hope you found this post useful and in addition we at CP Ltd can help you build your skill base and provide coaching and guidance on collaboration, leadership and partnership working in line with the Farmer recommendations. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help you and your organisation.