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The Team Has Grown!

We are delighted to announce that the PDSI Group has had a little growth spurt!

In the past few months we have welcomed on board 5 new members of staff to the PDSI & Initiate Teams.

Good luck & welcome to the team everyone.

PDSI Group Maintains Cyber Essentials Certificate for the 4th Year Running


Great news for the PDSI group of companies – Initiate Consulting Ltd, Profile Construction Consultants Ltd, JS Projects Ltd & Queensborough Project Management Ltd – we are pleased to report that we have achieved the Cyber Essentials certification for the whole Group again for the 4th year running

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a simple but effective, Government backed scheme that will help you to protect your organisation, whatever its size, against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks.

Cyber attacks come in many shapes and sizes, but the vast majority are very basic in nature, carried out by relatively unskilled individuals. They’re the digital equivalent of a thief trying your front door to see if it’s unlocked. The advice given to achieve certification is designed to prevent these attacks.

Certification gives you peace of mind that your defences will protect against the vast majority of common cyber attacks simply because these attacks are looking for targets which do not have the Cyber Essentials technical controls in place.

Well done to the PDSI Team, and thank you to The NCC Group and The IASME Consortium for helping us to be Cyber Safe for another year 👏💙

PDSI Group Cyber Essentials 2021 Cert

PDSI Cyber Essentials 2021 Certificate

Profile are Recruiting – Associate Director Delay Expert

Profile Construction Consultants are seeking to appoint an Associate Director Delay Expert to join its growing team.

Lead the specialist delay and quantum business stream, initially as Associate Director with potential to join the board subject to performance. You will be expected to build and manage your own fee work together with the existing team.

See attached for more information and send your CV to if you are interested.

Associate Director Delay Expert Position


Programme & Project Management, Controls and Project Recovery

PDSI Group is an independent privately owned Construction and Infrastructure Consultancy specialising in programme and project management, PMO management, project controls, cost planning and cost management, forensic planning, project turnaround and management of the systems engineering lifecycle. The quality of service that we provide, and our successful delivery of outcomes is underpinned by our market leading director led assignments. We achieve this through a collaboration focussed on stand-alone client facing assignments. Our drive to establish long lasting improvements and success in fast changing and uncertain environments, is embedded in our DNA. This is reflected in our behaviours and unrivalled commitment to continually enhance outcomes for our clients and all those we work with.

Read on to learn more about our Programme & Project Management, Controls and Project Recovery services and contact Graeme Jakins, our Director of Programme Management for further information –

PDSI Programme Management Controls and Project Recovery

Profile Welcomes Lourdes Aboard!

We are pleased to welcome Lourdes Medina to the Profile team!

We are delighted to have Lourdes on board, joining the team based in our Spanish office.

She joins the team as an Administration Assistant and will be helping out the UK office of Profile too.

Well done Lourdes, good luck & welcome to the team.

Profile are Recruiting – Assistant Claims Consultant

Profile Construction Consultants are seeking to appoint a junior to mid level claims consultant to join its growing contractual services team based in West Malling, Kent.

The role would ideally suit a postgraduate or junior construction professional seeking a career in the claims and dispute resolution sector.

See attached for more information and send your CV to if you are interested.

Assistant Claims Consultant role - March 2021



Initiate Consulting proudly welcomes back Richard Golding as their new Director of Rail

Initiate Consulting proudly welcomes back Richard Golding as their new Director of Rail

Richard re-joins Initiate as their Director of Rail. He brings with him over 40 years’ experience of the UK and overseas rail and construction industry with extensive Assurance, Project and Commercial management. He has strong specialist knowledge in railways, railway regulatory funding and financing, urban regeneration, business case analysis and preparation.

Richard, who has a comprehensive specialist rail background, was most recently a Director in the rail sector at Gleeds, and before the short time with Initiate as their UK Rail Account Director, he was the Project Director at Mott MacDonald responsible for rail, highway, aviation and light rail transit, having previously been at Network Rail as their Head of Strategy and at Railtrack as their Asset Manager/Head of Sponsorship.

Richard said: “I am delighted and excited to have re-joined Initiate Consulting whom I have know since c2005 and worked with in 2016 on the LUL and Crossrail Stations Joint Delivery Partner team.”

Ian Lumsden, Managing Director at Initiate, said: “We are immensely pleased that Richard chose to come back to Initiate after his time at Gleeds, Initiate is growing rapidly in infrastructure and related areas and Richard will reinforce that growth in the rail sector where he is highly regarded.”

Survey reveals persistence of IR35 ignorance but Initiate is prepared

IR35 changes will impact how the industry works but Initiate and the PDSI Group have been researching this for 12 months in preparation and we are confident we are ready.

The IR35 rules govern the tax status of an individual working as a contractor (or freelancer) and whether, for taxation purposes, they ought to be deemed an employee on the payroll. Businesses that fail to exercise reasonable care in determining the IR35 tax status of a contractor could face significant fines.

Recruitment firm Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering (CPE) conducted a survey of 204 medium and large UK construction businesses in the first two weeks of November.

It found that 26% remain totally unaware of the upcoming IR35 changes and their consequences. Fewer than half (44%) are aware that they need to prepare for these changes or are currently part way through this process.

Only 30% have a plan already in place.

Originally set to come into effect from April 2020, the implementation of IR35 legislation changes was postponed until 6th April 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The changes mean that medium and large businesses in the UK will be responsible for determining whether IR35 rules apply to those working for them as contractors, whereas previously the individual contractor was responsible for making this decision.

Only 24% said that they have understood the government’s IR35 guidelines – 76% admitted to being not up-to-speed or still having outstanding questions.

Randstad CPE managing director Owen Goodhead said: “Worryingly, despite having an extra 12 months to prepare, our latest findings reveal that the majority of construction businesses aren’t ready for changes to IR35. Tax regime changes are likely to have fallen on the backburner given the upheaval generated by Covid-19, with survival mode kicking in for many. But these changes will have a deep impact on recruitment and HR processes and operations, with the need for in-depth stakeholder training and deployment of new management tools.”

The construction sector has a heavy reliance on contract workers, 98% of firms questioned in this survey reported using them, so the impact of the changes in April is set to be wide-ranging.

Owen Goodhead continued: “It is still possible to prepare for IR35, but businesses need to act urgently, to start impact assessments and seek high quality advice. To put things into perspective, offers made to contractors now on the basis of a six-month contract will last beyond the 6th April 2021 and will therefore be in scope. This means the onus will be on the employer to determine the IR35 status of contractors and exercise reasonable care in doing so.”

Is your business prepared for upcoming changes to IR35 in April 2021? (%)

  • We aren’t aware of what the IR35 changes are or their impact 26%
  • We haven’t started our preparations for IR35 yet, but will be doing so 18%
  • We have started preparations for IR35 changes, but we aren’t there yet 26%
  • The business is prepared for the changes and has a plan in place 30%

Do you feel that your business can cope with additional costs as a result of IR35? (%)

  • Unsure, as I don’t know what the additional costs might amount to 43%
  • No, I don’t foresee any additional costs 13%
  • No, in the current climate we will struggle 19%
  • Yes, we have assessed the costs and have sufficient resource 25%

Further reading:

IR35 changes confirmed for April 2021:Will Clayton, employment partner at Constantine Law, explains the implications.

Got a story? Email


PDSI Welcomes Jenna Aboard!

We are pleased to Welcome Jenna Alderson to the PDSI Team.

We are delighted to have Jenna on board, joining us as Terry Chapman’s Executive Assistant.

She brings with her a wealth of experience and in these unprecedented times, has hit the ground running.

Well Done Jenna & Welcome to the Team!

SafeContractor & SafePQQ Accreditations

We are building a better working world for everyone. One that’s safer, healthier and stronger.

Profile Construction Consultants are pleased to announce that they have received their accreditation for SafeContractor and SafePQQ for another year.

Having first joined Exor, now renamed Alcumus SafeContractor in 2013, Profile are delighted to be entering into their 7th year of membership with the UK’s leading health and safety accreditation scheme.

SafeContractor delivers a tailored health and safety accreditation allowing contractors to showcase their capabilities to potential customers. By gaining their SafeContractor accreditation and SafePQQ verification, Profile’s demonstrates their commitment to sustainable and ethical practices.

Well done from us all at PDSI.

Congratulations Profile – 2 New Director Promotions

Profile Construction Consultants are pleased to announce that two of their Associate Directors, Richard Begbey & Miguel Montesinos, have been promoted this month to Directors.

Miguel joined the company nearly 7 years ago and has been running the Spanish office since 2016. He is a civil planner and engineer, has been heavily involved with Crossrail projects and is now heading up our BIM services with the assistance of his team.

Richard joined the company just over a year ago and heads our Delay Claims Department. He provides support services ranging from dispute avoidance, mediation & resolution to quantification of disruption and quantum claims.

Congratulations from everyone in the PDSI Group – Well deserved.

PDSI Group Maintains Cyber Essentials Certificate for the 3rd Year Running

We are pleased to report that we have achieved the Cyber Essentials certification again without any non-conformities for the 3rd year running.

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a simple but effective, Government backed scheme that will help you to protect your organisation, whatever its size, against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks.

Cyber attacks come in many shapes and sizes, but the vast majority are very basic in nature, carried out by relatively unskilled individuals. They’re the digital equivalent of a thief trying your front door to see if it’s unlocked. The advice given to achieve certification is designed to prevent these attacks.

Certification gives you peace of mind that your defences will protect against the vast majority of common cyber attacks simply because these attacks are looking for targets which do not have the Cyber Essentials technical controls in place.

Well done to the PDSI Team!

PDSI Group Cyber Essentials 2020 Cert

Newly Qualified – Construction Logistics Planning Practitioner

We are proud to announce that Kamal Ahmad, Assistant Project Manager at the PDSI Construction Consultants Group of Companies, has recently been accredited with the Construction Logistics Planning Practitioner Certificate and now able to provide Outline and Detailed CLP’s for our clients.

The Construction Logistics Planning (CLP), has been developed to reduce the volume and impact of construction road freight and the associated issues of safety, congestion and air quality, will provide planning authorities with all the details of expected logistics activities during the construction project and signifies the commitment of developers at the planning stage, and through their subsequent development.

Purpose & benefits of a CLP:

  • To consider the logistical impacts of proposed developments
  • Reduce environmental impact, road risk and congestion
  • Raise safety standards and enhanced site efficiency
  • Promote more cost-effective construction logistics activity
  • Provide scope for the use of more sustainable modes of transport
  • Use for evidence in meeting planning requirements

This industry-led accreditation has provided our group with the expertise to allow us to deliver both outline and detailed CLP’s for planning, construction stages and complex construction routing strategies, enabling us to provide a first-class professional service.

We support clients, contractors, materials suppliers, waste contractors with vehicle and logistics planning and management to achieve ‘best in class’ reduction in vehicle movements, enhanced site efficiency, improved profits and compliance with increasing legislation required through their planning applications.

Whether you need a simple or a comprehensive CLP that is a fundamental element of the evolution of the development through planning, design development, construction and in occupation phases connected to BIM and the construction programming processes, PDSI can provide flexible support to suit your business and needs.

For further information and advice on how we can help with providing a comprehensive CLP please contact us today.


Congratulations – Exam Success!

Please join us in congratulating Katarina Jocic on passing the ISO 9001:2015 Internal Auditor Exam, completed with the BSI Training Academy.

The Internal Auditor course gave Katarina the knowledge to:

  • Explain the guidelines of auditing management systems according to ISO 19011:2018 Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems
  • Describe the application of these guidelines to auditing ISO 9001:2015

And taught her the skills to:

  • Initiate the audit
  • Prepare and audit activities; complete the audit
  • Prepare and distribute the audit report
  • Audit follow-up

This course is designed to help us:

  • Recognise areas your Certification Body (CB) will be generally looking for to comply with generic internal auditing requirements in management system standards. This will include the meanings and intention of certification criteria and associated theories, methodologies, techniques or tools
  • Prepare, conduct and follow-up on audit activities
  • Identify and apply the benefits and requirements for an ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems (QMS) internal audit
  • Gain the skills to assess an organisation’s capability to manage its QMS
  • Write factual audit reports and assess corrective actions

Well done from the team at PDSI Construction Consultants and Initiate Consulting Limited.


Congratulations – Exam Success!

Please join us in congratulating Tessa Chesney on passing the ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Exam, completed with the BSI Training Academy.

The Requirements course covered:

– Importance and benefits of an ISO 9001:2015 QMS
– Key requirements, terms and definitions of ISO 9001:2015
– Structure of ISO 9001:2015, which incorporates the Annex SL common framework for management system standards
– Main concepts such as risk-based thinking, process approach, Plan-Do-Check-Act, and the 7 management principles

And is designed to help us:

– Identify the key requirements and benefits of ISO 9001:2015
– Manage quality and drive continual improvement
– Take steps to ensure that quality is at the heart of your organisation
– Attract and retain customers by meeting their current and future needs better

Well done from the team at PDSI Construction Consultants and Initiate Consulting Limited.

Initiate audited for ISO 9001:2015 with no non-conformities reported

ISO 9001:2015

Initiate Consulting Ltd, part of the PDSI group, are please to confirm the result of a recent audit by BSI. We passed the audit with no non-conformities raised and have been re-certified against ISO 9001:2015 for further 4 years (subject to annual reviews).

The Initiate 9001 process and audit is lead by Claudia Mallon and is published on our Intranet.

Ian Lumsden, managing director of Initiate, said “ISO 9001 is a key element of our business processes and very important to our Clients. So we are pleased that we passed another audit with no non-conformities. Well done to Claudia for managing 9001 and the audit and all staff for compliance over the last 12 months”

Building Information Modelling BIM – the future of construction projects

A Short History of BIM

The current concept of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has existed since the 1970s and the term ‘building model’ (in the sense of BIM as used today) was first used in papers in the mid-1980s: in a 1985 paper by Simon Ruffle eventually published in 1986, and later in a 1986 paper by Robert Aish – then at GMW Computers Ltd, developer of RUCAPS software – referring to the software’s use at London’s Heathrow Airport.

In fact BAA Plc, the aiport operator was at the leading edge of building modelling from its inception and in 1995 Brad Bamfield, PDSI Director, while Group Development Manager at BAA Plc used an early form to model the construction of the transit systems at Stansted airport with significant success ensuring potential problems were identified before construction with associated cost and time saving.

The term ‘Building Information Model’ first appeared in a 1992 paper by G.A. van Nederveen and F. P. Tolman. However, the terms ‘Building Information Model’ and ‘Building Information Modelling’ (including the acronym “BIM”) did not become popularly used until some 10 years later.

In 2002, Autodesk released a white paper entitled “Building Information Modelling, and other software vendors also started to assert their involvement in the field.

By hosting contributions from Autodesk, Bentley Systems and Graphisoft, plus other industry observers, in 2003, Jerry Laiserin helped popularize and standardise the term as a common name for the digital representation of the building process. Facilitating exchange and interoperability of information in digital format had previously been offered under differing terminology by Graphisoft as “Virtual Building”, Bentley Systems as “Integrated Project Models”, and by Autodesk or Vectorworks as “Building Information Modelling”.

The pioneering role of applications such as RUCAPS, Sonata and Reflex has been recognized by Laiserin as well as the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering.

As Graphisoft had been developing such solutions for longer than its competitors, Laiserin regarded its ArchiCAD application as then “one of the most mature BIM solutions on the market. Following its launch in 1987, ArchiCAD became regarded by some as the first implementation of BIM, as it was the first CAD product on a personal computer able to create both 2D and 3D geometry, as well as the first commercial BIM product for personal computers.

What is BIM today?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process that begins with the creation of an intelligent 3D model and enables document management, coordination and simulation during the entire lifecycle of a project (plan, design, build, operation and maintenance).

What is BIM used for?

BIM is used to design and document building and infrastructure designs. Every detail of a building is modeled in BIM. The model can be used for analysis to explore design options and to create visualizations that help stakeholders understand what the building will look like before it’s built. The model is then used to generate the design documentation for construction.

Why is BIM important?

According to the United Nations, by 2050 the world’s population will be 10 billion. The global architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry is responsible for delivering the social and economic spaces for the global population, and for helping maintain and restore the buildings and infrastructure already in use. The industry must look to smarter, more efficient ways to design and build not just as a means to keep up with global demand but to help create spaces that are smarter and more resilient too.

BIM not only allows design and construction teams to work more efficiently, but it allows them to capture the data they create during the process to benefit operations and maintenance activities. BIM data can also inform planning and resourcing on the project, city or country level. This is why BIM mandates are increasing across the globe.

What is the process of BIM?

The process of BIM supports the creation of intelligent data that can be used throughout the lifecycle of a building or infrastructure project.


Inform project planning by combining reality capture and real-world data to generate context models of the existing built and natural environment.

BIM is now used in Business cases and project justification, Strategic Brief, Appraisals, Brief and information requirements and Supplier appointments.

Information deliverables include model files, documents and structured data files containing information about the facility, floors, spaces, systems and components. Together these create a digital replica of the built asset that starts by representing design intent and matures by the time handover occurs to reflect what has actually been built and installed.


During this phase, conceptual design, analysis, detailing and documentation are performed. The preconstruction process begins using BIM data to inform scheduling and logistics.

Once the contract for suppliers to design (and perhaps construct, and even operate) the development has been awarded, the successful supplier submits a post-contract BIM execution plan (BEP) providing more detail about their methodology, confirming their (and their supply chain’s) BIM capabilities and providing a master information delivery plan (MIDP). The master information delivery plan sets out when project information will be prepared, by whom, using what protocols and procedures – from the supplier’s perspective (the employer’s information requirements sets this out from the employer’s perspective).

The supplier develops the project information model in accordance with the master information delivery plan. They may also develop other information they have identified as important through the course of their activities.

The project information model is developed based upon generic representations with approximate quantities, size, shape, location, tolerances and so on.


During this phase, fabrication begins using BIM specifications. Project construction logistics are shared with trades and contractors to ensure optimum timing and efficiency.

The successful contractor submits a post-contract BIM execution plan (BEP) confirming their (and their supply chain’s) capabilities and providing a master information delivery plan (MIDP). This should take into account existing BIM execution plans from suppliers already appointed (such as design consultants), and may include BIM training requirements for the contractor and their supply chain.

The contractor will need to establish or prepare information such as:

  • Schedules of conditions of existing and neighbouring structures
  • A master programme for the construction works.
  • A project handbook setting out responsibilities, procedures, and lines of communication for the construction stage.
  • A site layout plan for construction.
  • A contract register.
  • An asset register scheduling assets on site and who they belong to.
  • Statutory site registers
  • Any further survey work
  • Statutory utilities
  • A construction phase plan.
  • A site waste management plan.
  • Site logistics an traffic management plan


BIM data carries over to operations and maintenance of finished assets. BIM data can be used down the road for cost-effective renovation or efficient deconstruction too.

An asset information model (AIM) is developed from the as-constructed project information model (PIM), or the PIM is used to add to an existing AIM. The asset information model compiles all the data and information related to, or required for the operation and maintenance of the completed development.

The model may be developed to include information from post occupancy evaluations, metered performance information, actual in-use costs, remote monitoring information and so on. Object information in the model may be developed to include operational information such as maintenance records and replacement dates. There may be two-way connections between the model and enterprise systems used by the employer, such as purchasing systems, performance reporting systems and work scheduling systems.

All this may seem complex (and we have only provided the headlines here) but BIM is an essential management process for successful delivery of your project from inception to decommissioning at end of life.

After all why would you invest so much money and management time in your project and not use the best planning, design, construction and operation processes available?

We have seen BIM save clients significant amounts of money by identifying problems or design issues early, delivering on time completion and effective buildings for use. BIM should never be considered a “cost” but a value added component of your project.

Finally if you are considering a project require BIM from your designers, suppliers and contractors good companies are happy to provide it whereas any resistance tells its own story.

Why choose Profile for your BIM requirements?

Profile Construction Consultants Ltd are recognised throughout the Construction Industry as leaders in Construction Planning, providing valuable Planning Services for all stages including Claims and Adjudications of any given Project to a myriad of contractors and subcontractors alike.

Combined with our 25 years of experience, we also specialise in 4D Planning and can offer all your 4D BIM requirements bespoke to your needs and budget.















Instead of purely trying to interpret a Construction Programme we can link your 3D models directly to the programme thus allowing you to see various digital live simulations or what if scenarios of your 3D model with time implemented which is crucial to any given project.


By appointing Profile for your 4D Planning you can:

  • Lower risks by rehearsing and optimising the Construction Process at Pre-Construction stage and find the best solutions early.
  • Streamline your Construction Process and see the potential of all members of the team communicating with a common language – the 4D Model.
  • Clearly identify potential delays and clashes early throughout the Construction Period.
  • Report progress in a better and intuitive manor by visually simulating the planned vs as built.
  • Clear and easy interpretations for Claims and Adjudications.
  • And more…

Profile believe BIM is the next step in the industry towards a better, safer and more efficient Construction Process.

Contact us here

Profile welcomes a new member of staff

Profile Construction Consultants Ltd, a specialist planning consultancy and part of the PDSI Group, recently welcomed Charlotte Begby to the team at West Malling.

C BegbeyCharlotte is an experienced claims consultant, contract administrator and chartered quantity surveyor with international experience gained from working in Australia, the Middle East and Caribbean as well as the UK.

Charlotte’s practical experience is supplemented with a sound understanding of contract and construction law gained through her Bachelor of Law degree and Master’s degree in construction cost management.

Charlotte’s key areas of expertise include infrastructure (roads, bridge and tunnel), oil and Gas, Mining (iron ore), hotels, sports and leisure, residential and mixed use projects.

Charlotte is currently working as Senior Claims Consultant with a focus on forensic delay analysis for a number of Clients.

If you would like more information on how we can help with your disputes or claims please contact us here.

Engenie EV Charging Point rollout supported by Queensborough Project Management.

Queensborough Project Management have been supporting Engenie for the last 9 months as they roll out a nation wide network of EV charging points in car parks of supermarkets, pubs, stations and anywhere that an Electric Vehicle drivers need a power top up.

Queensborough have been responsible for programme management once the sites have been contracted and we have completed over 50 with the roll out due to accelerate.

Queensborough are full spectrum project managers, cost consultants and programme managers for private clients across all sectors. More here

Georgina Shultz makes the move to Trainee Planner

Having graduated from university with a degree in Spatial Design, Georgina has become Profile’s latest Trainee Planner. Profile always have 1 or 2 trainees and she joins an elite band of planners who have trained at Profile over the last 25 years.

Georgina has experience in creating programmes on PowerProject, creating links and coding, as well as carrying out progress updates to the programme.

Georgina has also provided 2D and 3D site logistics drawings to detail traffic plans, scaffolding layouts and construction phase plans for various projects, using Sketchup and Photoshop. She also has experience in using AutoCAD for carrying out 2D drawings.

Georgina is furthering her knowledge by assisting with all possible projects, from tender programmes, to claims and logistics drawings. She plans to use her Sketchup skills combined with Powerproject knowledge to begin providing basic level BIM models, working up to high quality BIM models.


RESI 2019 – PDSI Report

Terry Chapman, PDSI Group CEO,along with 750 leaders of our industry attended the 2019 RESI Convention in Cardiff in early September.

Terry Chapman said “I found the RESI 2019 conference very interesting and I was impressed with the number of clients and designers who attended and actively engaged in discussions to develop our industry.”

The first session was with Esther McVey, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, who spoke about how the government is to invest billions of pounds into housing up to 2028, with a target of 300,000 new homes every year. She said last year, over one million new homes were built, with 360,000 being affordable. In the process, stamp duty was cut, and help to buy schemes were implemented with the government continuing to help and guide people into home ownership without increasing costs and profits within the industry. Moving forward, the government is looking to expand on shared ownership, rent to buy, right to buy and right to build initiatives, in order to help people own their homes. Only in London has the rate of new homes fallen, with increases being seen elsewhere, such as in Manchester, with an increase of 12%.

She also talked about how new homes post Brexit will strive to be global leadership in housing, using technology hubs, engineering and architecture to lead the way, “supported by the government to support our British public”.

On the day of the conference, the government announced that they would be introducing financial support to local authorities in order to crack down on illegal buildings, as well as investing in zero carbon homes and single occupancy homes (maybe with shared facilities), but at a lower cost than today’s market by using modularisation and technologies.

Following this, there was a presentation from Hannah Blythn, the Deputy Minister for housing in Wales, who stated that the Climate emergency is the biggest factor we need to solve today. Housing must respond, and the longer we leave it, the worse it will become and the more costly it will be to resolve. Technologies and behaviour are key factors in resolving the challenges we all face, on behalf of the younger and future generations who’s fault this is not!

Kevin McCloud, Broadcaster and Author, claimed that many buildings just need remodelling instead of knocking down. He feels that we need to respect our buildings by upgrading and reusing them, as successful models have shown. To him, space is not just size, it’s about connection and emotional experience. So a room does not have to be big to provide a sense of space and that sequencing of a space can be done at any size. He used the examples of self builds in Bicester which show value and innovation, which could ultimately be the idea of future affordable homes. These ideas don’t just apply to self-builders either, as the construction industry has one of the highest percentages of SMEs, and these ideas provide the opportunity to become more resilient in the delivery of housing in the UK. Kevin also talked about the issues of quality to ensure that we continue to deliver high quality homes, and how a consortium of SMEs could be the way forward. His final discussion point was that it is widely recognised that the quality of social housing is often of a better standard and quality than that of open market housing, and that this needs to be resolved in order to deliver quality and sustainable housing.

A session was presented by Homes England, who talked about their new mandate to get more homes built in the next five-years. They went on to discuss how the technology approach in Japan in the new build housing sector is advanced in comparison to the UK market and is seen as an opportunity to learn and realise the benefit of R&D, tech and sustainability in the industry.

With the support of Homes England, more, a platform has been created to enable the rise of modularisation. The UK is currently delivering the largest modular building programme in Europe, which, when started, was the largest in the world! With suppliers looking keenly to build factories in the UK, it’s only a matter of time until modulisation is a part of every development, with all indicators suggesting that volume modular construction is here to stay.

Homes England stated that whilst the market may appear to be stabilising, there are plenty of funding and investment opportunities in London, providing developers remain flexible and reactive to market situations and requirements. While international investment is helping to stabilise the market as opposed to seeing it drop, recent months have seen a lot of domestic investments supported by NHBC, leading to an increase of 23% take up in London.

PDSI works actively in BIM and modular construction and supports clients, designers and contractors through project management, construction planning and cost management.

Images copyright RESI Convention 

VAT Reverse Charge – update no 1

Monday 16th September 2019  Brad Bamfield joined an HMRC webinar on VAT Reverse Charge which was very informative but only really skimmed the surface.

Picture of Brad BamfieldIt does seem however that it only applies to Contractors and Subcontractors who are also paid through CIS and not “End Users” or material only suppliers.

Brad is looking farther into this, but it also seems professional advisers are excluded and should charge VAT in the usual way.

However, Brad says “I asked specifically about Cost Managers and PMs but did not get a clear answer, so more work needed”.

We are attending another seminar early in October so will add an update after that.

PDSI and subsidiaries awarded Cyber Essentials for 2nd year

PDSI and its subsidiary companies – Initiate Consulting, Profile Construction Consultants and Queensborough Project Management have been awarded Cyber Essentials certification for year ending July 2020.

Terry Chapman Group CEO says “Cyber Essentials is just that essential in this day and age and it forms a key part of our defense of the data we hold.”

PDSI Group adopted Cyber Essentials as “best practice” in 2018 when we found our old infrastructure was potentially unsafe. The review process of Cyber Essentials allowed us to challenge every part of our IT and Online infrastructure and to provide our management board with confidence we are complying with GDPR requirements.

It is no coincidence that the Information Commissioners Office with the introduction of GDPR made it abundantly clear that if businesses did not review and address short comings then they could be fined large sums and the principals possibly jailed.

Brad Bamfield said “we involved everyone in the business and our 4 out sourced IT and VoIP telecoms companies in our review and found that new vulnerabilities arise all the time. It is easy to become complacent and assume you are all OK until you find your web site has been breached. Simple steps outlined in Cyber Essential reviews can show you where you need to improve.”

Our certificate number is 9382370780624912 and is dated 12 July 2019

More on Cyber Essentials here

More on our Privacy Policy here

VAT Reverse Charge – does it affect us?

It was announced on Friday 6 September 2019 that the implementation of the domestic reverse charge, which makes payment of the tax responsibility of the customer rather than the supplier, will now come into effect on 1 October 2020.

A statement from HMRC said that the change would be delayed because industry representatives had raised concerns that the sector was not ready for it.

A group of construction industry bodies wrote to the government warning of the problems it would cause companies last month, asking for a delay until April.

The change is part of anti-fraud rules aimed at targeting VAT-related fraud in supply chains within construction.

The statement from HMRC added that the body “remains committed to the introduction of the reverse charge and has already increased compliance resource”.

A UK customer who acquires supplies for construction services must account for VAT due on these materials on their VAT return rather than the supplier. In other words, the domestic reverse charge prevents fraudsters from stealing VAT owed to HMRC.

HMRC also underscores the need for businesses to adapt their accounting systems for dealing with VAT. Many of these will experience a negative impact on cash flow whilst no longer receiving VAT payments from customers for services where charges apply.

Brad Bamfield, our Finance and Management Director, is leading the PDSI Group Reverse VAT initiative and is attending various courses to ensure we are ready.

Brad said “I have read the HMRC guidance and its wording is not the clearest in the world. The definition of an End User is new and is key to the application of VAT through the supply chain.

My understanding is that domestic reverse charge will only affect supplies at the standard or reduced rates where payments are required to be reported through the CIS and that specified services are excluded, including professional services of architects, surveyors and certain consultants.”

Brad will provide more information here as he works through what is required and what we and our supply chain need to know and do.

However, we already know when the new rules do take effect, only principal contractors at the top of the supply chain will receive VAT payments, which they will collect from the client before paying it to HMRC.

More importantly monthly cashflow profiles for subcontractors will change, and all contractors will have to take on more administration, understanding who should and shouldn’t be charged VAT.

Brad Bamfield

The role of a Development Manager

To demonstrate the role of a Development Manger we must first think about what a “developer” is and what they do.

Real estate or property development, is a multifaceted business process, encompassing activities that range from the renovation and re-lease of existing buildings to the purchase of raw land and the sale of developed land or parcels to others from speculative developments that will be sold at the end of construction to extensions to premises for business wishing to expand.

Development Developers are the people and companies who coordinate all of these activities, converting ideas from paper to real property. Real estate development is different from construction, although many developers also manage the construction process.

Developers buy land, finance property deals, build or have builders build projects, create, imagine, control and orchestrate the process of development from the beginning to end including obtaining the necessary planning approval and financing, build the structures, and rent out, manage, and ultimately sell it.

Developers work with many different counterparts along each step of this process, including architects, town planners, engineers, surveyors, building inspectors, banks, contractors, leasing agents and more.

For many clients, stepping outside their core business into the world of property development and management can be challenging, but this where an experienced Development Manger comes in, they offer a full development management service,

  • assisting clients with the initial startup processes and
  • analysis of the financial viability of a scheme
  • formulating robust and appropriate development strategies and
  • manage the development process from the appointment of a professional team through to t
  • he planning and successful delivery of projects,

Ensuring you start right will mean you will end right as well. Most projects fail not in construction (although it looks that way) but in the selection of the consultants, contractor and design

PDSI are increasingly called upon to apply our skills and experience earlier in the project cycle, working with developers or property owners who have the skills to create the opportunity but need support to make it happen.

Organising for a development

A development team can be put together in one of several ways.

  • At one extreme, a large company might include many services, from architecture to engineering.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, a development company might consist of one principal and a few staff who hire or contract with other companies and professionals for each service as needed.

Assembling a team of professionals to address the environmental, economic, physical and political issues inherent in a complex development project is critical.

A developer’s success depends on the ability to coordinate the completion of a series of interrelated activities efficiently and at the appropriate time.

The development process requires skills of many professionals:

  • architects,
  • landscape architects,
  • civil engineers and
  • site planners to address project design;
  • market consultants to determine demand and profitability
  • Quantity Surveyors to define project’s economics;
  • lawyers to handle agreements and government approvals;
  • environmental consultants and soils engineers to analyse a site’s physical limitations and environmental impacts;
  • surveyors and title companies to provide legal descriptions of a property; and
  • lenders to provide financing.
  • The general contractor of the project hires subcontractors to put the architectural plans into action.
  • Sales agent for marketing and sales or
  • Logistics of moving into your new building

And the person who manages all this is the Development Manger as you can see its the key role.

It may well be that as a business you have an experienced person or people to manage all these facets of the development but if you are not a regular developer you need the support of a consultant.

Now beware many consultants tell you they are Development Mangers but in reality they are Project Managers and there are subtle differences.

Project Managers are totally focused on delivery, “give me the land, the drawings and I will give you the building”

Development Mangers make decisions about viability, design, cost and quality – they produce the stuff the Project Manager needs to deliver the project.

They are really different people with totally different skills.

Development Managers are creative and problem solvers, whereas Project Managers are process based deliverers

So a good Development Manger usually makes a poor Project Manager and vice a versa as they have different mind sets.

PDSI offers Development Management to our clients and provide support and management from Day 1 when you just have an idea to when we hand you the keys to you completed project.

Call Terry Chapman now for more information about how we can help your deliver a successful project.

PDSI Joins Export Champion Community

PDSI group companies have wide experience of working overseas and exporting our property and construction services. Profile Construction Consultants has contracts in 3 European countries and an office in Spain and Queensborough Project Management has experience of working in northern Europe and the Middle East.

We are pleased to be an Export Champion and Advocate helping other businesses to begin exporting their services.

Terry Chapman, Group CEO, said “we are very proud to be part of the Export Community and look forward to working with other business to the benefit of all.”

The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Exporting is GREAT campaign aims to spark a movement around the UK of companies selling their products and services overseas.

At the heart of the campaign is the Export Champion Community,  consisting of over 1,000 ‘Export Advocates’ and ‘Export Champions’; everyday businesses of all shapes and sizes, run by extraordinary people, (theses are DIT words not ours) from around the UK that are proudly selling overseas.

  • become part of Exporting is GREAT, the Government’s most ambitious and high-profile export-focused campaign ever
  • join a UK-wide community of exporters who share advice, ask/answer questions and signpost to where support is available
  • get access to a suite of digital campaign assets to use in your communication and marketing activity

Any UK-registered company that has exported at least once you can join the network of Export Advocates, which comprises firms from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in a wide range of sectors.

More here

What is IR35 and does it apply to me?

What is IR35 and does it apply to me?

IR35 was introduced in 2000 and designed to reduce tax avoidance by contractors who HMRC believe to be “disguised employees”- in other words people who are working in similar ways to full-time employees but invoice their services via limited company in order to pay less tax.

IR35 Rules:
Under IR35 rules the contractors would have to show that they were not employed by the company and have no employment relationship with the company. Contractors can find out whether they fall ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ IR35 they would have to keep in mind the following four factors:

1. Control
Self-employed contractors have their own control of when and how they work, if the contractors contract seems to be rigid and sets the working patterns and also applies excessive control over the contractors work and how it is completed these terms would a make the contract look like an employment contract and not a contractors contract. This makes it very likely that you would fall within IR35 or can make it hard to prove otherwise.
2. Contract
It is in the best interest of the contractor to create their own contract to the hiring organisation to prevent any misunderstanding within the contract. This allows the contractor to set their own terms and not have the term set for them by the hiring organisation.

3. Mutuality of Obligation
As a self-employed contractor you would have to show that you work on a project to project basis where there would be an contract end date in the contract and would have no obligation to work past the contract end date stated the contract with the client.

4. Substitution
As a contractor you can supply a substitution to the organisation, but where in the contract it states there is no right to substitute this could potentially make the contract fall within IR35.

IR35 in the public Sector

Initially IR35 employment status was always declared by the contractor and not the hiring organisation, but in 2017 these rules changed dramatically for the public sector and for the contractors but also for the hiring companies. The liability to prove the self-employment moved from the contractors to the hiring organisation which then made it problematic for either parties because if the contractor was to had been found to be inside IR35 they would have to pay tax and NI as employees and not receive employee benefits of the organisation. These changes also then impacted the hiring organisation as it was now seen as a risk because they could be fined if they had incorrectly identified the contractor as outside IR35, this lead to many of the public sectors to cease using self-employed contractors.

IR35 in the private sector

Currently the private sector does not have to worry about IR35. But now the Government have argued that contractors paying less tax than employees should be considered as unfair and as a result of that the Government are in consultation about further changes to the IR35 and some of those consultations have resulted in IR35 being reformed and extended to the private sector and their contractors in early 2020.

IR35 Check list: (Test your employment status)

In order for you to stay outside the IR35 you would have to be paid on a project-to-project basis and would have an end date to their project and usually the work ends when that period of time has reached.

Financial Risk
Self-employed contractors are much more likely to experience a higher level of financial risk compared to employees of an organisation. If you have guaranteed weekly or monthly pay in your specific contract within the organisation, this will look like an employee’s contract rather than a contractor fees being paid for the service they are providing. Also if you are required to send invoices when billing the organisation it must detail the services they are being billed for the period of time that you are requesting payment for. If it is guaranteed, fixed regular payments that look like a salary that could make the contract fail IR35 tests.

As a contractor you would have to state within your contract that the equipment that would be used within the project that the client has assigned to you would be your equipment – if the contract does not state what the equipment is and who would be providing it HMRC could view this as if the client is providing you within equipment and would then put you within the IR35 as it would complicate figuring the status of the contractors employment status.

As a self-employed contractor, a perk of this would be that as a contractor you are able to work with more than one client at once, however with this being said if a contractor seems to be working with one client for a prolonged duration it could be seen by HMRC that this is actually an employee to employee relationship and not client to contractor relationship.
Running Business
In order to prove your status, you would actually need to have a running business – this would include having a running website, office space or registered address for the business would all reinforce that you are operating as a self-employed contractor for your own business and not an individual who is offering their service as an employee.

How to prepare?

Firstly, you can check your status on the HMRC website using the link below:

Seek professional advice
After checking your status on HMRC and you are still unsure or would still like some help, seek advice before you go ahead and make any changes to your business as it stands – this will allow you to understand that changes and make sure that all the changes you make within your business are compliant with IR35 law. Seek advice from a professional who specialises in IR35 Laws and preferably within the contracting sector also.
Initiate use several specialist advisors and companies and we are happy to share them with our contractors. If you are interested in doing so, please contact the office.