Bidders for the High Speed 2 (HS2) major works contract are being tested on their ability to work collaboratively and solve problems.
HS2 is the latest major infrastructure project to use this increasingly popular method of ensuring that any disputes between clients and contractors have the best possible chance of rapid resolution, also ensuring project timelines are not hit by costly delays.
It is spending £900,000 on these compulsory tests that feed into the formal evaluation process for the contracts. The results will help choose the successful bidders. The major works contract is a two-part contract, the first part being the development of detailed design in collaboration with HS2, then once that is finalised, the successful bidder will be given the go-ahead for construction. Therefore, collaboration is a key party of the work.
During the tests, which are currently ongoing, bidders will be tested to see how they perform in scenarios similar to those that might be encountered in the delivery phase.
“These would be out of the ordinary events that could be expected to happen, and are designed to see how tendering teams approach, react and interact to deal with, resolve or mitigate,” said a HS2 Ltd spokesperson.
“They are challenging exercises, which are difficult to act through and sustain non-natural behaviours, even with practice and training – research has demonstrated such exercises are the best indicators of behaviours that will be encountered.”
Other organisations that have used this type of behavioural testing during the bidding stage include the Olympic Delivery Authority and Tideway.
The bidders taking part in the tests are:
- Align Joint Venture (Bouygues, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
- ASL (Acciona Infraestructuras, John Sisk & Son, Lagan)
- BBV (Balfour Beatty, Vinci, BeMo)
- Catalyst (Bechtel)
- CEK (Carillion, Eiffage, Kier)
- Fusion (Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman)
- LFM (Laing O’Rourke, FCC Construccion, J. Murphy and Sons)
- Momentum Infrastructure (Dragados, Hochtief, GallifordTry)
- SCS (Skanska, Costain, Strabag).
The main works contracts will be awarded in spring 2017.