Finishes and interiors trade group signs Conflict Avoidance Pledge


FIS, the representative body for the UK finishes and interiors sector, has joined other construction groups in signing the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Conflict Avoidance Pledge.

This commits businesses to work proactively to avoid conflict, promote collaborative working, and work with industry to use conflict avoidance measures.

Iain McIlwee, CEO of FIS, said, “Signing the pledge underpins our commitment to creating a better environment for our supply chain. It isn’t rocket science, in fact it underpins many of the values we expect of the FIS community and were instilled in me by my mum!

“The construction industry spends around 1.6% of its total expenditure in the UK on legal services, which compares unfavourably to the UK economy’s median spend of 0.8%. This is because we have created an adversarial environment built on win-lose contract negotiations. We have made the contract more important than the project – we have even started calling ourselves contractors rather than constructors!

“We need to consign this 20th Century thinking to the past as it stands in the way of progress and undermines attempts to drive up quality and reduce waste. The RICS Avoidance Pledge and corresponding Conflict Avoidance Process (CAP) are part of an industry-wide commitment to change this, and we are eager to support and encourage others in and around our community to do the same.”

Martin Burns, head of dispute resolution services (DRS), research & development at the RICS, added, “It is great that we have leading trade bodies like FIS supporting the pledge and actively encouraging their members to sign and adhere to the terms laid out. The culture in construction needs to change, but change will openly happen when enough people take that first step to being better and believe that others can and will change too.”