SAPCA’s Quality System ensures that only specialist companies that can consistently deliver high standards of sports and play facilities can join SAPCA and then remain as members. The Quality System underlines the benefits of choosing members of SAPCA for sports and play projects, and gives greater peace of mind to sports clubs, schools and universities, local authorities and all other clients that their hard-earned funds have been invested wisely.
The Quality System brings together a number of key areas of SAPCA’s activities, and puts a strong emphasis on regular inspections of SAPCA members’ work, to ensure that contractors always deliver projects to the satisfaction of their clients.
The main elements of the Quality System are as follows:
Strict membership criteria
SAPCA’s membership criteria ensure that only specialist contractors, with a proven track record and trading history, can be admitted. Through inspections of applicants’ work, SAPCA checks that contractors have the requisite expertise and experience, and can offer clients the necessary high standards of workmanship.
SAPCA works closely with credit reference specialist Experian, and bases its membership criteria on the Commercial Delphi Scoring System used by Experian within its Risk Reports.
SAPCA demands that all contractor and manufacturer applicants must have a minimum Commercial Delphi score of 40 out of 100, which effectively means that, as a prerequisite, SAPCA members must be in the top 70% of UK businesses for financial stability. SAPCA also monitors the financial stability of its members on an annual basis and insists that all contractors and manufacturers must meet its current requirements for financial stability in order to renew their SAPCA membership at the start of each year.
Each year all SAPCA members are required to re-sign the Association’s Code of Professional Conduct, through which companies are committed to high standards of customer service and business practice.
Standards of design and construction
SAPCA has a series of Codes of Practice that set out the industry’s standards of construction. SAPCA members must comply with the required construction specifications and quality of completed work.
Inspection of contractors’ projects
In order to ensure that SAPCA contractors continue to deliver high quality facilities, the Association has introduced a new inspection programme, through which checks are carried out on a selection of members’ projects, both during construction and on completion.
The new initiative began in 2014 with the inspection of tennis facility projects, built by members of SAPCA’s Tennis Court Division. An inspection team, including representatives of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), visited a number of sites and assessed the projects. As well as providing valuable feedback to the contractors directly involved, the information gathered was also used to share best practice at the Association’s annual Conference.
The inspection regime is being extended to all of SAPCA’s Principal Contractors, in order to cover all types of sports and play facilities constructed by SAPCA members. A new system has been introduced in 2015 for regular inspections of synthetic pitch projects, based largely on feedback from independent consultants that are members of SAPCA’s Professional Services Group.
Clients that choose member contractors have the added reassurance that SAPCA can provide impartial assistance in the resolution of complaints and disputes, should it ever be necessary, on the technical aspects of projects.
The clients of all SAPCA members are invited to provide feedback on their projects, and the performance of the companies that they have employed.
Education and training
Each year, SAPCA provides a series of educational opportunities for its members that help to share technical knowledge and best practice, and reinforce the high standards that are required of SAPCA companies.