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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

The Scheme: construction operations: buildings and structures

CISR14600 Action guide contents

FA04/S74 (2)(a) states that the following operations are within the scope of the Construction Industry Scheme

  • ‘construction, alteration, repair, extension, demolition or dismantling of buildings or structures (whether permanent or not), including offshore installations’.

This provision includes conservatories, green houses and garden sheds if based on a foundation.

Prefabricated structures

This provision also covers substantial pre-fabricated structures such as oil rigs and modular elements of oil rigs that are constructed onshore but later towed to their final location at sea.

It does not apply to

  • Shipbuilding (see below).
  • portable offices (see below).


Although ships are undoubtedly ‘structures’ they are not structures to which CIS applies. This is because they are vehicles, not civil engineering constructions or static industrial installations. Therefore any operation carried out on a ship including the maintenance, re-fitting or painting / re-painting of a ship will be outside the scope of CIS.

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Temporary structures

Although this provision indicates that it applies to temporary buildings and structures, in practice, certain temporary structures are considered to be outside its scope as long as they are only in place for a limited time. These include

  • exhibition stands
  • film and TV sets
  • theatre sets
  • marquees
  • portable offices, (the exclusion does not extend to their use on construction sites, see ‘site facilities’ below.)

It is unlikely that exhibition stands and marquees will remain in place for long. Similarly, film, TV and theatre sets are commonly dismantled quite soon after their construction. If the structure in question will not remain in place for more than two months you may accept that its erection is outside the scope of CIS.

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Site facilities

Note that the exclusion of temporary structures does not apply to the erection of site huts, portable offices and similar facilities on building sites. These are considered to be integral to the main operations and their construction is caught.

Site hoardings

These are also treated as integral to the main operations and are therefore within the scope of the Scheme.

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Lifts are an integral part of the building in which they are installed. Whether installed in new buildings or older buildings being adapted to accommodate them their installation represents a construction operation. This applies also to similar machinery installed in buildings and other locations such as

  • chair lifts installed in domestic or commercial premises (see below)
  • escalators
  • travelators (moving walkways)
  • baggage-handling equipment (baggage carousels and conveyors)
  • window cleaning hoists.

Note, however, that the maintenance and repair of this kind of machinery is outside the scope of the scheme.

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Chair Lifts and Stair Lifts

Chair lifts are different from stair lifts. A chair lift will normally rise vertically through a building in order to move the passenger from one level or floor to another. The nature of the plant and equipment involved in a chair lift requires it to be integrally fixed to the fabric of the building, and its installation will be a construction operation to the building or structure. FA04/S74 (2)(a) refers.

Stair lifts utilise the existing stairwell of a building by running a purpose made rail along the profile of the staircase. The rail is simply bolted to the wall and a chair moves along the rail powered by an electric motor connected to a nearby power supply. As the installation of a stair lift can be installed and removed without any significant alteration or repair to the building, the installation and/or repair of stair lifts in isolation will be outside the scope of CIS.