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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

The Scheme: construction operations: preparatory, integral and finishing operations

CISR14600 Action guide contents

FA04/S74 (2)(f) defines as within the scope of the Construction Industry Scheme

  • ‘operations which form an integral part of, or are preparatory to, or are for rendering complete, such operations as are previously described in this subsection, including site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, tunnelling and boring, laying of foundations, erection of scaffolding, site restoration, landscaping and the provision of roadways and other access works’.

This provision aims to cover those activities that are characteristic features of construction but which are not dealt with specifically in other parts of FA04/S74.

Preparatory operations

This provision covers preparatory operations that enable construction work proper to proceed such as

  • site preparation
  • site decontamination
  • site clearance (including demolition and tree-felling)
  • earthmoving on site
  • marking out
  • excavation
  • tunnelling
  • boring (except for surveying purposes)
  • laying foundations
  • erecting scaffolding, falsework and formwork
  • asbestos removal.

However, the following activities are not considered to be construction operations

  • delivery of materials, including liquid concrete
  • transport of spoil from site
  • tree-felling and tree surgery in the course of forestry or estate management.

Integral operations

This provision covers operations that are an integral part of construction

  • transport of materials on site
  • construction of site facilities
  • plant hire with operator for use on site.
  • disinfecting of reservoirs/water treatment facilities, either during or on completion of their construction
  • cleaning of road surfaces when done as part of the actual construction of the road, for example where the surface needs to be cleaned or damped down prior to the application of a further layer.

Finishing operations

This provision covers operations that bring a construction project to completion such as

  • site restoration and landscaping, including pumping out and draining of water
  • installation of instrumentation systems such as building environmental controls
  • installation, structural repair and painting of lamp standards, permanent traffic lights, parking meters, traffic signs and other street furniture
  • dismantling scaffolding, falsework and formwork
  • screeding, and the fitting of flooring and floor-coverings (including vinyl and linoleum but not carpeting) where these form part of the building specification
  • installation of building fittings such as safety eye-bolts
  • kitchen and bathroom fitting
  • tiling
  • fitting of thermal insulation, lagging or soundproofing as part of a wider project of construction
  • shop fitting
  • installation of built-in refrigeration equipment, such as cold stores (not free-standing refrigerators)
  • installation of fixed furniture (except seating) for example, shelving and fixed work stations.

However, the following activities are not considered to be construction operations

  • manufacture and delivery of building materials
  • non-structural repair of street furniture (for example, replacement of lighting elements or defective components in traffic lights or parking meters)
  • installation of seating
  • fitting of carpeting (this is excluded in all circumstances)
  • fitting of vinyl and other floor-coverings in premises not undergoing construction or alteration
  • fitting of thermal insulation or soundproofing in premises not undergoing construction where this has no effect on the fabric of the building.
  • in isolation, the hire of temporary free standing traffic lights