Improving construction productivity & quality by eliminating error.

The Get It Right Initiative [GIRI] is a group of UK construction industry experts, organisations and businesses actively improving productivity and quality in the construction sector by eliminating error.

Research informing GIRI is summarised in our ‘Strategy for Change’ report which sets out the agenda for how we are addressing the elimination of error, right from the start.


GIRI is a not-for-profit membership organisation that has adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling error. Our members include clients, consultants, contractors, regulators, educators, professional institutions and trade bodies who are working together, across the sector, to raise awareness about the challenges of error, and eliminate it. Our working groups cover: design, metrics, skills & training and technology.



We are working with our members to:

  • Create a culture and working environment to get it right from the start
  • Change attitudes and harness leadership responsibility to reduce error and improve construction quality and productivity
  • Engage all stakeholders in eliminating error from inception, through operation, to completion.
  • Share knowledge about error reduction processes and systems.
  • Improve skills across the sector creating a positive approach to pre-empting error.


Skills Development

We are delivering an error reduction skills programme across the sector. In 2018 GIRI consortium teams were awarded CITB funding to deliver three pilot training schemes: leadership training, supervisor & manager skills training and training across interfaces.

Communication Campaign

We are raising awareness to improve attitudes to error reduction across the sector. Our campaign encourages all involved to improve the productivity and quality of what we do.

Systems & Processes Improvement

We apply R&D to understanding processes, systems and technology to eliminate error. Our reports, courses and training are focused on the key areas of error reduction:

A common language to describe error / identifying errors and the costs of error / the nature and management of the design process / construction planning / applied technology / error reduction construction techniques.

Knowledge Sharing

Our quarterly member meetings provide regular opportunities for our members and wider network to share experience and knowledge about error reduction. Our reports support the sharing of that knowledge to the wider industry.




Our research team was led by Ed McCann and Tom Barton. Their principal assistant was Bruce Martin, and the literature review was completed by Kell Jones.

The research was driven by Expedition Engineering and principally supported by the CITB, through its Growth & Innovation Fund. The industry steering group included: Alinea, Anglian Water, Bam Nuttal, Byre Brothers, Carillion, Costain, Graham Construction, Keltbray, Imtech, Prater, Berkeley Group, Sir Robert McAlpine, Southern Water, Stanhope, Taylor Woodrow, Wates.


The research team adopted a “Grounded Theory” methodology by asking, and then investigating the most plausible answers to the following questions:

  • What are the principal systemic errors in the UK construction industry?
  • What are the causes of error in the UK construction industry?
  • What methods are used to capture information about the financial cost of error in the UK construction industry?
  • What are the most effective methods for avoiding error and minimising the consequences of error?
Research Data

Data was collected via workshops with our steering group, and structured interviews with the steering group members plus other companies in the Industry. Quantitative data collected, relating to individual error occurrences, included:

  • Description of each of the errors
  • Description of the causes of each of the error occurrences
  • Assessment of the financial cost of each of the error occurrences

Data was analysed by the GIRI research team and the emerging findings were discussed by the steering group whose expertise helped identify theories.

The structured interviews were conducted, and quantitative data collected on the basis that no information would be published that would allow any opinion, error, defect, error incidence rate or defect incidence rate to be linked to a particular company or individual.



Board Members

Tom Barton
Executive Director

Tom Barton is the Executive Director of GIRI and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He has had over 40 years’ industry experience with key roles as a director at John Mowlem & Co. and then 18 years as deputy regional manager (London and South East) for Sir Robert McAlpine working on some significant projects in the UK and overseas.

Tom leads an agile GIRI delivery team covering administration, communications, finance and research

GIRI Board Members:

Clifford Smith

Damian Leydon
Berkeley Group

Gavin Pike
Bennetts Associates

Rupert Shingleton

Helen Soulou
Heathrow Airport

Board Members