GIRI SM-01 Reducing errors on construction sites - Part one: Supervision skills

3 hours

Course objectives
This session is the first part of a two-part course. This session enables participants to: understand the origins and impact of error in construction; understand the root causes or error; recognise behaviours which can lead to error; select and apply appropriate methods of supervision; employ effective methods of communication to confirm understanding; apply the 'build it in your brain' model and the 'press pause to avoid error' model, and explain how these techniques can help eliminate error in their daily work.

Intended audience
Supervisors and managers who are directly responsible for the delivery of construction work on site, and designers with a responsibility to consider construction. Participants who particularly benefit from the course include:

  • 'Black-hats'
  • Site foremen
  • Site supervisors
  • Site engineers
  • Graduate engineers
  • Graduate quantity surveyors
  • Site managers
  • Agents and sub-agents

Training is for up to 16 participants.

Relationship to project programme
Project managers should consider offering this course to staff who are actively engaged in the delivery of a project (ie to include the subcontract workforce).

Learning outcomes
As a result of attending this course participants will have an improved understanding of error, in relation to their work as supervisors and managers, having the ability to:

  • Explain the cost of error to the construction industry, and the benefits of eliminating error.
  • Recall the different types of error, including unrecorded process waste, direct costs, indirect costs, latent defects, recall the top 'root causes of error' identified by GIRI research and relate these to their daily work.
  • Explain the concept of 'build it in your brain' to avoid construction errors.

Participants attending this course will have have improved supervisory skills, having the ability to:

  • Confidently identify interfaces which may lead to error.
  • List various methods of supervision which can be applied in their daily work.
  • Describe 'formal' and 'informal' methods of supervision.
  • Select appropriate methods of supervision.
  • Distinguish different types of behaviour including 'unhelpful agreement' and 'helpful disagreement'.
  • Explain ways in which supervisors and managers can influence the behaviour and attitudes of their workforce.
  • Provide examples of situations where it is important to 'press pause to avoid error'.

Participants will gain improved communication skills in relation to construction projects, having the ability to:

  • Identify different methods and types of communication.
  • Describe potential barriers to communication.
  • Select appropriate communication techniques for different people and situations.
  • Explain the use of open questions to confirm understanding.
  • Demonstrate an ability to ask open questions.

Training can be delivered by any GIRI Approved Training Provider using GIRI Approved Trainers. It can be delivered by individual professional trainers, or as peer-to-peer learning by a pair of experienced industry supervisors and managers. 

Through a series of interactive exercises, discussion of video content and guided conversations, participants move from understanding and being able to identify the origins of error, to learning about practical tools they can use to help eliminate error in their work.

The course uses practical Lego exercises as disarming yet powerful tool to explore the behaviours which can lead to error. Lessons from the exercises are then related to daily work, empowering participants to understand how they can improve their personal actions and decisions to avoid errors.

The learning is formally assessed, through the use of an end-test. 


The certificate is valid for three years.


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