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. Typical participants who particularly benefit from the course include:

• “Black-Hats”
• Site Foremen
• Site Supervisors
• Site Engineers
• Graduate Engineers
• Site Managers
• Agents and Sub-Agents


Relationship to project programme
Project managers should consider offering this course to staff who are actively engaged in the delivery of a project.


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.


Recommended that delivery is by a GIRI accredited trainer/facilitator.

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.


Book Training


Back Back

Course Personnel

Nick Francis Training Consultant

Nick is an award-winning engineer, experienced manager, and passionate educator. He has a track record of delivering innovative solutions to complex infrastructure problems. Having served for 16 years as an Officer in the Royal Engineers he has extensive operational military experience and is acutely aware of the impact, and fragility, of our built environment. As the founding director of Imagine Engineering Nick helps clients develop high-functioning project teams, drawing on technical expertise and military planning and leadership skills. Working with the Get It Right Initiative he has pioneered a range of education programmes to address the root causes of error within the construction industry. Nick regularly lectures at a number of universities and works with Bridges to Prosperity to tackle rural isolation throughout the developing world.