Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find the more frequently asked questions about the Voluntary Construction Register (VCR)
- What is VCR?
VCR is an official online register, supported by Government, of competent builders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and tradespersons who undertake to carry out construction works. Its objective is to be recognised as the primary online resource used by consumers in the public and private procurement of construction services.
When engaging a VCR registered construction entity, consumers can be confident that they are dealing with experienced people. VCR standards are high and only construction companies, sole traders and builders who meet the strict eligibility criteria are registered on VCR.
By registering with VCR, members commit to delivering excellence in every aspect of their work. They are competent and capable to deliver the job at hand, they run their business in a professional manner and they sign up to continuous professional development to stay at the forefront of construction best practices.
The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 state that a building owner is required to assign a competent builder who will construct in accordance with the plans, specifications and Building Regulations, and who will sign the Certificate of Compliance on Completion. Builders included on VCR are regarded as competent for projects consistent with their registration profile.
- How does the Online Register Work?
Consumers can search on VCR in a number of ways
- Look for a particular member by VCR registration number, company name, or primary contact name
- See what builders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors or tradespersons are registered in their area
- Search from 30+ categories of registration (e.g. house builder, plasterer, civil engineering contractor)
- Why was the Voluntary Construction Register set up?
The registration body, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) responded to a request from the Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government to set up VCR. VCR has been established to develop and promote best practice. The central purpose of the VCR registration process is to assist governance and statutory performance compliance.
To find out more about the Construction Industry Federation click here.
- Who can apply to join the Register?
Competent builders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and tradespersons who undertake construction works can apply to join VCR.
- What is the process for joining VCR?
Stage 1 – The Application Process
Applicants complete the online application form. The VCR Office ensures all necessary information is received and check eligibility criteria has been met.
Stage 2 – The Assessment Process
The Sub-Committee of the VCR Admissions and Registration Board reviews all application information. They confirm technical capability with third party references. The Sub-Committee recommends the eligible VCR registration profile.
Stage 3 – The Initial Registration Process
VCR Admissions and Registration Board makes final approval decisions. Construction entity details are added to the VCR register.
Stage 4 – The On-Going Registration Process
Members must continue to meet required standards. Members participate in continuous professional development. Members must renew annually to remain on the register.
- What are the VCR Member Requirements?
- Competence and experience
- Technical Capability
- Continuous Professional Development
- Industry Code of Conduct
- Tax Compliant
- Health & Safety Statement
- VAT Registered
- Environmental Assurance
- Quality Assurance
- Knowledge of Building Regulations
- Regulatory & Statutory Compliance
- Who will sit on the VCR Admissions and Registration Board?
The VCR Admissions & Registration Board ensures the highest standards of VCR are maintained to continue the on-going credibility of the VCR register. The Board establishes and oversees appropriate standards of ethics, competence, skills and knowledge in the construction industry.
The Board consists of a chairperson and ten members. The chairperson of the Board is a registered construction professional approved by the Minister of the Environment, Community & Local Government.
Membership of the Board includes:
- 5 persons appointed by Government Ministers and Public Sector Agencies
- 2 persons who are registered construction professionals
- 3 persons who can be registered members of VCR
- What is the VCR Induction Training Programme?
Completion of the VCR Induction programme is a mandatory requirement for all VCR applicants. One person, ideally from senior management level, per applicant business should attend the Induction Programme. Your application will only be reviewed by the Construction Industry Registration Board following completion of the Induction Programme.
The induction programme will explain in detail the various eligibility criteria for VCR, the Code of Ethics, the continuing professional development requirements, how the registration process works and much more.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) is running a series of approved VCR induction courses. You can view more information on these courses here: Online Induction Course
The induction course will cost €50 per attendance.
- How long does it take to join?
The registration process will take approximately four to six weeks.
- Do I have to join VCR?
The Department of Environment, Community & Local Government has drafted legislation which will put VCR on a statutory footing. It is the intention of Government that VCR will move onto a statutory footing in the near future, in support of the Building Control Framework. Once VCR becomes statutory all construction companies will be obliged to register in order to undertake construction work.
- Will VCR registration have any impact on statutory requirements for building controls?
Yes, under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, all commencement notices, notice of assignment of builder, undertakings by builders and certificates of compliance on completion by builder seek the VCR registration number.
- How long will my membership last?
If approved by the Registration Board, your annual membership of VCR will run from the date your application is approved, provided all of the eligibility criteria have been met. Your VCR membership will last for 12 months.
To maintain VCR registration, Members are required to complete an application for renewal of registration on an annual basis. This is to ensure Members on the register continues to meet VCR requirements.
Applications for renewal of registration are assessed by the Registration Board.
- What information will be made available to the public?
The register will publish the name, address, contact details, website address, a description of the type of activities undertaken by the business and the geographical area of operation.
All other information submitted is for the purpose of assessment, will be reviewed solely by the Registration Board and will not be made public.
For record purposes all information provided by applicants for registration will be retained by the register for a period of six years.
- Can new construction companies / sole traders apply to join VCR?
Yes. Where a company has been established within the last 2 years, the applicant must provide sufficient information concerning the owners/directors/principals upon whose construction experience the application for registration relies upon. A newly constituted entity must provide details of experience of working in construction generally for a period of no less than three years.
- What is the Code of Ethics?
Members of the Voluntary Construction Register shall agree to be bound by the principles set down by the construction Industry Registration Board. They set out a range of measures which relate to quality of work, ensure quality construction practices are followed, maintain the various legal and regulatory requirements, undertake proper business management as well as maintain professional integrity and discipline.
- What happens if my VCR application is refused?
VCR applicants will be notified by the VCR Office that their application was unsuccessful. The VCR registration fee will be refunded in full.
Applicants can appeal the decision of the Registration Body to the Complaints and Appeals Committee (CAC).
- Who will sit on the Complaints and Appeals Committee?
The Complaints Appeals Committee shall consist of a Chairperson being a solicitor, barrister or former judge appointed by the Minister. Four ordinary members appointed by the registration body from its own nomination of two registered construction professionals and the nomination of two persons by the Minister.
Nominees must be independent of the Board and of all registered members.
- Can Members be removed from the VCR Register?
A registration shall be cancelled if a Member is guilty of one of the following infringements:
- Fraudulent behaviour in relation to the registration process
- False evidence concerning fulfilment of the registration criteria
- Falsification of the certificate Is in breach of a statutory requirement
- Has failed to adhere to the Code of Ethics or Commitments
- Can members of the public complain about a VCR Member?
Any person may make a formal complaint to the CIRB if it believes that a registered Member:
- Is in breach of a statutory requirement
- Has failed to adhere to the Code of Ethics or Commitments
- Has provided incorrect or misleading declarations on registration.
- How much does it cost to join the VCR Register?
The cost for joining the register is €600 + VAT at 23%. This comes to a total of €738.