CEEQUAL is the sustainability assessment scheme for infrastructure, civil engineering, landscaping and public realm works, providing third party verification of your projects performance.
CEEQUAL is a self-assessment process, carried out by a trained CEEQUAL Assessor. Using a copy of the applicable CEEQUAL manual, and an online assessment platform, the Assessor assesses and records the scores they believe to be appropriate, whilst providing justifying evidence.
Completed sustainability assessments are externally verified by a CEEQUAL-appointed Verifier based on the evidence provided. This results in a ratified CEEQUAL score and rating, with CEEQUAL certificates awarded to all project partners.
When to apply
We recommend applying for a CEEQUAL sustainability assessment as early as practicable, as this enables CEEQUAL to influence the project’s development from an early stage, driving best practice. Further, supporting evidence can be compiled as work progresses.
However, partially-retrospective assessments are the norm, with questions relevant to actions before application assessed retrospectively. Fully-retrospective assessments are also possible, but may have lower scores if certain issues have not have been addressed prior to the CEEQUAL assessment.
The CEEQUAL Assessment Process
Step 1: Appoint Assessor & apply for an Assessment
The organisation applying for a CEEQUAL Award first needs to appoint an Assessor. This can be either a team member or someone contracted in. If not already trained, the appointed individual will need to complete CEEQUAL Assessor training.
This is an important appointment because the Assessor needs to be able and empowered by their team colleagues to drive the sustainability assessment forward to a successful conclusion.
With the Assessor identified, the appropriate Application Form needs to be completed and sent to CEEQUAL. The application will be acknowledged and the invoice for the first instalment sent to the person nominated on the Application Form.
Step 2: Assessment Manual distributed & project uploaded to online assessment platform
Once the application process is complete, the relevant assessment manual will be distributed and the project can be uploaded to an online assessment platform. On previous versions of CEEQUAL, this took place on the Online Assessment Tool. As of CEEQUAL Version 6, this has been replaced by the BREEAM Projects platform. The online platforms provide assessors with the functionality to record material pertinent to the assessment process, including reasons for scoping-out questions, scores awarded by Assessor, supporting evidence and Verifier’s comments and amendments.
Step 3: Verifier nominated
Next, CEEQUAL will nominate a Verifier according to workload, availability, distance to the project and expertise relevant to the project. When the first instalment of the fee is paid, the Assessor and Verifier are linked by email so that the scoping meeting can be set up.
Step 4: Assessment scope-out
The Assessor reviews the project or contract against the question set in the manual and decides which questions they think are irrelevant and therefore should be proposed to the Verifier for scoping-out. The Assessor also sets up the scoping-out process with the Verifier. The Assessor will provide the Verifier with background information, to familiarise the Verifier with the project. The agreed scoping-out of the questions is recorded by the Assessor using the online platform.
Step 5: Gathering evidence for Assessment questions
The Assessor then takes full charge of the Assessment and works through the questions in the Manual, working with colleagues as appropriate as the project or contract progresses, gathers necessary supporting evidence, and then allocates provisional scores based on the evidence available.
The Assessor enters scores and evidence onto the online platform. The Verifier is available through this time for consultation by phone or email.
Step 6: Assessor notifies the Verifier once Assessment is complete
Once the Assessment is complete and the Assessor’s provisional scores have been entered on the online platform, together with commentary on the supporting evidence, the Assessor notifies the Verifier that the project is ready for verification. The Assessor must also contact the Verifier to fix the date for the verification meeting.
Step 7: Verification meeting
The Verifier then reviews the scores and evidence available on the online platform and agrees with the Assessor a date for a verification visit. The Verifier undertakes the verification in accordance with the CEEQUAL procedures, with the aim of agreeing a fair score for the project or contract with the Assessor. Note that individual question scores may be confirmed, reduced or increased by this process.
Step 8: Any additional or missing evidence?
After the verification visit, the Assessor has the opportunity to provide the Verifier with any missing evidence in support of their case. The timescale for this (normally within two to four weeks) will be agreed at the Verification visit.
Step 9: Verifier review, ready for Ratification
The Verifier completes their review by entering their comments and scores on the online platform, and then notifies that the project is ready for ratification (normally completed within three weeks).
Step 10: Congratulations!
After Ratification by the Scheme Management Team, Project and Contract Teams receive their CEEQUAL Award certificate based on their ratified scores. Awards may be presented at an event or location for further promotion – please contact us to discuss options.
Trained CEEQUAL Assessors are required to complete CEEQUAL Assessments. They are usually part of the project team and encourage the team to consider sustainability issues at appropriate times, as well as assessing the final outcome.
CEEQUAL Verifiers are independent from the project team. It is their job to help guide the assessor and verify the final assessment. CEEQUAL Verifiers have a deeper understanding of CEEQUAL and are chosen from a pool of Assessors who have completed at least one assessment.
The CEEQUAL Categories
CEEQUAL’s technical schemes consist of eight categories, each relating to a different area of sustainability, against which the performance of a project is assessed. Projects are awarded a score for each of the eight categories, which are combined to give the overall sustainability assessment score and the final rating. Click here to learn more about the technical schemes.
You can learn more about the CEEQUAL categories by visiting each of the category icons below.
Communities & stakeholders
Land use & ecology
Landscape & historic environment
The main output from the CEEQUAL assessment is the final sustainability rating, which reflects a project’s performance across the eight categories.
As of CEEQUAL Version 6, there are 6 rating levels for assessing sustainability. These are: Unclassified; Pass; Good; Very Good; Excellent; and Outstanding (only in CEEQUAL Version 6).
To learn more about the CEEQUAL assessment process, please click here to download our infographic.
CEEQUAL is a sustainability assessment tool that is used for assessing sustainability performance across a range of infrastructure, civil engineering, landscaping and public realm projects.
As such, there is a range of CEEQUAL Assessment types, for use in assessing sustainability across the variety of project types that CEEQUAL can be applied to. You can view the different assessment types that CEEQUAL applies to below. To explore the CEEQUAL schemes in more depth, click here.
CEEQUAL for Projects
CEEQUAL for Projects is used for assessing sustainability across all types of civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm works. Under CEEQUAL Version 6, the latest version of the assessment tool, there are five assessment types: Whole Project; Strategy & Design; Design; Design and Construction; and Construction.
Assessments can also be verified at stages as the project progresses, including strategy stage, design stage, and – for Whole Project assessments – interim design stage.
Using CEEQUAL for more complex projects
On larger, longer and more complicated projects, it can be impractical to assess the scheme as just one single project. In such a case multi-package assessments can be used for assessing sustainability, enabling separate CEEQUAL assessments of individual packages of works to be completed. The individual package scores are then aggregated on the basis of the individual package contract values to give an overall Whole Project assessment for the project.
CEEQUAL for Term Contracts
CEEQUAL for Term Contracts is currently available under Version 5 of the overarching CEEQUAL methodology. Unlike the CEEQUAL for Projects scheme, only two assessment types are available for assessing sustainability: Whole Team Award & Assessment; and Delivery Award & Assessment.
CEEQUAL fees are based on the contract value of the project or contracted works or, if applying early in the process, on the client’s or engineer’s estimate. The fee also depends upon the type of assessment being applied for. The fee covers the cost of the CEEQUAL-appointed Verifier (but not the time of the Assessor), CEEQUAL’s project administration costs, the cost of arranging for the certificate presentation at the end of the assessment, and the progressive development of the CEEQUAL scheme.
To download the fee scale for specific assessment types, please visit the resources section of our website.
Online Assessment Platforms
CEEQUAL uses online assessment platforms to record the whole CEEQUAL Assessment process, including evidence to support scores given, reasons for scoping-out questions, scores awarded by the Assessor, and the Verifier’s comments and amendments.
On previous versions of CEEQUAL (Version 4 and Version 5), the Online Assessment Tool was used. This is still active for ongoing projects using earlier versions of CEEQUAL.
As of CEEQUAL Version 6, this has been replaced by the BREEAM Projects platform, as part of process of aligning the CEEQUAL and BREEAM standards.
Assessors are given log-in details upon completion of an Assessor training course.
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