If CITB wants to raise a Levy it has to consult with the construction industry and gain the support of industry about the proposals for the next Levy Order.
CITB must show that it has this support every three years. This process is known as Consensus.
Once Consensus is achieved, a Levy Order may be made by the Secretary of State to authorise CITB to collect a Levy from employers so it can invest in the skills and training the industry needs.
How is Consensus achieved?
The Industrial Training legislation requires CITB to take "reasonable steps" to satisfy the Secretary of State that the Levy Proposals are necessary to encourage adequate training in the industry. The Industrial Training Levy (Reasonable Steps) Regulations 2008 set out what these "reasonable steps" are.
Who is consulted?
In establishing whether there is Consensus in the industry in favour of its Levy Proposals, CITB consults with 'Prescribed Organisations'. If a Prescribed Organisation supports the Levy Proposals, all its Levy paying members count as supporting the proposals.
All employers have the opportunity to take part in discussions on the Levy Proposals during the consultation phase of Consensus. However, employers can only register their opinion on the dedicated online Consultation Channel. This information is fed back to the Levy Strategy Committee (LSC) before the final Levy Proposals are recommended to the Board.
Measuring Consensus involves the combination of consulting with Prescribed Organisations and a sample of unrepresented employers, as an effective and practical way of conducting the survey. The sample survey is conducted by an external body in accordance with relevant Market Research Society codes, with full anonymity of responses. The research agency is selected from a Government-approved list of independent research houses. The brief is provide by CITB, but the survey is conducted independently. CITB does not and should not know which employers are contacted; however, strict quotas are put in place to ensure that the responses match the overall composition of Levy paying employers that are not members of a Prescribed Organisation.
How is Consensus calculated?
CITB uses a set of Consensus Rules to calculate Consensus as follows:
- The most recently assessed Levy Return is used as the basis for the calculation.
- Only those employers considered likely to be liable to pay Levy under the Levy Proposals are in scope for calculation.
- Employers not 'positively' identified, including employers who are members of a Prescribed Organisation (i.e. previously known as Consensus Federations) or employers categorised as 'Don't know' and 'Unknown', will be included in the list of non-represented employers.
- Establishments listed on the Levy register shall be treated as part of their Levy parent registration.
- The views of employers who are members of two or more Prescribed Organisations will be split and their views and Levy value will be split equally between the Prescribed Organisations to which they belong.
- Where a Prescribed Organisation consists of two or more sub-organisations, the sub-organisation's members will be counted as part of the parent organisation. However, where a sub-organisation is a Prescribed Organisation in its own right, the members of that sub-organisation will be counted as part of the sub-organisation.
- More than 50% if likely Levy payers must support the Levy Proposals.
- More than 50% if likely Levy payable must be paid by employers supporting the Levy Proposals.