skip to Main Content
Commissioning Plans Vs Method Statements

Commissioning Plans Vs Method Statements

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 96) – All IMHO:

Why do British engineers and contractors ask for method statements? I have frequently been asked this question by American construction professionals in the Middle East. 

​Method statements are a sleep inducing subject. However, given the mix of cultural influences on international projects resulting in confusing specifications and submission requirements, it is important to understand what they are and why they are used in property design and construction. 

Method Statement
In the UK, Method Statements are important documents written by “competent” people. They are identified by the UK Health and Safety Executive as being one way to satisfy the requirements of H&S regulations.
If there is an accident on a UK site leading to serious injury or death, the Method Statement and “competence” of the writers plus the permit to work system become import items of evidence, that in some cases lead to prosecution. So serious then! 

Due to Health & Safety plus legal aspects, Method Statement narratives are embedded within UK firms building design specifications and construction practice. 

From a Commissioning perspective a Method Statement should address:


  • Purpose & start date
  • Materials & resources
  • Health & Safety + Permits to Work


  • What will you do – technical compliance required
  • How will you do it – must be safe
  • Who will do it – must be qualified “competent” people


  • Pass / fail – how is success measured & acknowledged?
  • Pro-forma Test Sheets – record outcomes & completion

Commissioning Method Statements are about Commissioning only and should be concise, they are NOT:

  • Regurgitated pre-qualification documents
  • Materials or installation submittals

Commissioning (Cx) Plan
Generally, construction professionals from North American do not require Commissioning Method Statements. Accepted practice is to rely on the Commissioning Plan to detail Means, Methods & Criteria.

A Commissioning Plan is a document that outlines the Commissioning Process incorporating;

  • organization – Means 
  • schedule – Methods
  • allocation of resources – Methods
  • Performance & documentation requirements – Criteria

A Commissioning Plan is a bit like a very long Method Statement minus the Health & Safety aspects. 

Next time this comes up I hope the above helps and if you are still awake after reading this, I salute you. 

Twitter: @BLDWhisperer

Related posts & links:

#70 – USA & UK, 2 Engineering Cultures Sharing 1 Language ( )

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Working with the big main contractors, calling the document a method statement has gotten me into alot of trouble. I stopped using that phrase when told a method statement had to follow the main contractor safety method statement format.

    I now call them ‘testing procedures’ as that describes what they are alot better. Inside we would make note that the main contractor needs to complete full evaluation of the works to assess any risks and then complete the processes inline with their internal procedures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top