Specialist Contracting Services

The Specialist Contracting Services Department represents trade associations and mechanical and electrical contractors within the construction sector and implements the polices and directions set out by the Alliance of Specialist Contractors Associations (ASCA) – an umbrella group for 22 specialist sub-contracting associations within the CIF, and the Mechanical and Electrical Contractors Association (M&ECA) an umbrella group representing specialist engineering contractors of the Mechanical Engineering & Building Services Contractors Association (MEBSCA) and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA).

The Department provides information and assistance on all contractual issues including Prequalification, Tendering, Contract issues and disputes, and it can provide detailed reviews of tender and contract documents and advice on the risks being presented.

The Department’s primary services include:

  • Contracting and Tendering for Specialist Contractors – Advice on private and public sector procurement; assistance with drafting contractual notices, conditions of contract, collateral warranties and payment conditions.
  • Dispute Resolution Services & The Payment Recovery Assistance Programme (PRAP).
  • Lean Systems for Construction – Pilot programmes enabling a Lean Health Check for member companies to help identify the seven streams of waste and to assist in developing focussed company toolkits to address waste and stay competitive.
  • Members are represented on national stakeholder fora dealing with procurement and Forms of Contract.
  • Specialised Training Courses for Continuing Specialist Development (CPD) for management and post-apprenticeship staff.

Training services

In-house training programmes through the Specialist Contracting Services Department include:

  • GCCC Public Works Procurement Process
  • Named and Novated Sub-Contract
  • Construction Contracts Act
  • M&E Method of Measurement
  • Building Control (amendment) Regulations

Payment Recovery Assistance Programme

The Specialist Contracting Department offers CIF members access to the Payment Recovery Assistance Programme (PRAP). This is offered in conjunction with solicitor firms who are CIF corporate members. In recent times demand for the scheme has increased, and a number of legal firms participate.

Lean for Construction

The Specialist Contracting Services Department oversees the roll out of Lean construction principles and practices for member firms. Lean is the term often referred to as ‘maximising value, while minimising waste’.  The CIF provides a wide range of Lean construction programmes designed to provide additional support to construction professionals in implementing Lean programmes on their sites. The programmes are fully accredited by IOSH and QQI/FETAC, which provide learners with access to the European Educational Framework.

Building Information Modelling

Sean Downey provides a secretariat for the CIF’s Construction 4.0 Sub-Committee. He is currently working with the committee’s three sub-groups – BIM Working Group, MMC Working Group & RDI Working Group – to realise Action 1, 3 & 5 of the 7 key innovation & digital adoption actions, as identified by the KPMG Future Analytics & TU Dublin report – “Economic analysis of productivity in the Irish construction sector”.

Construction Contracts Act 2013

In July 2016, Specialist Contracting Services welcomed the implementation of the Construction Contracts Act 2013 (CCA). It provides specific project support for members to ensure their operations are CCA compliant.

To avail of services, or enquire about membership of one of the associations, please a member of the Specialist Contracting Services team

ASCA Member Trade Associations

  • Alliance of Specialist Contractors Associations (ASCA)
  • Master Painters and Decorators of Ireland (MPDI) (masterpainter.ie)
  • Plastering Contractors Association (PCA)
  • Roofing & Cladding Contractors Association (R&CCA)
  • Floor Covering & Tiling Contractors Association (FC&TCA)
  • Formwork SubContractors Association (FSCA)
  • Insulating Contractors Association (ICA)
  • Irish Association of Demolition Contractors (IADC)
  • Irish Window Association (IWA)
  • Joinery Manufacturers Association (JMA)
  • Master Glaziers Association (MGA)
  • National Association of Scaffolding & Access Contractors (NASAC)
  • National Furniture Manufacturers Association (NFA)
  • Road Safety Marking Contractors Association (RSMCA)
  • Roof Manufacturers & Suppliers Association (RM&SA)
  • Sheet Metal Manufacturers Association (SMA)

Sub Committees

Construction 4.0 Sub-committee: Chairman, Tim Ferris – O’Shea’s Electrical/Jones Engineering

Key Contacts

Sean Downey

Sean Downey – Director, Specialist Contracting

A Chartered and Registered Building Surveyor with over 20 years post graduate, technical and project management experience in Irish and European building projects.

Managing specialist and subcontractor trade associations to assist in the development of professional, efficient contracting businesses. Our aim is to showcase the value of our member companies as 'best in class' and to help them achieve their business growth ambitions.

Leading initiatives on innovation, BIM and continuous improvement for the construction sector.

Specialist support areas primarily include, advising on contract, payment, dispute resolution and procurement issues.

Gillian Ross – Executive, Specialist Contracting

Gillian Ross is responsible for the executive support of specialist associations’ business within the Federation.

Gillian administers a range of member services activities covering marketing and promotion of associations, lobbying and representation. She also deals with member queries on procurement, tendering and contractual matters, amongst other issues.

01 4066059

Denise Tuffy – Executive, Specialist Contracting

Denise Tuffy joined the CIF in 2016 and holds a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration from Trinity College Dublin.

Denise is responsible for the executive support of the mechanical & electrical associations within the Federation; and the Construction 4.0 policy committee.


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