Sample Material

Learning outcome:

On completion the learner will know how to determine methods of working for construction and be able to plan the work.


1.2.1 Selecting the work methods   

1.2.2 Method Statements   

1.2.3 Producing a Method Statement


Foster, G (1989) Construction site studies production, administration and personnel (2nd Ed), Longman; Harlow, Chapter 9.

Site Content


1.2.1 Selecting the work methods

To carry out a task it is normally possible to do it in a number of ways  using a number of different methods i.e. To dig out the trench for a  drain run, it can be done either by the use of man power where by it is dug out by hand or it can be done by a machine.  The method chosen will depend on the size of the job, how important it is  to do it in a given time frame and if there is a piece of suitable plant on site at anytime prior to the trench being dug. 

Such consideration will therefore have to consider the following:                                

  • Costs comparisons· 
  • Time requirements and the relationship to the critical path· 
  • Availability of plant and labour· 
  • Options available with regard to different systems of construction  

From this and your understanding of the processes, which must be completed  to construct a building you should be able to break down the  Construction Phase into the activities and assess the ways that these  are carried out. You would then need to assess the possible methods  which can be done by the production of a Method Statement. 

Site Content


1.2.2 Method Statements

A Method Statement is a detailed schedule that considers alternative  proposals and makes recommendations on how a task is to be carried out  and the resources that will be needed.  It considers time, costs and technique for each method of carrying out the work and the resources necessary to perform the major activities in the project.                                                                                                                        

Prior to the programme being drawn up it is essential to know the following:             

  • what is to be done
  • how it is to be done 
  • what is the sequence of activities
  • how long will each operation take to complete
  • what labour is required
  • what plant is required 

When assessing a job it is probable that there will be a number of options  for how it can be carried out. The production of a method statement can  enable each option to be assessed prior to deciding on the most  appropriate method.                            

A method statement will enable all the resources to be assessed and  consequently this can help in the costing of the project. This can be  produced as a Method and Resource Statement or as separate forms.                                                                      

The method statement is best produced at the earliest opportunity as it is  used to guide everyone within the contracting firm regarding the method  and sequence of construction.                                                                                                                   

To produce the method statement, the construction work is broken down into operations, and the labour and plant requirements are then estimated by those responsible i.e. plant by the plant manager.                                                               

The Method Statement is the basis from which the programmer works in  drawing up the Contract Programme. It can also be used on-site by the  site manager as it conveys how the work should proceed.                                                                            

Not all firms produce a method statement as many will rely on the site  manager to carry out the work using their experience, this is  particularly true in housing developments.                                                                                                                  

The production of the method statement must consider the contract documents i.e. drawings, specification, Bill of Quantities. If the contract is  handed over in stages the method statement will include this.                                                                                

Once the method statement has been produced it should be adhered to with no deviations without official permission.                                                                            

The work that is to be done by the contractor and any nominated  sub-contractors should be shown on the Statement and it is normal for  any sub-contractors to produce a method statement for their work  package.  

Site Content


1.2.3 Producing a Method Statement

  In order to produce a method statement the following Procedure can be used:      

  • Determine what is required to be done 
  • Break down the complete job into separate operations 
  • Determine the ways that each of those operations can be carried out 
  • Select the most appropriate method (alternatively produce a method statement for each method) 
  • Place them in the sequence that they are to occur 
  • Determine what, if any, plant is required for each operation 
  • Determine the operatives required to carry out each operation (Remember to  include plant operator) 
  • Determine if any special requirements apply.      

Task 1.2.1


Activities List

List the activities that will need to be carried out in order to produce a method statement and programme to carry out the work for the construction of a detached domestic dwelling. This will include all items from site set-up to hand-over in the order that they are to be carried out. 

Site Content


Filling in the Method Statement

Having obtained the above information this can be transferred onto the Method Statement. A number of forms can be used and the one below is used as an example.

  • Operation Number (Op No) - This records the sequence of the operations it also ensures that when the calculation sheet is produced all items are included and related.
  • Operation - Itemises the operations that are to be undertaken.
  • Method - Describes what is to be done and how the operation is to be carried out.
  • Plant - Any plant that is required for the operation should be listed.
  • Labour - The type of labour required is listed. If the labour requirement is known this can be inserted,
  • Notes - Any additional points can be noted here i.e. notify Building Inspector.