Prior to joining CoST is an engagement period. It involves informal engagement and assessment based on local circumstances with the CoST International Secretariat. The country wishing to join will focus on information gathering, and learning about CoST, as well as gauging the level of interest in that country for the international programme.
The country will then submit the following to the CoST Board, for their final decision on joining CoST as a participating country:
1. A letter from a government office or an alternative organisation with government endorsement, indicating:
- Desire to enhance transparency and accountability in the construction sector, and to adopt CoST principles;
- Public announcement of intent to implement the programme
- Intent to engage with the private sector and civil society as part of the programme
- Initial commitment of at least one infrastructure procuring entity to participate
- Commitment to liaise and share information with the CoST Board and International Secretariat
2. An implementation plan, indicating:
- Administrative arrangements, including an official contact for coordination with the international programme;
- Schedule for key activities
- Budget and financing plan.
This begins once the CoST Board has agreed that a country can become a CoST Participating Country. The first step will involve gaining agreement from stakeholder groups on implementing CoST and establishing governance arrangements - such as the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) and a management unit. A baseline study will usually be commissioned so that CoST processes can be adapted to the local context, and to provide data for measuring progress.
Following this, the participating procuring entities establish and operate disclosure for relevant projects and respond to any reactions or requests for information. An assurance team employed by the MSG evaluates and reports on these disclosures. Periodic monitoring and reporting tracks progress in the programme and evaluates results.
The aspiration for Participating Countries is to achieve sustainable operations. This is reached when the disclosure requirements are integrated into formal government systems.
Further guidance on joining CoST is available from Resources section.