Competition Rules

ASC Region 8 Student Competition Rules

The following guidelines are set out to promote the fairness and integrity of the competition event and allow all participants to gain maximum benefit from their involvement.

1. General format

The Competition will usually be held over a 2-day period. On the first day documentation and additional guidance is provided to enable the participating teams to work on their solutions; on the second day, presentations are made by the teams to a panel of industry judges, with the top three teams determined thereafter and defending their solution by interview.

2. Definitions

(i) Competition Governance team – typically consisting of the Region 8 Competition Co-ordinator (initially the Regional Director) and the Host representative as appointed by their respective organisations. The team’s responsibility is to:

  • Identify the Problem Sponsor(s) for the competition.
  • Assist the Problem Sponsor(s) as necessary to assure a successful competition.
  • Ensure compliance with the competition rules.

(ii) Student Team – A maximum of four students, all of whom are currently enrolled on a construction-related programme at an ASC member school.

  • No more than 1 of the Student Team members may be a postgraduate student (i.e., studying at level 7 by the standard UK definition).
  • No substitutes/replacements will be permitted to be involved with the team in any way after the Competition begins.
  • A team member may only be on one team, but may be carried over from previous years.
  • The maximum number of teams permitted to register for any Competition will typically be 10, subject to review by the Governance Team in relation to the circumstances of any individual event.
  • Each ASC member school (whatever the Region they are from) will have the opportunity to enter 1 ‘home’ team, PLUS to collaborate in an additional 1 maximum inter-region team. This fulfils an important task of Region 8 in seeking to facilitate the development of international connections between institutions.
  • Teams may wish to choose their own name and related logo or graphics, and school colours/logos are permissible for use in submissions and presentations.
  • All team members are expected to contribute to the problem solution.

(iii) Coach – a designated member of staff from the ASC school providing the team, who is responsible for the transportation, lodging and other logistics of their members, and is the point of contact between the school and the Governance Team in the event of an emergency.

  • In the event of an inter-regional team being entered, 1 coach from each contributing school will be designated.
  • The Coach’s job prior to the competition is to encourage and support their team in any way deemed appropriate that ensures an effective learning and teaching environment is achieved.
  • However, once the competition begins with the delivery of the problem, the Coach’s role is limited to ensuring the competition rules have been followed.
  • During the initial problem-solving period, Coaches will only be able to communicate with their teams with the permission of the Governance Team, and only concerning business or logistics NOT related to the Competition Problem.
  • Coaches will not be able to offer any critique of a team’s problem solution in advance of the written submission, but it is recognised that they may wish to work with their teams to practice presentations in the overnight period between initial proposal and presentation.
  • Coaches will be permitted to observe their team’s presentation, and those of other teams, but may not have further contact with their team until their oral presentation is complete.

(iv) Problem Sponsor – lead industry representative(s) from a sponsoring organisation. The primary role of the Sponsor is to work with the Governance Team to identify an appropriate problem to present to the Student Team.                  

(v) Judges – a panel of additional industry representatives, typically numbering 5-6 and Chaired by the lead Problem Sponsor, tasked with determining the competition winners, runners-up, and third place team.

  • Judges shall be restricted from having direct access to competitors before or during the event, but may tour the venue with the Governance Team to ensure effective working.
  • No direct advice will be given during the event, but requests for clarification from the Judges will be considered in conjunction with the Governance Team, and, if agreed, responses will be made available to all participating Student Teams.
  • Each judge will provide a brief bio about themselves and their role in the company/panel for inclusion in the respective competition packs given to Student Teams.

(vi) DivisionsThe Region 8 Student Competition will initially be themed around generally accessible construction project management themes such as health & safety and programming. However, the Region is committed to exploring the introduction of a parallel Design & Build competition track in coming years.

(vii) Competition Problem – the key task of setting the Student Competition is to generate a problem from real projects that are good examples of the project delivery system proposed.  Care should be taken that the problem conforms to these rules and guidelines.

3. The Competition Event

(i) General format – The Competition Problem should be provided at the beginning of the problem-solving period. Participants are expected to follow the rules on the honour system, so that policing is not required. However, spot checks will be done periodically to ensure that everything is running smoothly.

Any questions or problems should be reported to the Governance Team.

  • Prior to the competition, any registered students of the participating school may support the team in any way they deem appropriate.
  • From the moment the problems are opened until the initial submission, no one other than the four Team Members can participate in solving the problem.
  • The teams should be isolated from other students as much as practical.
  • Teams are allowed to use whatever equipment and publications they bring to the competition site, unless forbidden by the Problem Sponsor within the problem documents.
  • There shall be no outside assistance from any group, individual, association, contractor, or other outside entity unless provided for within the Competition Problem.
  • Web access is permitted as long as no dialogue takes place with anyone outside the team, unless prohibited within the Competition Problem provided by the Problem Sponsor.
  • Violation of any of the competition’s general rules and/or a violation of a sponsor’s problem rules and requirements will affect an immediate review and judgment. Upon the report of a rules violation, the Competition Coordinator shall immediately convene a review committee comprised of the coordinator, the problem sponsor’s representative, and a current competition coach selected by the coordinator. The committee shall first hear the complaint and then determine if probable cause exists that a violation has indeed occurred by a majority vote of the assembled committee. The committee shall call the violating team’s coach into the committee meeting to inform them of the violation and provide an opportunity to defend the team’s actions. In closed session the committee shall deliberate their findings and issue a final judgment which could range from scoring penalty through disqualification. Judgments shall be made that will be considerate of the educational value to the competition, school, competing team and its membership. The communication of the judgment should ensure that the privacy of the team and coach is protected as much as possible.

(ii) Written Submissions – The Competition Problem will clearly define the expected deliverables and success criteria for Student Teams to address.

  • Usually, the initial proposal will require a statement of the main challenges the Student Team has identified, and an outline of the proposed solutions.
  • The submission deadline for the proposal will be announced clearly and followed strictly.

(iii) Presentations – Initial ‘headline’ presentations will be 10 minutes in length, strictly timed, with five minutes Q&A period at the end.

  • A projector, screen, and flip chart easel/sheet will be made available to all Student Teams.
  • The order of presentations will be drawn through random lots, and posted by the Competition Co-ordinator as soon as determined but a minimum of one hour in advance of the first scheduled presentation.
  • Each member of the Student Team must speak.
  • The Judges will determine the top 3 teams based on their combined performance in the written proposal and initial keynote presentation.
  • A debrief will be provided to all teams, led by the Problem Sponsor commenting on the real life successes and challenges of the project. The purpose of this session will be to enhance the learning experience for the students, and should also offer feedback of a general nature on the proposals and presentations (e.g. issues that were not addressed and should have been).

(iv) Interviews – The top 3 Student Teams will be invited back to participate in an additional 10-minute interview, requiring a more in-depth exploration and defence of their problem solution.

  • The precise format and questions used to structure this interview will be at the discretion of the Problem Sponsor and Judges, in consultation with the Governance Team.
  • The winners, runners-up, and third place teams will be announced by the Problem Sponsor.

4. Additional Activities

Wherever possible, an additional social/educational programme will be provided by the Host institution, in which all Student Teams and Coaches are cordially invited to participate.

ASC Region 8 Competition Rules

Version 1.1 September 2017

(With grateful thanks to Regions 1 & 5, upon whose rules these are based)

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