Frequently Asked Questions for Client Users (Buyers and Prospective Buyers)
Q: What are the benefits of being a CHAS buyer?
A: In essence, we complete the initial Health and Safety application process for you.
Please see the buyer checklist for prequalification schemes
or read more about CHAS.
Q: Who can become a CHAS buyer?
A: The scheme is open to the public and private sectors. CHAS membership extends to health trusts, councils, emergency services,
the voluntary sector, housing associations, government departments and private companies who have a supply, for example
Royal Mail Group and British Aerospace to name but a few. View buyers.
Q: Is CHAS just for the construction industry?
A: No. The database stores information on a wide range of contractors and consultants (suppliers). It addresses all categories
of work from asbestos removal to window cleaning and from catering to residential care. We currently have 124 work categories
to select from in the database.
Q: How much does it cost to be a CHAS buyer?
A: There is no charge for being a CHAS buyer.
Q: Who manages the CHAS system / scheme?
A: The CHAS scheme operates out of Merton Council. The council is answerable to a National Management Board, click here
for more details.
Q: Does a CHAS assessment determine the competence of a supplier?
A: Yes but only to the first stage described in the CDM 2007 Approved Code of Practice . A compliant supplier has
demonstrated they have adequate compliance with current legislation and sound management of health and safety.
The ACoP requires the buyer to undertake a second stage (job or project specific) assessment. CHAS cannot do this for you.
Q: As a CHAS buyer must I do Health and Safety assessments?
A: No. We recognise that some prospective buyers do not have the skills or resources necessary to undertake supplier
assessments so we offer subscriber level membership (can search the database only).
Q: How long does an assessment take?
A: This depends on a number of factors including the quality of the application.
Experience shows that an initial assessment can take anywhere between 20 and 90 minutes.
If you are waiting for a supplier to complete the assessment, the whole process from application takes around 10 days but
typically they are completed within two or three days. However it may take longer for those who have an "initial fail".
Q: Do suppliers need a written Health and Safety policy?
A: Yes, if they have 5 or more employees. No, if they have fewer than 5 employees; the CHAS application form for those employing fewer than five people is specifically designed to help the supplier prove their commitment and management to health and safety.
Q: Can second stage assessment findings be displayed in CHAS?
A: Yes but only in the form of a 'comment' or 'private comment'. A supplier who has been listed as compliant on the database,
has achieved the required threshold standard. As the standards for a second stage are not clearly defined, someone using
the information will be unaware of what has been checked, and there can be no guarantee of consistency.
Q: Can CHAS be used in the short-listing process for term contracts?
A: Yes it can but you should remember that your selection process must be fair, clear and auditable when drawing up the
short-list. All suppliers must be treated in the same way. Your application used in the process would need to reflect CHAS
standards, and also build on them to elicit information relating to the second stage.
If a supplier has been recently successfully assessed as CHAS (stage 1) compliant (say in the last 9 months) you need only
assess the second stage competence element.
If the supplier has failed a CHAS assessment or has not been CHAS assessed, you need to complete a stage 1 assessment.
If they fail, there is no point in doing a stage 2 (they have not demonstrated compliance and/or adequate management).
They are not short-listed for this reason and you have saved time and work.
Q: What does it mean if a supplier has allowed their accreditation to expire?
A: A contractor with expired Accreditation may still be compliant and therefore should not be excluded from consideration.
As long as the contractor is listed as currently Compliant, they have been assessed as fit for use under the CHAS scheme.
Accreditation is an optional higher tier within CHAS which affords some extra benefits such as permission to display the logo and limited access to the database.
Accreditation requires a supplier to be assessed annually and in the main is a commercial decision for
them to make. View the benefits of accreditation.
If a supplier chooses not to renew their accreditation they will remain within the database with a status of compliant
(Compliance is valid for two years). Their accreditation status is normally removed from the database after 6 to 8 weeks .
If you have any questions about status please ring us on 0208 545 3838.