Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP)
The CHAS management team are pleased to announce their founder membership status of the SSIP.
More detail can be found on the SSIP website www.ssip.org.uk. What this newsletter aims to provide is some brief background information to CHAS' involvement in the Forum and what it means to our members (buyers) and our registered contractors and consultants - the suppliers.
Background and Involvement
Two years ago myself, John Murphy, the CHAS scheme manager, at the request of HSE invited representatives from the principal health and safety pre-qualification (PQ) schemes to investigate whether the existing (but limited) mutual recognition arrangements amongst schemes could be enhanced and extended to non-scheme buyers. We made progress at the early meetings and agreed mutual recognition (or 'deem to satisfy') could and should be achieved wherever possible, as the excessive costs caused by duplication to industry in PQ were no longer bearable.
To move the 'deem to satisfy' agreement forward the Health & Safety Executive appointed and paid for an external consultant to conduct a review and report of what the schemes were doing, how they were operating and to make recommendations on what the Forum needed to achieve for SSIP to become a reality.
The rest as they say is history, as the four founder members of the SSIP, chaired by myself, John Murphy, worked long and hard over two years to agree the protocols, procedures and standards. None of this could or would have happened without the support of the Health & Safety Executive.
What does or did CHAS have to do to be an SSIP Member?
For us to achieve and maintain our SSIP registration we, like other schemes - including new ones as they join - must demonstrate and maintain the standards required by HSE through an annual independent third-party audit. The audit is in two parts, we must demonstrate quality management to ISO 9001 standard and health and safety pre-qualification to the HSE approved standard.
What can client users (buyers) expect?
An important feature of SSIP is the HSE's message that a buyer can be confident a
supplier who is registered or accredited as compliant or approved with an SSIP member
has been assessed to the threshold standard (stage 1). The buyer having verified their
status will only then need to focus on the project or job specific assessment (stage 2).
When tendering for work many existing CHAS buyers require suppliers to be CHAS registered
and will advertise "CHAS or equivalent". If a supplier tenders for work with a buyer as
an 'equivalent' you need not ask them to register with CHAS - simply accept their SSIP equivalence, having first verified with the SSIP scheme member that it remains valid. Of course from a supply chain management point of view,
you may wish to have the supplier register with us at a very nominal cost.
Non-CHAS scheme registered buyer.
A supplier registered with CHAS may give you a copy of their CHAS registration letter, their certificate of accreditation or their database user ID. You should contact us by email (email@example.com) and we will verify their status with you as soon as we can. Remember that any further assessment on this supplier by you, needs to only focus on the second stage (project or job specific) assessment. If you wish to have access to the audit trail and history of this
supplier you may consider joining the CHAS scheme (there is no cost to you). By accepting CHAS compliance as a 'deem to satisfy', both you and the supplier will save time and resources. The supplier won't have to complete an application and provide evidence and you won't have the time consuming task of assessing it.
CDM 2007 Approved Code of Practice
The threshold standard required for SSIP membership are those described in the CDM ACoP - the core criteria. The ACoP (201) states, "Doing an assessment requires you to make a judgment as to whether the organisation or individual has the competence to carry out the work safely. If your judgment is reasonable, taking into account the evidence that has been asked for and provided, you will not be criticised if the organisation you appoint subsequently proves not to have been competent to carry out the work".
ACoP 207 goes on to say, "Alternatively, organisations may use an independent accreditation organisation to assess their competence against the elements of the core criteria. Where this route is adopted, both clients (with the help of the CDM coordinator for notifiable projects) and organisations putting themselves forward for assessment should satisfy themselves that the accreditation body is using the criteria in Appendix 4 as a basis for the assessment". (That's what we do)!
What can CHAS registered suppliers expect?
Registration with other scheme members
'Deem to satisfy' may not always be fully reciprocated amongst all SSIP members. Exor Management Services accept
CHAS fully but have some additional criteria that is required by the client. Constructionline will accept an SSIP
registration in full, but as they do not carry out assessments themselves, it cannot be reciprocated. The service levels
for existing members (buyers) and new ones as they join are described in detail on the SSIP web site at www.ssip.org.uk
By all supply chains
Suppliers should not expect everyone to accept 'deem to satisfy' overnight. There are many supply chain managers who will need to be convinced they can place their trust in what we are doing. It is a stated objective of the SSIP to educate clients and as the SSIP Chairperson I will be striving to do that over the next 12 months and beyond.
However, suppliers have a role to play when asked to complete a health and safety PQ by a non-SSIP member. As a CHAS registered supplier please ask the buyer if they know about the SSIP Forum. If they do not, ask them to consider visiting the web site at www.ssip.org.uk where they will see this HSE supported initiative. This means they can trust your third-party (CHAS) registration, which will save everyone valuable time and resources. You can ask them to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be pleased to talk to them about what SSIP and CHAS does.
What can non-CHAS registered suppliers expect?
The Health & Safety Executive is a strong supporter of SSIP. In their website page they say "HSE recognises that an accreditation assessment carried out by any of the member schemes satisfies the requirements of the Core Criteria. Any client wishing to procure the services of a business that has achieved accreditation can be confident that a reasonable and robust judgement has been made, that the standard for competency in CDM 2007 has been met, for the first stage of procurement.
CHAS cannot therefore give 'deem to satisfy' to a supplier registered with a non-SSIP member. This might affect some suppliers who previously received their registration without assessment. If you need to know why this has happened you should consider asking the relevant scheme why it is not part of SSIP. We cannot answer on their behalf.
CHAS is fully committed to the principles of SSIP.
Only through schemes such as SSIP can the construction industry hope to reduce (the estimated) hundreds of millions of pounds wasted each year by procurers "doing their own thing" in health and safety prequalification.
CHAS Scheme Manager