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    H&S PRE-QUALIFICATION SCHEMES

    Industry body looks for mutual recognition of prequal standards

    Pre-qualification Service Providers and HSE are using the CDM 2007 as a catalyst for industry wide cooperation to achieve mutual recognition of prequalification standards and reduce unnecessary compliance costs for UK businesses. The provider body, Safety Schemes in Procurement – Competence Forum (SSIP), is supported by HSE and includes: 

    • Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS)
    • Exor Management Services
    • National House Building Council
    • SAFEcontractor

    Also represented on SSIP are Constructionline, Construction Clients Group, Construction Confederation and the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group.

    SSIP Chair, John Murphy (CHAS) said ‘The Forum will provide their respective clients with a service that gives integrity in health, safety and welfare competence in procurement. We will help both clients and contractors to achieve value for money by avoiding unnecessary duplication and bureaucracy where it is possible. Finally we want to provide confidence in the first stage safety competency assessments through a consistent, reliable, and quality-controlled standard of vetting.’

    Chief Inspector of Construction for HSE, Stephen Williams comments, : “We are very pleased to actively support the valuable work of this Forum, whose aim is to work together to implement arrangements for mutual recognition between the various health and safety pre-qualification schemes. Mutual recognition under the SSIP will mean that clients procuring construction work can have assurance that those they are appointing meet the standard of competence required, at the first stage of procurement. Clients will retain responsibility for the second stage, where a contractor’s track record and competences to carry out specific construction work need to be taken into account.”

    Comment: This is a positive development for all parties. Clients will be able to consider a range of contractors with confidence that if they have been subject to one of the shemes the Stage 1 core competence criteria will be met. Likewise, contractors should be able to avoid need to subject their H&S systems to a number of essentially similar prequal assessments.

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