How to secure CDM 2015 skills etc. and organisational capability
A key change introduced in the forthcoming CDM Regulations 2015 is to replace the explicit CDM Regulations 2007 requirements for individual and corporate ‘competence’ contained in those regulations and associated Approved Code. There was said to be:
“strong evidence to suggest that there is a need to bear down on the excessively bureaucratic response in many parts of the industry to complying with CDM 2007. Such approaches waste valuable resources which could be better targeted at achieving improved standards.”
So what will be required from 6 April 2015?
What are the new requirements?
CDM 2015 Regulation 8 will require anyone appointing a designer or a contractor to work on a project to take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that those who will carry out the work have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the work in a way that secures health and safety.
Where the ‘person’ is an organisation the ‘organisational capability’ must also be assessed by those appointing.
HSE Guidance states that this means a designer or contractor should be capable of understanding how to:
- Identify the significant risks – likely to arise during either the design process or construction work; and
- Prevent those risks or manage or control – to acceptable levels.
Reasonable steps will depend on the complexity of the project and the range and nature of the risks involved.
How to assess “organisational capability”
The HSE guidance states that organisational capability effectively comprises:
- Policies and systems – which the organisation being assessed has in place to set acceptable / compliant health and safety standards; and
- Resources and people – to ensure the standards are delivered.
When looking to appoint a designer or a contractor HSE advise that:
“sensible enquiries should be made about their organisational capability to carry out the work involved”
Those making appointments will find the questions incorporated in Publicly Available Specification 91 2013 (PAS 91) provide a useful aid. PAS 91 sets out standardised pre-qualification questions which include health and safety questions along with other question sets on matters such as financial information.
This is one way of assessing organisational capability.
What about project specific assessments?
In addition to carrying out pre-qualification checks on organisations, those responsible for making appointments should also check that the designer or contractor has “sufficient experience and a good track record in managing the health and safety risks involved in the project”.
HSE believe that these checks are ideally carried out at the final stage after pre-qualification checks have been completed and before appointments are made.
How to assess “construction professionals”?
When considering the requirements for designers, architects and other construction professionals HSE state that due weight should also be given to membership of an established professional institution or body e.g. bodies with arrangements which provide some reassurance that health and safety has formed part of their route to membership of their profession.
In addition, questions should be asked of individuals to ensure that they have sufficient skills, knowledge, and experience to carry out the work involved, and how they keep those capabilities up to date.
How can designers and contractors prepare for assessment?
Designers and contractors (including individuals and sole traders) must be able to demonstrate they have the necessary health and safety skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the work.
This is the case for individuals working either for larger organisations or for themselves – in particular, self-employed designers.
Designers or contractors can use the services of an independent (third party) assessor to assess their organisational capability. There are companies which provide pre-qualification assessment services including those who are members of the Safety Schemes in Procurement Forum (SSIP) which ensures mutual recognition of member schemes.
HSE stress that SSIP assessment is:
“one way in which a designer or contractor can demonstrate organisational capability at the prequalification stage of the appointment process, but not the only way.”
The law does not require any individual or business to use the services of a third party to help them in bidding for work.
How to present your own CDM 20015 capability
The HSE guidance makes it clear that dutyholders can choose not to use the services of a third party and take up the option of assessing their own capability and supply relevant documentation to a client in support of a bid for work.
The pre-qualification questions in PAS 91 (see above) will be helpful in carrying out a self-assessment.
CDM 2015 Information and Templates
See CDM 2015 Survey Results for the findings of our CDM 2015 Five Minute Online Survey.
We have published a great deal of further information and templates designed to support Clients, Designers, Principal Designers/Contractors and Contractors in meeting their duties under CDM Regulations 2015.