A prequalification scheme for the construction industry, the Common Assessment Standard, introduced in May has had a positive response from the industry.
According to CHAS (the Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme), which was the first recognised assessment body to certify companies against the new Common Assessment Standard, more than 30 of the construction industry’s biggest names have said they will support the scheme. Interest among specialist contractors who recognise early sign-up as an opportunity to get ahead of the competition is also gaining pace.
Led by Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), the Common Assessment Standard is intended to replace the multitude of prequalification schemes with a simplified process based on a single, industry-agreed questionnaire. Once the new system is fully up and running the aim is to make it the primary route to prequalification in construction, so clients do not have to specify a specific assessment body and specialist contractors will need only one annual assessment, saving both parties time and money.
The Common Assessment Standard is based on existing PQ questionnaires, including PAS 91, but is broader, covering topics including modern slavery, finances, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, reflecting an overall drive towards more stringent supply chain standards.
Ian McKinnon, the Managing Director of CHAS, says: “CHAS is the first recognised assessment body to certify companies against the Common Assessment Standard, living up to our reputation for leading the way in driving standards in prequalification.
“CHAS is very proud to be at the forefront of the new scheme, working with some of the biggest names in the industry."
He says CHAS is committed to making accreditation as accessible as possible. For contractors who require additional support, it has a package of membership offerings.
CHAS was created in 1997 by experienced health and safety professionals to improve health and safety standards across the UK. In partnership with the Association of London Government (ALG), CHAS was a key developer of the core criteria held in the Approved Code of Practice which supported the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations and is a founder member of SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement). As one of the founders of third party accreditation.