This section outlines how to make use of the Common Assessment Standard (CAS) and Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) during health and safety pre-qualification and provides practical advice and information on successfully engaging with pre-qualification to promote your business and help win contracts.
The Common Assessment Standard
The Common Assessment Standard (CAS) has been developed by Build UK and other industry bodies, with ECA support. The aim of the CAS is to provide an industry recognised PQ standard, widely specified and recognised by commercial and public sector buyers. The CAS is already specified by several major building contractors and specification is likely to increase.
The CAS is available as ‘desktop’ assessment or at the supplier’s site (‘onsite’ assessment) as required by the buyer. CAS assessment questions include company business information and health and safety, but also topics such as CSR, equalities, environmental and quality.
As well as the mandatory questions there are advisory (non-mandatory) questions and various exemptions. E.g. Members that hold certain UKAS accredited ISO management standards may be exempt from answering some questions, as may businesses with under 10 employees.
|ECA has produced comprehensive guidance to help Members navigate the Common Assessment Standard. This manual provides advice on what is required, exemptions and offers support with answering questions and links to ECA documents to adapt and provide as evidence to the accreditation body. Read our guidance >|
There are currently three CAS assessment bodies: CHAS, Constructionline and Achilles. ECA has a CAS Member discount arrangement with CHAS.
Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP)
The Common assessment Standard recognises certification to SSIP level as meeting the health and safety requirements of the CAS, thereby reducing duplicated effort and costs. In addition, some buyers may still only require SSIP certification rather than CAS certification. You can find out more about SSIP here.
SSIP member schemes include: CHAS, SafeContractor, SMAS, Exor, Altius and CQMS. ECA has an SSIP Member discount arrangement with CHAS.