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Help at hand for pre-qualifi cation


After years of extensive lobbying from the ECA and the SEC group, in October a common standard for pre-qualifi cation – PAS 91 – was published. With the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) also now established in health and safety, Paul Reeve takes a look at both – and at what’s next in the ECA’s battle against excessive pre-qualifi cation


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n 2007 the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) construction division met leading third party assessment providers, including the Contractors’ Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS), Exor, National House-


Building Council (NHBC), and Constructionline, plus the ECA, representing the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) group. The meeting was held against a groundswell of stakeholder concern that, for health and safety in particular, something must be done to overcome the proliferation of pre- qualifi cation schemes and pre-qualifcation questionnaires (PQQs). That meeting resulted in the formation of the Safety Schemes in Procurement Forum (SSIP), under the chairmanship of John Murphy of CHAS. Today, SSIP is a steadily growing umbrella group of health


and safety pre-qualifi cation schemes supported by the HSE and others. Its principal aim is to allow ‘mutual recognition’ between its various member schemes. To quote current SSIP Chairman Simon Mantell: ‘With the ever-present prospect


ECA Today Winter 2010 About the author


Paul Reeve Paul Reeve is the ECA expert on safety and environmental management. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Environment Management, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, and an adviser to leading certifi cation bodies on health,


safety and environmental issues.


of government legislation to reduce bureaucracy, SSIP is... taking control of its own destiny, for the benefi t of the overall supply chain.’ The SSIP website reports any additions to the Forum, and


a notable addition this year was Safecontractor. SSIP member assessment bodies include: ■ Altius Vendor Assessment ■ Contractors’ Health and Safety Scheme (CHAS) ■ Eurosafe UK ■ Exor Management Services Ltd (EMS) ■ Facilities Services Group ■ Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd (fi rst major contractor to join SSIP).


■ National House-Builders Council ■ Safety Management Advisory Services – ‘Worksafe’ ■ Safecontractor (also part of EMS) The ECA is affiliated to SSIP, and SEC group is on the SSIP steering group, representing the interests of specialist


SHUTTERSTOCK


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