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Knowledge Share: Preparing For SSiP Applications

Sep 13, 2022

JCH Safety work with many small businesses who need to be members of SSiP schemes. This article provides all you need to know about getting ready to apply to join, or renew, membership of an SSiP scheme.

What are SSiP schemes and what’s the point of membership?

SSiP stands for Safety Schemes in Procurement. It is an umbrella term, under which there are many health and safety schemes. Basically, they are a pre-qualification process for companies to demonstrate their health and safety competence. By law, clients need to ensure that only competent firms carry out construction works. Clients use companies that are members of SSiP to look for contractors to carry out their works who meet certain key safety criteria. Accreditation is often a prerequisite to work for certain organisations such as construction firms, hospitals and local authorities, as they need to ensure their contractors comply with health and safety regulations. By only contracting to suppliers who are SSiP accredited, allows buyers and procurement managers to meet their CDM 2015 duties. As a result nearly all major companies and public bodies look for SSiP accredited contractors. If you are not part of an SSiP you are likely missing out on business.

Being a member of a SSiP scheme is a doorway to work. It sets companies above other firms and demonstrates competence to potential clients. JCH Safety works with a number of companies to achieve membership of SSiP schemes on an annual basis. These clients report back that without membership of such schemes, they would loose a lot of business. Therefore, SSiP procurement helps to keep workers safe and generates business opportunities.

What are some of the most popular SSiP schemes?

There are a lot of SSiP organisations who carry out the necessary health and safety pre-qualification of contractors. Different clients, use different schemes. Some of the more popular SSiP are:

  • Safecontractor
  • SMAS
  • CHAS
  • Worksafe

There are many other providers and they all tend to look for certain key information from contractors. This includes evidence of insurance; access to competent safety advice; risk assessment ability; COSHH safety management; relevant training and experience; and the prevention and management of accidents. During an application for SSiP membership, it is necessary to provide an array of evidence to demonstrate competence.

How to become SSiP accredited?

Joining a SSiP scheme can be a bit daunting at first. Usually, a company joins a SSiP scheme at the request of a client, in order to be awarded their business. It involves paying for membership which varies from provider to provider. The size of your business may have an impact on the cost of the assessment also, depending on the scheme. Once the fee is paid, you then have to compile the relevant evidence to demonstrate health and safety compliance. Evidence includes a copy of your health and safety policy; training and skills information and internal health and safety management systems. This can be where some firms have difficulties as they may not have the necessary paperwork and documented processes in place. For some companies, when they first join an SSiP scheme, there is a steep learning curve as they need to adopt policies and management systems to be compliant. Once the relevant evidence is gathered and submitted, the SSiP accreditor assesses your firm. This is normally done within a couple of weeks. If necessary, they will come back to you for additional information until such point as you meet their membership category standards. Once accredited, you will be provided with a certificate to demonstrate this.

How can JCH Safety help?

JCH Safety work with a number of small construction firms to help them to operate safely and achieve health and safety compliance. We work with building contractors, tiling firms, refurbishment contractors, flooring firms and others, providing them with online training, safety documentation and mentoring. This includes assisting them with SSiP applications.

We have helped many small to medium sized companies, across Coventry, Warwickshire, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, to achieve membership of SSiP schemes. This has given them access to a wealth of business opportunities. Some companies, who are clients of ours, have literally gone from no health and safety at all, to becoming full members of SSiP schemes with JCH Safety. If you need assistance, we can help. As a competent health and safety practice, accredited by numerous professional bodies, we have a broad range of knowledge to help your business become SSiP accredited. We can design health and safety policy documents, prepare risk assessments, train staff and teach small companies how to operate safely. We can assist with documents, systems and monitoring arrangements. As Midlands based Chartered Safety Practitioners, we can carry out full health and safety audits, inspections and bring new and existing firms up to speed, quickly.

By law, companies must have access to a competent health and safety person. That is someone with sufficient and suitable health and safety training, experience and relevant competence to guide a company to meet its health and safety responsibilities. For larger firms, this is often an in-house health and safety professional. Smaller businesses often don’t have the luxury of being able to afford an in-house professional. This is somewhere else JCH Safety can help. We can act as your retained health and safety competent person. As a retained competent person, we are available to assist your business on all health and safety matters from just £100 per month. We provide certification for this service which provides further evidence that your company is serious enough about safety to be awarded membership of SSiP schemes.

If you need help with SSiP schemes, or other aspects of health and safety, JCH Safety can help. We are based in Nuneaton, near Coventry and provide safety expertise across the Midlands as well as further afield. Providing both in person and remote support, allows us to work with clients building up close personal business relationships.

The pages listed below provide more information on our service offerings that will work towards your business becoming SSiP accredited:

5 reasons to book your safety audit today

Building projects safety management

Asbestos awareness

Health and safety consultancy

Health and safety consultant what do they do

Get in touch now to find out more.