What Is Contractor Accreditation and Why Do You Need It?

SMAS accreditation

Statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show there were 30 fatal injuries to workers in 2018/19, so it’s unsurprising the construction industry is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous. Contractor accreditation can help you reduce accidents, however, and showcase your business as a responsible member of the industry.

So what exactly does third party accreditation involve, and why should you seek endorsement in this way?

What is contractor accreditation?

Accreditation, such as SSIP involves a detailed audit of your existing health and safety systems, as well as ongoing annual assessments. Once you’re accredited you can display logos and stickers on your marketing materials, website, and vehicles, highlighting your status and achievement.

But what areas of health and safety does accreditation cover? Here are some aspects you’d need to consider during the accreditation process:

Do you need accreditation as a contractor?

Although contractor accreditation isn’t compulsory it does hold significant benefits for your construction business, not least in boosting your credibility and raising your profile in the industry.  

It can help you secure more contracts, and provides clear proof during the pre-qualification stage that you take health and safety seriously. But do you need to gain accreditation from more than one body?

Safety Systems in Procurement (SSIP)

A number of accreditation schemes exist for the construction industry, including SafeContractor, CHAS, and Acclaim, but a number of them are brought together on one platform by the Safety Systems in Procurement (SSIP) scheme.

SSIP allows for mutual recognition between third party health and safety accreditation schemes, so contractors don’t need to enter multiple programmes. So is it worthwhile taking the time to gain accreditation in this way? Here are a few reasons why you should.

Win more work

Third party contractor accreditation demonstrates your commitment to health and safety, and is a positive factor when tendering for new contracts.

Elevate your status

Being accredited by a third party increases credibility demonstrates a commitment to health and safety, and showcases your business as a legitimate service provider.

Save time and money

Prequalification paperwork is reduced, freeing up time and resources to move the business forward – an important point for smaller construction companies.

Boost your marketing

When you gain accreditation the scheme provider’s logo can be used to good effect to market your business.

Acorn Health and Safety can provide further information on contractor accreditation schemes and their value to your company. We’re a UK wide health and safety consultancy offering property and construction managers the full range of H&S services, including CDM consultancy services, health and safety inspections, and fire risk assessments. Call one of our experts, or obtain a free quote online.

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