SSIP Accreditation Does your business need one?

These days, it is a fact of life that companies not only need to comply with all applicable laws but to be able to demonstrate that they have complied with all applicable laws.

On the one hand, this is entirely understandable. On the other hand, it can create a lot of administration. Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) accreditation cannot remove all of this, but it can reduce it substantially.

The basics of SSIP accreditation

Various health and safety organisations connected with the construction industry have joined forces to create the SSIP forum. All members of the forum can audit and accredit the health-and-safety standard of any company which wishes to supply goods and/or services to the construction industry.

As soon as one member gives SSIP accreditation to a company, all other SSIP forum members will recognize it. You would simply contact the relevant member(s) and apply for a “Deem to Satisfy” assessment.

There is a full and current list of SSIP forum members on the SSIP website and it includes all the familiar names in construction health and safety, including CHAS, NHBC and Constructionline.

The SSIP assessment criteria

SSIP accreditation is aligned with the ISO 45001 standard; however achieving ISO 45001 alone is not enough to be granted SSIP accreditation. It is, however, possible to certify under ISO 45001 and add the extra elements for SIPP at the same time.

This would include the data integration with the SSIP Portal for the purposes of fulfilling Deem to Satisfy requirements.

Any company interested in going down this path would need to make sure to inform their advisory consultants as early as possible in the proceedings, preferably even before starting the necessary work to achieve ISO 45001.

Please note that the SSIP assessment criteria are divided into categories and reflect the type of work being done by the applicant. If an applicant performs more than one type of work, then they may require more than one SSIP assessment and likewise if an applicant subsequently decides to expand or otherwise change their field of work, they might also be required to update their SIPP assessment.

The benefits of SIPP

The main benefit of SSIP is that it makes life easier for all concerned. Suppliers only have to complete one accreditation to have their competency recognized by all other SIPP members plus a large and growing number of buyers, who need to ensure that their suppliers can demonstrate adherence to health and safety protocols.

As a result, not only can SIPP-accredited suppliers be put on the main pre-qualification portals, but they can also go straight to the head of the queue in many tender processes.

SIPP is on its way to becoming effectively mandatory

At present, from a legal standpoint SIPP accreditation is optional. From a practical standpoint however it is becoming increasingly common for buyers to insist upon it as a prerequisite for being considered for a tender.

In simple terms, the need to demonstrate compliance with health-and-safety requirements extends all the way up the supply chain to the buyer. In fact, the buyer is very likely to be in the front line of any subsequent issues and hence has a significant vested interest in making sure that they are well protected from them.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Watson, Director at Watson & Watson Health and Safety Consultants. Watson & Watson are experienced health and safety consultants, providing health, safety and risk management solutions throughout the UK.