Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP)

Everyone in construction will probably have heard of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP). I assist many of my clients with numerous SSIP member schemes such as Acclaim, CHAS, SMAS and Safecontractor. When I ask them for their thoughts about these schemes, the biggest response is that it is just a money maker, but they must have them to work for clients. This doesn’t shed good light on the scheme overall, although I see it’s benefits of ensuring competency if it worked as intended where one scheme would satisfy all requirements under SSIP. The problem is companies decide which member scheme their contractors must achieve, and if contractors are working with multiple clients, this can lead to multiple assessments with different schemes. Let’s look at the cost of these.

CHAS for 5-15 persons: Standard from £479, Advanced from £749, Elite from £829. If you have more employees, the price continues to go up in stages per number of employees. 501 to 1000 employees is £1019 for standard, £1569 for advanced and £1869 for elite. To my knowledge these are the same assessments to ensure competence.

Safecontractor works differently and focuses on speed of assessment. Standard assessment time for 5-9 people is £649 and 10-15 people is £729. Again, this will continue to rise based on the number of employees working. If you would like to speed up the assessment to a 2-day assessment premier package, then 5-9 persons costs £789 and 10-15 costs £869

Constructionline base its costs on turnover. Let’s say a company turns over £700,000 to £999,999 then that company will pay £469 for a bronze membership, £579 for a silver membership, £789 for a golf membership and £2249 for a platinum membership. All include the Acclaim SSIP, which again is the same questions and evidence sought.

SMAS is assessment based also. Standard is 7 days, Essentials 2 days and Complete is 1 day.

Standard for 15 people £389, Essentials £588, and Complete £718. Again, this amount is dictated by the number of staff the company employs.

If you need to have more than one assessment carried out, you can deem to satisfy. This is where you use one scheme certification to pass another without carrying out a full assessment. Based on the SSIP website, figures it shows that CHAS offer no discount for DTS, Safecontractor off 0-20% for DTS, SMAS offer 72-77% and Constructionline Acclaim states Not Applicable.

There are many other assessment schemes in place to use such as Achilles’ building confidence and Avetta to name just two, and they all follow the same strategy. As you can imagine, declaring your company’s competence can be very costly and unfair. I have called SSIP today to try and gain a response to why they allow this to happen on their scheme, and why being a member of one SSIP scheme isn’t enough to satisfy requirements, when that was why SSIP was set up in the first place. Currently I have called four times and receive a BT answer phone message each time.

I, along with the clients I work with are wondering when will this change for the better, to reduce costs and maintain competency.

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