As a contractor, you probably know that there are various types of accreditation schemes, with CHAS being one of the most well-known. However, you may not have an understanding of what is required of each, which one is best to apply for, and how you’ll benefit by doing so.
There are a variety of accreditations that organisations can obtain to demonstrate high standards of health & safety practices, but CHAS is arguably the most recognisable among contractors. And that's the accreditation that we'll break down on this blog.
What is CHAS?
CHAS (The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) is an accreditation awarded to companies that can show their health & safety processes can meet an excellent standard.
Qualified professionals in health & safety complete a CHAS assessment of a business’s documentation, to confirm they’re fulfilling everything required by law. This is done without visiting their site.
CHAS state that they are “a founding member of SSIP and played an integral part of its launch in May 2009”. This tells us a lot about the importance of the accreditation!
What is SSIP?
SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) is the umbrella body for a range of assessment schemes. These schemes become members of SSIP and offer SSIP Approved accreditation to organisations. Supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), they have the authority in place to ensure accrediting bodies mutually recognise businesses based on industry best practices.
SSIP’s main goal is to reduce health & safety assessment costs and duplication. This is because they recognise that it is difficult for organisations to know which accreditation is considered “the best”, and end up being subject to multiple assessments. So, SSIP ensures that all its members, including CHAS, follow consistent guidelines when providing an accreditation.
What benefits come from CHAS Accreditation?
Regardless of whether you are a contractor or sub-contractor, a CHAS Accreditation can help your business in a number of ways.
Gain work opportunities with Local Authorities
Often when taking on a project from larger organisations, including hospitals & universities, you will need to be able to show proof of meeting high health & safety standards. CHAS Accreditation demonstrates that your company meets/exceeds these standards which may enable you to gain more work opportunities.
Show that your organisation can be trusted
As we all know, if something is approved by a large accreditation body, you are much more likely to be seen as trustworthy. A CHAS Accreditation proves that you have been recognised for your high standards of health & safety by a group of health & safety professionals.
Show compliance towards current legislation
Acquiring a CHAS Accreditation requires you to provide evidence of your health & safety procedures. You’ll gain a stronger awareness of how important it is to create and retain this type of documentation. Should it ever be needed to be proven, this helps you to show due diligence and comply with the law.
How Do I Apply for CHAS Accreditation?
CHAS assessments require your organisation to provide the necessary paperwork that shows evidence of health & safety compliance. You must not underestimate the importance of doing this properly as an estimated 80% of contractors fail to receive a CHAS Accreditation first time around, often due to a lack of evidence of health & safety training.
To apply for CHAS accreditation, you must first choose which package you want. Make sure that you’re equipped with the evidence to comply with everything this package will need to assess. After this, you need to fill out a CHAS Contractor Registration Form. You will need your Company Registration Number handy for this.
Once you’ve done that, you can then complete your application, upload supporting documentation, and submit it for the assessment.
How much does CHAS Accreditation cost?
There are a number of packages that each come with their own individual perks. The cheapest package starts at £229 and is for companies with 2-4 employees.
There is no joining fee.
How long does it take to get a CHAS Accreditation?
The CHAS assessment takes an average of 10 working days. An assessor is assigned within the first day of purchase and you’ll receive an initial response within 2 days of purchase. However, if there are any issues with your initial application this can extend the length of the assessment.
Would CHAS accept an iHASCO Training Certificate?
Yes. You’re able to submit iHASCO’s certificates as evidence of industry-related training for your CHAS application. Learners who complete our training receive a printable certificate that can be submitted as evidence of compliance.
Our certificates are advised to be renewed on a yearly basis, and CHAS will want to see that you’re organisation is keeping up-to-date with training. Therefore, submitting an iHASCO certificate should work in your favour!