Chillaire have recently been registered with the national database of the Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme, commonly known as CHAS. We had already been registered with Safe Contractor, so we could carry out service work for various clients nationally. Not all customers accept registration with the same health & safety body and often demand registration with a different body or in some cases expect more than one.
One of the other more widely accepted body is Constructionline.
Principles and Purpose
Each month thousands of contractors and consultants (suppliers) apply for work with public and private sector organisations (buyers). To win work, they must meet the buyer’s health and safety standards.
Assessing suppliers health and safety competence is usually a lengthy and time consuming process. Suppliers can sometimes meet one buyer’s Health and Safety standards but not another. Being CHAS approved reduces duplication as suppliers compliance is accepted by all CHAS buyers.
CHAS assesses applicants:
- Health and safety policy statement;
- Their organisation for health and safety;
- Their specific health and safety arrangements to a standard acceptable to our buyers and to others.
In 1997 a group of health and safety and procurement professionals from across Great Britain worked with the Association of London Government (ALG) to develop CHAS. In 2001 CHAS became a web-based system.
CHAS started with two main aims.
- To improve health and safety standards across Great Britain.
- To reduce duplicated safety applications for both suppliers and buyers.
These days we have more than 400 public and private sector buyer organisations, such as councils, housing associations, NHS trusts, including a growing number of large private companies who employ sub-contractors.
Participating in the CHAS scheme helps both suppliers and buyers.
- Suppliers show compliance with important parts of health and safety law (the core criteria described in the CDM regulations).
- On achieving compliance a supplier is approved to work for all of CHAS’ buyers.(Some Buyers may require “Accredited” Status)
- Inconsistencies are reduced where some suppliers may be judged compliant by one buyer but not another.
- CHAS gives guidance on any weaknesses in a supplier’s safety management, including how they can improve.
- Being a CHAS supplier or buyer saves both time and resources
CHAS and Constructionline
Constructionline is the Government’s national register for suppliers. In the same way CHAS offers a tool for use in the health and safety element of pre-qualification, Constructionline provide the pre-qualification tool for use in financial standing, technical references and other areas. The CHAS management group supports the principles of a single register and so works jointly with Constructionline.
Following agreement by the then Department of Trade and Industry, CHAS and Constructionline formed a “mutual working agreement”. This describes how we will work together to provide an improved service for buyers. You can get details of that agreement by contacting us.
Both CHAS and Constructionline have their own independence and identity but our schemes are linked.
The Stages of Assessing Competency
There are three stages in the assessment process from the time a supplier applies for a CHAS assessment, through to working for a buyer:
- The CHAS assessment: if a supplier passes this assessment they have shown they can adequately manage health and safety.
- The employer (buyer) checks a supplier has the ability, experience and resources to carry out the specific work they have applied to do. The buyer will look at things like method statements, specific risk assessments, references, examples of previous similar work, training and available resources.
- Monitoring the supplier when they are doing the work. Buyers will check suppliers are managing the work safely, carrying out the method statements properly, have enough resources, liaising properly, managing the site effectively and providing enough supervision.
The level of assessment at stages 2 and 3 are normally proportionate to the level of risk they carry. Buyers have a responsibility to monitor suppliers, making sure they are working safely, in order to protect staff and everyone who may be affected by the work.
Accessing the CHAS Database
Buyers have access to the CHAS database, suppliers you do not have access, other than your own personal pages if you are accredited. Suppliers cannot access information that relates to other suppliers.
CHAS is registered under the Data Protection Act, but there is no personal information kept in the database about you (only factual) so there is no information a supplier has right of access to. However, under normal circumstances the scheme manager will gladly tell suppliers about details contained in their entry.
Buyer Membership Levels
Buyer membership is free. We provide buyers with three levels of access:
- Member level: full read and write access
- Subscriber level: read only but can add private comments and suppliers to their own supplier list
- Read only: allows searches only.
A User ID and password will be issued if you decide to use our scheme.
In 2002, a National Management Board – made up of GMB and UCATT trade unions as well as safety and procurement professionals – was established to check the scheme is managed in line with its Constitution. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) also announced their support for CHAS.
CHAS only makes changes to the scheme following direction from the board.
Who audits CHAS?
Our continued founder member status with the HSE supported Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) competence forum, is reliant upon continued annual accreditation by an Independent SSIP appointed Auditor who in turn, has been approved by the Health & safety Executive.
CHAS is also audited annually by the UKAS accredited certification body BM TRADA Certification to both the ISO9001 and ISO14001 standards, thus ensuring our quality and environmental management systems continue to deliver a high quality service and operate in an environmentally friendly manner.
Who are the CHAS assessors?
All CHAS Assessors are NEBOSH qualified, practicing health and safety professionals who also attend CHAS specific training on a regular basis. CHAS currently has a team of over 130 accredited assessors.
Chillaire Limited have always been members of HVCA and have been part of their vetting process, which is carried out, on their behalf, by one the world leaders in auditing and certification, BM TRADA Certification. They have been auditing our internal health & saftey policies and on site supervising procedures for the past 10 years. They have also been auditing our internal management and quality assurance procedures for the same time.