About the SSIP Forum
The SSIP Forum will:
- Encourage and maximise mutual recognition between SSIP member schemes where it is practicable to do so.
- Operate a robust and consistent Deemed to Satisfy (DtS) agreement between SSIP member schemes that is clear and transparent.
- Provide confidence in first stage safety capability assessments by developing the SSIP core criteria and ensuring a consistent, reliable and quality-controlled standard of assessment via qualified, competent, assessors.
- Help and encourage buyers to recognise SSIP and its aims and objectives, and to specify and recognise SSIP member schemes in general, rather than a specific scheme provider.
- Help buyers and suppliers to achieve value for money through avoiding unnecessary duplication or differing Health & Safety assessment requirements, wherever possible.
- Demonstrate savings made to buyers and suppliers as a result of SSIP activity.
- Promote appropriate core criteria in non-construction works.
- Promote the work and value of SSIP.
- Actively encourage the standardisation of prequalification criteria including PAS 91, and other common industry standards.
BackgroundThe revised Construction (Design & Management) Regulations, which came into force in April 2007, introduced the Stage 1 Core Criteria for assessing health and safety competence of contractors and consultants working in the construction industry. The introduction of these competence criteria provided an opportunity for existing health and safety prequalification schemes to build on and formalise mutual recognition already in operation amongst some schemes.
In April 2007, an initial meeting was held at the Health & Safety Executive's Headquarters, which included representatives from the Contractors' Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS), Constructionline, Exor and the National House-Building Council (NHBC) to discuss the potential for the SSIP Forum.
Following further regular meetings over the next two years, SSIP Forum founder members agreed and signed up to an ethos that it should act as an umbrella organisation to facilitate mutual recognition between health and safety assessment schemes wherever it is practicable to do so.
SSIP assessments are all judged on core criteria approved by HSE. These core criteria describe what it means for a construction business to comply with basic health and safety law. The Core Criteria were published by HSE in Appendix 4 of the CDM 2007 Approved Code of Practice. With the new CDM 2015 Regulations, there is no immediate publication of an Approved Code of Practice, and the SSIP Forum have agreed to adopt the Core Criteria to become part of the SSIP Terms of Reference.
Importantly, the SSIP Forum will work to actively advise and influence clients (buyers) on acceptable interpretation and appropriateness of health and safety competence/capability standards in the UK. Both public and private sector clients (buyers) who run their own approved or preferred list of contractors require contractors and consultants wishing to be placed on those lists to have their health and safety competence assessed at the prequalification stage. This places a time-consuming and costly burden on all parties involved which is further exacerbated by the number of times a business is required to go through repeated pre-qualification.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned Ann Glover to report on prequalification in the supply chain and make recommendations on what is needed to drive out bureaucracy.
The recommendations can be found in her report Accelerating the SME economic engine and were taken forward by the Office for Government Commerce.