SSIP Core Criteria For The Demonstration Of Organisational Capability Assessment

The following Core Criteria relate to SSIP Approved (non-construction organisations) and CDM Duty-holders under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 (ROI) and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016.
Please note additional standards are required to demonstrate competence and compliance with the Building Safety Act and secondary legislation i.e. Building Regulations.

Criteria Standards to be achieved Examples of the evidence that you could use to demonstrate you meet the required standard
Criteria elements 1-10, 12 are applicable to all organisations
[1]       Health & Safety policy and organisation for Health & Safety You are expected to have and implement an appropriate policy, regularly reviewed, and signed off by the Managing Director or equivalent.

The policy must be relevant to the nature and scale of your work and set out the responsibilities for Health & Safety management at all levels within the organisation.

1.        Policy statement
2.        A signed, current copy of the company policy (indicating when it was last reviewed and by whose authority it is published).
Details of who is responsible for H&S within the company i.e., name of H&S contact who should be a director of the business. 3.        Provide Proprietor / Director information
[2]       Arrangements These should set out the arrangements for Health & Safety management within the organisation and should be relevant to the nature and scale of your work.

They should set out how the company will discharge their duties under current Health & Safety legislation.

There should be a clear indication of how these arrangements are communicated to the workforce.

4.        Abbreviated Arrangements which should include:

Accident reporting, Training & Supervision, Communication, Monitoring H&S, Implementation of Risk Assessment, Occupational health (where applicable).

5.        A clear explanation of the arrangement which the company has made for putting its policy into effect and for discharging its duties under current relevant Health & Safety legislation.

Arrangements to include but not limited to: Accident reporting, Training & Supervision, Communication, Monitoring H&S, Implementation of Risk Assessment, Occupational health

Verification if a drug and alcohol policy is in place. 6.        A copy of the drug and alcohol policy if not included with H&S Policy
Verification if arrangements are in place covering mental health, fatigue and employee wellbeing. 7.        Arrangements to include mental health, fatigue and employee wellbeing if not included with H&S Policy
Verification if a behavioural management or behavioural safety programme is in place. 8.        Arrangements to include behavioural management / safety programme if not included with H&S Policy
[3]       Competent advice – corporate and construction related Your organisation, and your employees, must have ready access to competent Health & Safety advice, preferably from within your own organisation.

The advisor must be able to provide general Health & Safety advice, and also (from the same source or elsewhere) advice relating to sector specific (non-construction) or construction Health & Safety issues.

9.        Name and competency details of the source of advice, for example a safety group, trade federation, or consultant who provides Health & Safety information and advice.

This can be via access to HSE website, trade body membership

10.      If advice source is from named person in CC 1, the individual should have relevant health and safety qualifications, industry experience and where applicable relevant trade qualifications

11.      If internal advice source holds a formal H&S job title. The individual will need to demonstrate competence via CV or certification and written statement.

Advice can be via access to HSE website, trade body membership
12.      An example from the last 12 months of health & safety actions taken.
13.      Where a health and safety consultancy provides advice the following is expected:

13.1.    The name of the health and safety consultancy must be provided and evidence of competence i.e. breakdown of consultant qualifications and experience. This could be via CV’s or company profile.

13.2.    If a consultancy is used, evidence of advice given by the consultancy within the previous 12-months should be provided

[4]       Training and information You should have in place, and implement, training arrangements to ensure your employees have the skills and understanding necessary to discharge their duties.

For construction sector organisations this will include duties as principal contractors, contractors, designers or principal designers.

You should have in place a programme for refresher training, for example a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme or life-long learning which will keep your employees updated on new developments and changes to legislation or good Health & Safety practice. This applies throughout the organisation from board or equivalent, to trainees.

This will include training records for any labour only sub-contractors.

14.      Headline training records / matrix detailing overall competency OR
// or copies of training certificates provided in CC5
15.      Evidence* of an active CPD programme. Sample of ‘toolbox talk’ type training.

*Individuals holding membership of a professional body should be maintaining valid CPD records i.e. architects, engineers, consultancy based roles.

[5]       Individual qualifications and experience Employees are expected to have the appropriate qualifications and/or experience of the assigned tasks, unless they are under controlled and competent supervision.

This will include qualifications and/or experience for any labour only sub-contractors.

16.      Copies of any trade specific qualifications &/or industry body membership for individuals or organisations
17.      Key roles should be identified for consultancy, technical trades and high risk construction activities.
Additionally, for construction sector organisations:

For principal contractors and contractors:

18.      Details of number/percentage of people engaged in the organisation who hold an appropriate skill specific CSCS card..

19.      For site managers, details of any specific training such as the Construction Skills CITB ‘Site Management Safety Training Scheme’ certificate or equivalent
20.      For professionals, details of qualifications and/or professional institution membership
21.      For site workers, details of any relevant qualifications or training such as S/NVQ certificates.
For Design Organisations:

22.      Details of qualifications relevant to specific area of expertise, which may include Higher National Diploma or certificate, Bachelor degree or Masters etc.

23.      Details of professional institution membership such as RiBA, ICE, APS, RiAS, CIAT, ARB, IstructE etc.

24.      Evidence to confirm a clear commitment to continued improvement, training and the Continued Professional Development of staff in relevant are of expertise and Health & Safety.

For Principal Designers:

25.      All Principal Designers must hold a relevant Design Qualification plus supporting health and safety qualification i.e.

26.      NEBOSH Construction, NVQ in Occupational Health & Safety or NCRQ in applied Health & Safety etc.

27.      Details of design qualifications relevant to specific area of expertise, which may include Higher National Diploma or certificate, Bachelor degree or Masters etc.

28.      Details of relevant professional institution membership such as member of the registers administered by the APS or the ICE construction Health & Safety register etc.

29.      Evidence to confirm a clear commitment to continued improvement, training and the Continued Professional Development of staff in relevant are of expertise and Health & Safety.

[6]       Monitoring, audit and review You should have a system for monitoring your procedures, for auditing them at periodic intervals, and for reviewing them on an on-going basis. 30.      Abbreviated evidence of monitoring, could be via annual updates to documentation or workplace / site inspection reports

Could be through formal audit or discussions/reports to senior managers.

Evidence of recent monitoring and management response.

Copies of workplace / site inspection reports.

[7]       Workforce involvement You should have, and implement, an established means of consulting with your workforce on Health & Safety matters. 31.      Declaration noting how you consult with all workers
32.      Evidence showing how consultation is carried out.

Records of Health & Safety committees.

Names of appointed safety representatives (trade union or other).

For those employing less than five, be able to describe how you consult with your employees to achieve the consultation required.

[8]       Accident reporting and enforcement action; follow up investigation You should have records of all RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) reportable events for at least the last three years. You should also have in place a system for reviewing all incidents and recording the action taken as a result.

Note: Records should include any incidents that occurred whilst the company traded under a different name, and any incidents that occur to direct employees or sub-contractors.

33.      Accident statistics
34.      Details of last two accidents and actions taken to prevent reoccurrence.
35.      Evidence showing the way in which you record and investigate accidents and incidents.
36.      Accident rates / statistics showing incidence rates of major injuries, over seven-day injuries, reportable cases of ill health and dangerous occurrences for the last three years.
You should record any enforcement action taken against your company over the last five years, and the action which you have taken to remedy matters subject to enforcement action.

All member schemes will verify your response against the HSE Register of Convictions and Enforcement Notices to include any names under which the Company was known i.e. due to change of Company Name

37.      Records of any enforcement action taken over the last five years, and what action was taken to put matters right (information on enforcement taken by HSE over the last five years is available on the HSE website).
[9]       Sub-contracting /consulting procedures (if applicable) All organisations who use bona-fide contractors / consultants should have arrangements in place for appointing competent sub-contractors/consultants.

Arrangements will demonstrate how you ensure that sub-contractors/consultants appointed have the appropriate organisational capability.  This will include arrangements for monitoring sub-contractor/consultant performance.


All labour-only sub-contractors should be treated as directly employed and should be included within your management systems and procedures.

38.      Procedure** for appointing contractor / sub-contractors / consultants.

39.      Examples** of  contractor / sub-contractor/ consultant assessments carried out for bona fide  contractor / sub-contractors / consultants.

40.      Evidence showing how you monitor contractor / sub-contractor/consultant performance.
**If organisations indicate they use bona-fide sub-contractors / consultants evidence must be supplied.  If organisations do not use bona-fide sub-contractors / consultants this section is not applicable.


[10]    Risk assessment leading to a safe system of work You should have procedures in place for carrying out risk assessments and for developing and implementing safe systems of work/method statements.

The identification of occupational health issues is expected to feature prominently in this system.


41.      If you employ less than five persons and do not have written arrangements, you should be able to describe how you achieve the above.
42.      Evidence showing how the company will identify significant Health & Safety hazards and how the assessed risks will be controlled.
43.      Sample risk assessments/safe systems of work/method statements.
For construction sector principal contractor organisations:

You should be able to demonstrate how a suitable construction phase plan is created prior to the start of works


For construction sector principal contractor organisations or, where relevant, construction contractors:

44.      Sample construction phase plans.

The plan should be:

44.1.    proportionate to the size and nature of the work, and the risks involved

44.2.    workable and realistic

44.3.    sufficiently developed to allow work to start on site regularly reviewed and added to as new trades start.

See CITB Construction Phase Plan [Suitable for small, low-risk projects]

[11]    Co-operating with others and co-ordinating your work with that of other contractors You should be able to illustrate how co-operation and co-ordination of your work is achieved in practice. 45.      Statement confirming liaison with other dutyholders
46.      Evidence could include sample risk assessments, procedural arrangements, and/or project team meeting notes.

Evidence of how the organisation co-ordinates its work with other interested parties.

[12]    Welfare provision ‘Welfare facilities’ are those that are necessary for the well-being of employees and/or those under the control of the organisation, such as washing, toilet, rest and changing facilities, and somewhere clean to eat and drink during breaks. 47.      If an arrangement is not included within a H&S Policy a Statement confirming access to facilities to be provided
48.      Evidence could include for example Health & Safety policy commitment; contracts with welfare facility providers including cleaning arrangements.
For construction sector principal contractor organisations:

You should be able to demonstrate how you will ensure that appropriate welfare facilities will be in place before people start work on site.

For construction sector principal contractor organisations:

49.      Evidence of compliance to Schedule 2 of the CDM 2015 Regulations.

50.      Details of type of welfare facilities provided on previous projects.

Additional Designer & Principal Designer Criteria
[13]    Hazard elimination and risk control (Designers & Principal Designers only) You should have in place and implement, arrangements for meeting your duties under CDM 2015. Evidence showing how you:

51.      Communicate with clients and make sure the client is aware of their duties.

52.      Ensure co-operation and co-ordination of design work within the design team and with other designers/contractors.

53.      Take into account the general principles of prevention when preparing or modifying a design with the first aim to eliminate risks or, if that is not possible, to reduce or control the risks.

54.      Provide information about the risks arising from the design during construction, maintenance/cleaning and use of the building as a workplace i.e. residual risk.

55.      Examples could include minutes or notes of meetings, notes on drawings and sketches, as well as risk registers and similar items on more complex projects.

56.      Note: The level of detail required in passing on information about risks should be proportionate to the risks involved. Insignificant risks can usually be ignored, as can risks arising from routine construction activities, unless the design compounds or significantly alters these risks.

57.      Ensure that any structure which will be used as a workplace will meet the relevant requirements of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.

58.      Examples showing how risk was reduced through design.

59.      Evidence showing how design changes are managed during pre-construction and construction phases

[14]    Principal Designer duties (Principal Designers only) You should have in place and implement, arrangements for meeting your duties under CDM 2015. Evidence showing how you:

60.      Assist the client in identifying, obtaining, collating and sharing pre-construction information e.g., meeting minutes or examples of pre-construction information collated for a project and distributed to the relevant project team members.

61.      Co-ordinate designers e.g., evidence of written instructions, meeting minutes.

62.      Oversee design decisions.

63.      Communicate with the principal contractor.

64.      Manage design changes after appointment of the principal contractor and during the construction phase.

65.      Evidence showing how you prepare and handover the Health & Safety file and the procedure the organisation has in place to ensure post project reviews are completed.

Additional Common Assessment Standard Criteria
[15]    Supplementary alignment with Common Assessment Standard Details of membership of any fleet operations/management scheme.
[Q176 of the CAS]
(Response Advisory – not holding membership is not a fail).
66.      Copy of certificate.

[NB Not a mandatory requirement to be in place]


Version 8.18 | Issue date 29.02.2024

All Member Schemes, accepted for membership of SSIP will abide by the relevant SSIP Assessment Standard, which is the SSIP Core Criteria.  No other assessment criteria will be utilised in respect of SSIP requirements and all assessments undertaken to the SSIP Core Criteria will cover at least one or more of SSIP dutyholder categories as detailed in the Rules and Bylaws.  If an application includes multiple SSIP categories, then the assessment scheme must ensure all the relevant core criteria requirements for each category have been satisfied during the assessment to enable the multiple categories to be detailed on the SSIP Portal.

Registered Members & Certification Body Members will apply a proportionate approach to accommodate organisations employing less than 5 persons but must ensure that the Health & Safety management system being assessed is appropriate and applicable to the size of the organisation (noting that some may employ less than 5 directly, but use numerous ‘labour only’ staff in their workforce).  These organisations shall be expected to provide proportional documented evidence to meet the SSIP Core Criteria and legal requirements.

Furthermore, all suppliers holding a valid assessment with an SSIP Member Scheme (supported by verified details available on the SSIP portal) hold an exemption from the following:

  • PAS91:2013+A1:2017: Table 4 – Module C4: Health & Safety and;
  • Common Assessment Standard: Section 4: Health & Safety (questions 135-173)