construction building site foreman / contractor

How to source reliable contractors?

Finding reliable contractors is the one area in which all clients and house-builders need to get right. Having issues in your supply chain means work may be finished to a poor standard which will cost you time and money, neither of which will be something you can do when you’re pushed for time to get deadlines met.

The positive sides to finding a good contractor are often great, once the relationship and trust between you has been built you will have often found someone for future projects that you know you can rely on and over time this can lead to a group of contractors that you can use over and over on all your sites.

So how do you find good contractors?

Portals

One of the first areas to look out for clients is via an accreditation portal such as the SMAS Worksafe portal or SSIP portal.  If you’re a client that requires contractors to be accredited to a specific level, then going to a portal is the best starting place.

Once you’re in the portal you can now start to refine your search by the trades you require and look for other areas of compliance that you might require, such as environmental or quality management. We recommended choosing businesses with quality management systems in place, a business that is driven by high-quality work is often likely going to save you time in any snagging processes and are less likely to need their work to be redone due to poor standards.

 

Networking

Contractor and client networking event

Another way to find contractors is through networking at events such as Construction Connects, hosted by SMAS Worksafe. At these ‘meet the buyer’ events, you will have the chance to attend and set up a stool for contractors to come in and talk to you about what upcoming jobs you have and what trades you’ll need for the job or future jobs.

Often these events are local to an area in which you have upcoming projects, so it is a great way for you to easily get more contractors in your contact book and that are interested in the type of work you’re offering. Attending events like this can save you a lot of time browsing portals and searching the web.

 

Try and find a reference

Group of contractors laughing on a wall during break

If you have identified a few contractors that seem suitable for the role and you’re unsure as to which to go with you can ask other clients, you know or some of your current contractors to see if they have had any experience working with them on previous jobs.

You may have contractors working on your site who have experience working with them and they will be able to give you a perspective on their standards of work and how they were to work with. Bringing in a contractor that your current contractors struggle to work with could cause some delays or friction on your sites.

 

Do your research

The final step in your vetting process if you’re still unsure is to do your own research. Look at their website and their reviews and see if you can find any feedback or examples of jobs, they have done in the past that are similar to the one you’re asking them to do.

Not only will you be able to see their reviews and if there are any trends within their reviews, but you’ll also get a feel for the company, what are their ethos and morals? Do they demand high standards?

If you can get the process of sourcing contractors right and you’re able to build up mutual respect you might find yourself with a contractor for life. Then going forward you’ll know you can rely on them to get the work done to a high standard and in good time and develop a strong working relationship that will help both parties.

Manager and supervisor taking inventory in warehouse

Using Accreditation to Reduce Supply Chain Risks

“Supply chains continue to be one of the most important levers for business to create a positive impact in the world, with an estimated 80% of global trade passing through them annually.” – UN Global Compact

With so many businesses having to utilise supply chains, making sure the process is as smooth and unproblematic as possible is going to save your business time and money.

But what are some of the best practices to make sure your supply chain is aligned and remains compliant?

Accreditation:

It might be obvious, but accreditations are an easy way for any business to make sure that their supply chain is following minimum guidelines that you would want to ask of them. It’s best practice to investigate member schemes of an accreditation organisation to make sure that they are covering all bases you wish your supply chain to conform to.

Knowing your supply chain is compliant will give you peace of mind and greatly reduce the risks of something going wrong, which can lead to materials or contractors having to be replaced and therefore delaying the work you need to be completed, having a financial impact on your business.

Accreditations are good for all supply chains, but generally have a greater benefit when the supply chain is long and has lots of cross overs. The more businesses involved the higher the chance of something going wrong and therefore increases the importance of having an accreditation or management system in place

Remaining compliant

Regulations around areas such as health & safety, environmental management and quality management are forever changing and therefore choosing an accreditation that is constantly evolving to meet the demands or surpass them to avoid having to change their policies are a great solution for keeping your supply chain future proof and the relationships you already have stable.

A SMAS Worksafe accreditation is built on making sure that businesses are always able to hit the latest demands and regulations as well as preparing for any changes that might be put in place in the short term. This means you can have complete confidence in both your suppliers, who are willing to obtain this accreditation and therefore showing their stance on compliance but also confidence that you will be able to keep your current supply chain despite changes in regulations, as those who are accredited by us will be covered and won’t need to seek further accreditations in order to meet the demands placed on them.

Retaining fluid Procurement and services

Procurement is often a very time-consuming part of building a supply chain and the last thing you want is a disagreement on the level of compliance needed.

Standardising your compliance requirements through an SSIP accreditation as well as additional PAS 91 areas such as Environmental & Quality Management Processes, will not only speed up the process and eliminate you having to check or research businesses compliance, but it will also mean that all parts of the supply chain are required to meet one single assessment and you don’t have to worry about different accreditations for different areas of your supply chain. This is obviously more beneficial for those whose supply chains are longer or more complex.

Keeping your supply chain compliant through an accreditation not only saves you time in the initial set up of that particular agreement but will also help to reduce or mitigate issues occurring in the future. All kinds of issues could cause an area of your supply chain to be unable to fulfil the demands you’re asking of them which could lead to things such as the inability to supply materials or workers.

An accreditation that encompasses risk management, such as the SMAS Common SSIP Assessment, is presented to suppliers that have demonstrated their ability to manage and mitigate risk. You also have the freedom to demand other areas of compliance from your supply chain, such as Environmental and Quality Management.  Meeting your requirements shows that contractors are prepared to meet challenges and maintain operations in the face of adversity, with their risk appropriately managed, you have greater peace of mind that your supply chain structure is capable of weathering unforeseen problems.

How we can help

SMAS Worksafe are one of the UK’s leading SSIP Accreditation schemes used by thousands of contractors throughout the UK. We use a simple tiered membership system that can include further areas of compliance beyond SSIP such as Environmental and Quality Management checked off against IEMA and IRCA standards.

As a client of SMAS Worksafe, you choose the level of compliance you want your supply chain to achieve, this could be just SSIP, but it is also recommended that you include the environmental and quality management areas. Once you have chosen the requirements, we will work on making sure all your contractors have the correct SMAS package, so you don’t have to worry about there being issues with your supply chain. We will also send you monthly compliance reports so you’re able to see which of your contractors are coming to the end of their accreditation period or those who have expired so you know they are no longer meeting the standards you have set.

To learn more about our packages and how we can help you manage your supply chain visit our supply chain management page. 

SMAS Worksafe and Local Supply chain partnership

SMAS Worksafe forms new partnership with Local Supply Chain

Achieving the H&S standard required to attain certification with SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) is a great thing for any business operating in construction in the UK to do. It means that you have a documented management system, appropriate to your business, which supports your team to carry out work in a safe way which reduces the risk of harm to both themselves and others. Meeting this requirement and achieving SSIP status as a contractor has become a prerequisite in recent years.

Having SSIP certification in place means companies can save time and money over the year as they are able to use this to demonstrate good health & safety practises without having to complete multiple prequalification forms for different clients.

Due to a new partnership with Local Supply Chain (LSC), SMAS Worksafe members can benefit from advertising their SMAS certification on their LSC profiles. This means that clients using LSC as a way of finding or managing existing suppliers, can see the status of a company’s SSIP certification with SMAS without the need for the company to do anything. Once a supplier adds their SMAS membership in LSC, Profiles are automatically updated based on their status, rewarding those company’s which keep their SSIP status up-to-date and their H&S systems in-date with an SSIP scheme, which may be seen as preferential with clients; versus other suppliers without this in place.

This partnership is another step forward in improving the visibility of SSIP certification and automating this process to remove administrative efforts required by suppliers. It is also another positive step forward in supporting those companies with SSIP certification to benefit from future work opportunities.

If you are a SMAS Worksafe member and you have a profile with LSC then all you have to do is update your LSC Profile to include you’re a member of SMAS and from there your up to date SMAS information will be accessible direct from within LSC by organisations who are seeking suppliers for their projects.

Foreman control loading Containers box from Cargo freight ship for import export, foreman control Industrial Container Cargo freight ship

Short staffed? Let us manage your Supply Chain Management

If your business is feeling the impact of Covid-19 and has left you having to reduce your workforce, managing a  compliant and healthy supply chain could be an area that is overlooked or not fully understood.

Why not put your supply chain in the hands of our experts at SMAS Worksafe? We will make sure your supply chain stays compliant throughout and we will also send you monthly compliance reports so you can see the status of all your contractors SSIP certificates, additional information such as Environmental, Quality and Financial and also when they will need to be renewed.

Benefits of Supply Chain Management:

Managing a supply chain can be hard work which is why we offer you a no cost solution. Our in-house team will manage your supply chain so you can have the confidence of knowing that it’s taken care of.

Slip-ups in the supply chain can have lots of negative impacts on sites as well as cost your company time and money. If something is done incorrectly or to a poor standard, or perhaps a sub-contractor goes bust you will have to delay any work being done and find a replacement which is a hassle you don’t need.

Why SMAS?  

SMAS’s main function is to help businesses obtain their SSIP Certificate. SSIP is the standard for health & safety throughout the UK so you will know that the contractors working on your sites are passed by us to a nationally accepted and recognised standard.

You will also have access to the SMAS Portal which will allow you to pick and choose from all of our members. We are now offering and encouraging our members access to further areas of compliance such as environmental and quality management in our standard assessment which means when you’re looking for contractors you will be able to see if they have submitted information on their levels of compliance beyond just health & safety.

Choose your standard

We will also let you choose a minimum standard of assessment, so you have complete control of who is allowed access to work on your sites.

We offer 3 stages of compliance:

  • SSIP only – the contractor only has an SSIP certificate and no further levels of compliance.
  • SSIP and Self-certified additional information- the contractor has their SSIP assessment  but has also completed additional information via a self-upload.
  • SSIP and Reviewed – the contractor has their SSIP accreditation and SMAS have checked over the additional information and reviewed the documents.

You will be able to choose one of the above options for contractors to obtain in order to be on your sites, so you have complete control.

What areas we cover

We offer supply chain management not only to the construction industry but also to the education and care sector

  • Education: We support schools, further education establishments and higher education institutions. It is vital that these organisations are able to manage any significant risks in the sector for suppliers, pupils and members of staff. Our assessment takes a sensible approach to ensuring that organisations in Education are able to manage any risks.
  • Care: Our Care experts understand this sector inside and out and we provide a specific assessment to ensure that the pain points, struggles and responsibilities applicable to those common activities you undertake are addressed and any risks are managed.

 

If you’d like to learn more please click here or give Trish Meyer a call on 01752 697370 ext 393404.

chair and table in class room with black board background, no student, school closed concept

Higher Education Supply Chain Management

Higher Educational facilities are most aware of their responsibility to ensure that the contractors’ that they choose to work with have the capability to do so as well as to ensure that their Stage 1 Health and Safety requirements are met before engaging in works.

We work with the likes of the University Warwick who have partnered with SMAS Worksafe to help manage a healthy supply chain.

What our clients most like about us is that our solution enables them to quickly and easily find suppliers whilst benefiting from our managed solution. This means that SMAS Worksafe ensure their suppliers remain compliant with Health & Safety and PAS91 requirements.

How can SMAS Worksafe Help your Higher Education Institution?

We provide seamless migration of your supply chain to our SMAS Worksafe Management Programme which lessens the burden of in-house H&S pre-qualification assessments.  Our specialist team will track H&S certifications with each contractor and manage renewals when required, enabling you to focus on your core business activities.

SMAS Worksafe also provides Account Management Reports showing Group and Regional compliance which identifies areas at risk in the business.

What Is Responsible Procurement?

It is generally considered to be a procurement process that takes into account social, environmental and economic impacts to support sustainable development.

There is a growing movement toward change in governance and culture in Higher Education where responsible resourcing and procurement are working to largely contribute to recognising the impact of environmental and sustainability risks.

It is important that the environmental, social and economic impacts are considered within the procurement process. As an example, recent legislation relating to the Modern Slavery Act provided an additional requirement to include in the procurement process.

SMAS Worksafe Preferred Supplier is your Solution

We provide a Preferred Supplier package which gives you a set of recommendations to both the Supplier and Client and encourages continual improvement covering Health & Safety, Environmental & Quality Management, Financial & Business Standing and Anti-bribery, Corruption, & Modern Slavery.

This solution will allow your supply chain to demonstrate their commitment to management processes and policies.

How SMAS Deliver Cost Savings and a Simple, Transparent Approach

SMAS provides a genuine value-for-money service to our clients and well as to their supply chain within the higher education sector.

As a client, SMAS Worksafe can provide you with a Zero Cost partnership to help you manage your supply chain.  You will also have access to 000’s of accredited contractors, as well as receive monthly compliance reports which will show where you may have areas of risk.

Simplicity in our pricing

Unlike alternative Schemes, SMAS do not operate a tiered fee structure. You may notice other Schemes apply different assessment fees dependent on the size and turnover of an organisation. We do not believe this is necessary and are able to offer the same level of fee to all our members.

An approach to Mutual Recognition which meets the aims of SSIP

Other Schemes charge as much, or in some cases more, for organisations to request mutual recognition, rather than complete a full assessment with them. SMAS do not feel this is either fair or proportionate to the work involved in processing this request.

Our fee covers a basic administrative cost involved in processing this registration. This means that if a member of your supply chain already hold an alternative SSIP member certificate with another Scheme, they can reduce the time involved to complete the registration and also achieve significant cost savings too.

Preferred Supplier Bundles

We recognise that many of the contractors you work with may be approaching some of these topics for the first time. That’s why SMAS Worksafe is providing detailed guidance and support to contractors, along with some really helpful templates and other resources to get them started.

Our approach is about continual development, so we are encouraging all contractors to participate in the additional questions and tell their clients the status of these additional areas, as they stand today. SMAS will then work with them before the next profile update to ensure they are developing their systems to be appropriate and applicable to the work they conduct, and as a result, provide you with the assurance you need that they can deliver that work in a consistent and reliable way and which meets their obligations under UK law.

Our In-House Assessment Team are there to help you

We have an in-house assessment team who are a phone call away should you have a question regarding your assessment.

If you have any questions about the process, give us a call on 01752 393404 and speak to Trish Meyer so that we can help you to get started

SMAS and Campbell Buchanan homes partnership

Campbell Buchanan make SMAS Worksafe their SSIP scheme of choice

SMAS Worksafe are delighted to announce that we are now working with Campbell Buchanan George to support their supply chain management systems to ensure suppliers have met SSIP Health & Safety requirements before commencing work.

Campbell Buchanan George originally specialised in ‘total project’ refurbishment of London homes to the highest specification for private clients. As a natural progression Campbell Buchanan was born in the early nineties to undertake residential developments throughout West London. In the late nineties the company sought new opportunities outside the capital and made its new home in Huntingdonshire. Since that time, Campbell Buchanan George has carried out numerous residential developments throughout the region in accordance with their mission statement:

“Dedication to the four cornerstones of our company ethos – quality, integrity, responsibility and passion is evident in all we do; from conception to completion every time.”

A Campbell Buchanan George home is the result of the outstanding design, craftsmanship and service of which we are enormously proud.

All contractors and suppliers working with Campbell Buchanan George will hold a valid SSIP Certificate as a minimum requirement which will be registered with SMAS Worksafe.

“We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with SMAS Worksafe to manage our Contractors’ Health & Safety.  Our Company is commited to ensure that all members of our supply chain are legally compliant and working towards best practice in key area of their business.” – Adrian Green, Commercial Manager, Campbell Buchanan George

SMAS Worksafe will work with Campbell Buchanan George’s contractors and suppliers to support them through the process.

“SMAS Worksafe are extremely pleased to gain Campbell Buchanan George as a new client and assisting with their supply chain management compliance” – Trish Meyer – Business Development Manager, Safety Management Advisory Services Ltd

To find out more about how SMAS Worksafe can support your supply chain procurement and management systems contact Trish at Trish.Meyer@smasltd.com or 01752 393 404.

Strong green leaf against orange background

SMAS Worksafe Preferred Suppler: Environmental Management

Organisations are increasingly focused on sustainability as a key issue and expect to see a commitment from their suppliers to sustainable environmental practices. Providing evidence of this commitment doesn’t necessarily need to be a huge, complex task.

Like our SSIP assessment, SMAS will assess your suppliers’ processes and procedures to ensure that they are appropriate and applicable to their business size and activities.

If a company already holds a valid ISO 14001 UKAS accreditation or EMAS certificate, then they simply need to provide evidence to complete its environmental application and fulfill this element of their SMAS Worksafe profile.

What does the SMAS review of a suppliers Environmental Management information help me to achieve?

  • We review the information to check that the supplier is compliant with all relevant legislation
  • We assess the supplier’s individual documentation and provide recommendations to improve their Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
  • We remove significant time and cost needed by your organisation to manage and monitor these processes in-house.


Why is it important?

Environmental management has become increasingly important over recent years as the volume of environmental legislation and regulations increases.

All businesses in the UK have legal environmental obligations that they must meet.

As an organisation working with sub-contractors you will have a responsibility to ensure that both you and your suppliers meet these legal obligations.

The good news is that by taking a more proactive approach to these issues your organisation and your suppliers’ businesses will benefit from making changes – in terms of reducing both costs and waste.

There are significant penalties applied to businesses in the UK not adhering to legislation and responsibility may fall with both supplier and Client organisation.

Environmental management

The SMAS Worksafe solution will look at each supplier’s approach to Environmental Management to ensure that they meet the current legislation and are operating in a manner which considers the impact they have on the environment.

Our audit of this information will provide you with the assurance that these obligations are being met and that they are monitored and regularly reviewed to ensure a consistent and reliable approach is being taken.

An overview of the review we carry out can be seen in the below tables.

In summary, we will review the information to provide assurance that:

  • a risk assessment has been carried out and that each supplier understands the potential environmental impact of the work they do
  • that the supplier can identify through regular monitoring and review processes any opportunities to improve their environmental performance to reduce energy costs and unnecessary waste
  • the supplier is managing waste and transporting and disposing of waste in the correct ways
  • any extra controls for specific hazardous waste substances are managed properly
  • correct procedures are implemented to reduce the risk of air pollution and the management of other emissions
  • that the supplier has processes in place to reduce the risk of contamination of groundwater
  • that the supplier meets all their obligations under UK legislation and demonstrates that their Environmental Management takes into consideration how they manage this approach with their staff

Environmental regulations for your industry

SMAS provides solutions to several different industries from Construction to Care and Education. We understand that different activities produce different types of risk and so our Environmental Specialists are trained to understand what these are and the key areas most important to the arena you operate in.

Preferred Supplier_Opt2

Introducing SMAS Worksafe Preferred Supplier

Demonstrate you meet a higher level of compliance

Here at SMAS Worksafe we’ve been working to enable our members to demonstrate that they meet a high level of compliance in other areas away from the standard SSIP Health & Safety. Our additional question sets enable contractors to demonstrate compliance to clients across several important areas. 

When SMAS Worksafe members log into their account online, they’ll be able to upgrade their profile to show compliance in the following areas:
•    Anti-bribery, Corruption and Modern Slavery – if you do not already have something in place then you can simply subscribe to the SMAS template provided on your account.
•    Environmental Management 
•    Quality Management 
•    Finance & Business Standing
 

What is “Preferred Supplier” Status?

We know that demonstrating that your compliance with all your legal and regulatory requirements is important to you and is vital in helping you to win more work.
Achieving the “Preferred Supplier” status with SMAS Worksafe means that your company has committed to providing additional information about your organisations approach to the aforementioned areas above. 

The information you provide will then be displayed on to your clients via the SMAS Contractor Portal, on which your company is already listed.  

Organisations such as Redrow Homes, Persimmon Homes, as well as other national construction companies will use this information to find and vet the sub-contractors they work with; which is why it is important to maintain as full a profile as possible.

Helping you with tender submissions

You can also export your profile into one single pdf “Compliance Overview” pack which can be inserted into your future tender submissions. 

Options to suit you
•    Simply upload your information and publish it on your profile for clients to see.
•    Engage with our continuous improvement programme and choose to have the information reviewed by SMAS Worksafe specialists who will then provide you with any recommendations you may wish to consider to improve the systems you have in place, over the next 12 months
•    Utilise our guided support which provides 1:1 specialist advice for 10 days to help you get systems off the ground. 

If you would like to discuss these options and fin out the most appropriate solution for your company, then please contact us on
01752 697 370

Getting Started
If you’re a SMAS worksafe member, simply login to your account, if not and you wish to find out more information, click here to visit our Preferred Supplier page. 

SMAS_USHA

SMAS attends Estates Seminar for the Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA)

The Universities Safety and Health Association held the latest Estates Seminar from the 10-11th July and Safety Management Advisory Services (SMAS) was in attendance.

The Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA) is an organisation “for the promotion of safety and health in higher education”.

The Association is recognised as leading in its space and now boasts a large membership with over 136 Institutions which represents all Universities in the UK as well as an additional 13 universities based overseas.

USHA’s mission statement is “to ensure the wellbeing of university staff, students and visitors through the promotion of health and safety within higher education.”

SMAS has been participating in USHA events over the last 12 months and contributing to ideas about how HE organisations can operate safely – not least when engaging with third party companies who are employed to carry out works on university sites; including any necessary vetting of a sub-contractor Health & Safety Management System before they are brought on to complete any work.

“We are proud to be able to participate in these discussions and contribute to the aims set out by USHA. We already work with universities to ensure that their estates team are able to identify suppliers to engage with when needed and can share a lot of best practise which we think will benefit others looking to achieve the same robust checks of their supply-chain” says Hollie Baxter, Business Development Manager at SMAS.

SMAS blue star

Do you have sufficient visibility of your supply-chain?

In accordance with CDM regulations your company requires ongoing arrangements in place to manage health and safety through the supply-chain and throughout the construction phase. If your company is subcontracting work and does not have clear visibility of your supply-chain, then this can leave your business vulnerable.

Supply-chains can be complex and have multiple tiers. This can often mean that companies attending site are several tiers from the main contractor, and have not undertaken the same level of health and safety assessment. If individual contractors have not achieved the same level of checks and assessment, then your company may be exposed to significant risks.

Companies need a consistent and standard approach to confirm contractors meet the required standards of health and safety to work on their sites.


How can SMAS help?

Gaining visibility of your supply-chain is critical.
Once you know where the vulnerabilities are, then you can manage them effectively.

SMAS has been supporting clients manage their supply chains H&S obligations for over 10 years.

As a registered member of the SSiP, SMAS assesses contractors against the SSiP Core Criteria; this enables them to benefit from an industry recognised approach to demonstrating H&S to multiple Clients within the Construction industry.

Our support starts once we receive a list of the contractors in your supply-chain which you require to be assessed. Once we have this data then your dedicated account manager will contact you to discuss how many contractors are already SMAS Worksafe accredited and how many are required to register.

As your suppliers register they are then assessed and as they demonstrate sufficient H&S practices will be awarded SMAS Worksafe accreditation and will be listed as ‘approved’ on the SMAS Contractor portal for your teams to see.

As annual certificates come up for renewal the SMAS renewals team will contact them on your behalf and ensure the required health and safety standards remain in place and their certification is renewed.


Find, Manage, Monitor

The SMAS Contractor portal provides Clients with the ability to access live data on their supply-chains H&S obligations.

The online tools we provide directly support your company in meeting your responsibilities under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

CDM Regulations 2015 require your company toThe SMAS Contractor Portal and Process helps by
sensibly plan the work so the risks involved are managed from start to
finish
providing a process which means that SMAS are working with,your suppliers to maintain in-date H&S certification all year around
have the right people for the right job at the right timeenabling your teams to find suppliers,across the UK by H&S status
cooperate and coordinate your work with othersletting you share supplier information and,comments with your colleagues locally and across regional teams
have the right information about the risks and how they are being managedenabling your company to identify real-time compliance risks across regions and site locations so you can see what areas are at risk and need managing
communicate this information,effectively to those who need to knowallowing you to share information effectively with your internal teams and send immediate communication to at risk contractors direct from the portal
consult and engage with workers about the risks and how they are being managedproviding you with template emails to use to educate and inform your suppliers of their H&S responsibilities and the importance / benefits of third party accreditation

To find out more about SMAS Worksafe certification or how SMAS can help you manage your sub-contractors register for portal access or contact SMAS on 01752 697370