What is PAS 91?

PAS 91 stands for Publicly Available Specification for pre-qualification questionnaires. These questionnaires are split into modules and help to clients to manage compliance across multiple supply chains. It provides a standard set of questions across a range of risk management areas to determine the suitability of contractors for projects.

Commissioned by the government and developed by the British Standards Institute (BSI), PAS 91 aims to address challenges businesses face when completing pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs). The questionnaire aims to raise the bar and has set high standards for risk management, it also helps contractors with duplication when applying for contracts as the standards are set across the industry. Once the pAS 91 modules have been completed, a contractor can use them to apply for a variety of projects and there is no need for multiple assessments, saving them both time and money.

Once completed, PAS91 can be used for a variety of different projects. Each module can be tailored to a specific project, which allows contractors to focus on project-specific requirements in later stages of the tender process, knowing their pre-qualification requirements are met. An example of this would be in the construction industry, projects that are required to carry out duties under the CDM 2015 can use PAS91 modules to demonstrate and ensure compliance with specific regulations.

Why was PAS 91 introduced?

PAS 91 was introduced by the British Standards Institute (BSI) and aims to save time and costs associated with completing PQQs by preventing duplication and removing the need to complete different PQQs for different clients and contracts. It provides a time-saving pre-qualification process, helping contractors apply for more work by simplifying the tendering process.

By delivering a standardised PQQ format, PAS 91 has been able to:

  • Help contractors understand what is required from them at the pre-qualification stage
  • Bring consistency across various pre-qualification questionnaires and databases
  • Help clients identify suitably qualified contractors

Is PAS 91 mandatory?

PAS 91 is one of the government’s common minimum standards for construction procurement and is now recommended for use by all main contractors, but it is not mandatory.

Having a standard industry-wide question set streamlines the procurement process and brings benefits to both suppliers and buyers.

Client Benefits:

  • Helps clients to identify suitably qualified contractors more easily
  • Is one of the government’s common minimum standards for construction procurement
  • Helps clients achieve more sustainable procurement
  • Gives clients more time to focus on the project-specific areas of the pre-qualification process
  • Encourages more contractors (particularly SMEs) to apply for work by simplifying the tendering process

Contractor Benefits:

  • No duplication – you can “copy and paste” your information for a variety of pre-qualification questionnaires.
  • PAS 91 standards recognise other industry-recognised accreditations such as SSIP, which can save you time by offering exemptions from certain modules
  • By demonstrating you meet the required standards for a contract you can compete for more tenders and win more work
  • A more timely and cost-effective process for answering pre-qualifying questionnaires.

PAS 91 and SSIP:

Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) is a commonly used health and safety requirement in construction. An SSIP certificate is obtained by a contractor or supplier to show clients that they are operating at the required level of health & safety. As we mentioned earlier, PAS 91 allows suppliers to use other accreditations to pass certain modules within PAS 91 and having an SSIP accreditation is an example of this.

PAS 91 Modules:

  • C1 Supplier Identity
  • C2 Financial information
  • C3 Business & Professional Standing
  • C4 Health & Safety (SSIP)
  • O1 Equal Opportunity & Diversity
  • O2 Environmental Management
  • O3 Quality Management
  • O4 Building Information Modelling (BIM)

The SSIP Core Criteria is fully aligned with Module C4: Health and Safety (Amendment 1 November 2017) of PAS91 and also Section 4: Health and Safety of the Build UK Common Assessment Standard (CAS) (Version 1.2 September 2020).

This means that if you have an SSIP certificate with SMAS Worksafe, you will be able to use this to fill out the Health & Safety module within the PAS 91 criteria.

How can SMAS Worksafe help you achieve PAS 91 standards?

Our Worksafe PQQ Package is aligned to the PAS 91 framework. This means that if you take out our Worksafe PPQ package, you can be confident that your business is eligible to bid on work that uses the PAS 91 framework.

Our online application process is simple to complete. We only ask questions that are relevant to your business size and activities, and we are always on hand to assist by telephone should you need some friendly advice.

Engineer making notes whilst listening to the foreman

What is covered in Worksafe PPQ?

  • Health & Safety (SSIP)
  • Financial & Business
  • Quality Management
  • Anti-Bribery & Corruption
  • Environmental Management
  • Modern Slavery

If you want to find out more about how our Worksafe PQQ package can help you meet PAS 91 standards, head to our Worksafe PQQ page or call our team on 01752 280183 and we’ll be happy to help.