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What is SSIP?

Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) is an umbrella organisation in which members provide health and safety assessment schemes to contractors working in the supply chain to demonstrate compliance with safety practices to potential clients.

By operating mutual recognition between member schemes, the SSIP has been able to streamline the tendering process by enabling all contractors and buyers to follow a closely related framework and reduce costs for contractors by removing the need for multiple application costs.

One of the essential purposes of the SSIP forum is also to provide guidance to buyers on how to interpret health & safety standards and identify what level of compliance potential suppliers are working to in order to better determine which businesses to work with. 

Holding an accreditation from an SSIP scheme member is the recognised standard for health and safety and many companies operating in the construction industry, as well as other industries such as education and social care, require it from all subcontractors they work with. Being accredited by SMAS will give your business access to a much larger pool of work.

Are SMAS and SSIP the same thing?

SMAS is one of the organisations signed up to SSIP, meaning our assessment of your health and safety practices gives you official SSIP certification. Because our assessors work in alignment with the SSIP Core Criteria, being accredited by SMAS will give you cross-recognition between SSIP member schemes. This means that any potential clients will more easily be able to identify your level of compliance as your question set will closely follow a universal structure, meaning they can identify your competence more clearly.

What is SSIP registration?

Contractors and clients do not sign up to SSIP directly and instead make use of the companies within the umbrella to show certification to potential clients.

Accreditation with one member scheme conveys to clients that your business adheres to the expectations laid out by the SSIP and can be interpreted in relation to these member schemes when tendering. The intent of the SSIP is to reduce duplication and save money for contractors by working as an umbrella organisation for the leading health and safety assessment bodies in the UK.

health and safety on buidling sites

How do I get safe as a contractor?

SMAS Worksafe accreditation is one of the leading ways to show you are a safe contractor who follows the guidance outlined by SSIP

Once you have registered as a member, it is a simple, straightforward process to become accredited and typically only takes a few days to receive a decision. SMAS offers templates and guidance, as well as access to our experienced assessors, for businesses who are new to health and safety accreditation and need direction when answering the outlined questions.

Our assessors will review your documents and determine whether you are working to the standards of the SSIP Core Criteria, providing advice on how to improve in any areas necessary once the assessment has been carried out.

Our SMAS Worksafe Preferred Supplier Status also offers contractors the chance to demonstrate their commitment to occupational health and safety through an extra question set focusing on areas not covered in the standard SSIP assessment, including Modern Slavery and environmental management.

What does PAS 91 stand for?

PAS 91 is the Publicly Available Specification for pre-qualification questionnaires in construction-related procurement.

PAS 91 is a set of questions which contractors, suppliers and clients can ask as part of the pre-qualification process for construction work.

The SMAS Worksafe Preferred Supplier additional question set is aligned with PAS 91 and aims to provide further benefits to contractors who complete the assessment by extending the issues covered by their qualification and evidencing a dedication to health and safety compliance at work.

What is a Preferred Supplier?

SMAS accreditation is issued for 12 months at a time but by becoming a member and renewing your accreditation online, you can save

SMAS Worksafe Preferred Supplier is an additional service we offer to help your business excel at health and safety organisation. The additional question sets include in the Preferred Supplier scheme include Environmental Management, Anti-Bribery and Corruption and Modern Slavery. Though these are not currently legally required from contractors, achieving preferred supplier status can be advantageous when tendering bids to potential clients by evidencing your commitment to safety standards at work.

Signing up to SMAS Worksafe Preferred Supplier improves the tendering process by:

  • reducing the time taken to answer necessary questions;
  • making the information easily available to download or print off to be included in tender documents;
  • providing a framework for the questions to improve confidence that questions will be answered correctly;
  • reducing the need for multiple pre-qualification schemes to be completed; and
  • outlining the steps to good practice in completion to increase the quality of answers.

What is an SSIP certificate?

Completing the SMAS Worksafe assessment will result in your business holding a certification from one of the leading SSIP accreditation bodies which can be used to demonstrate your health and safety compliance. Though you do not apply to the SSIP and therefore will not receive an SSIP certificate, your SMAS accreditation will be stamped with approval from the SSIP to show that your business is operating in line with SSIP standards.

What is SMAS accreditation?

SMAS is one of the leading SSIP member schemes with over 25,000 contractors signed up to receive health and safety accreditation from our experienced assessors. As membership to an SSIP scheme is becoming an essential part of today’s tendering process, your membership to SMAS is a simple and straightforward way to showcase your compliance for any construction job your business is eligible for.

How do I register for SMAS?

Once you have signed up to be a member of SMAS, the application process for accreditation is designed to be straightforward and support you no matter what experience you have with SSIP accreditation. The full registration assessment process will only ask you the questions you need to answer, helping you get certified in the most suitable way for your business.

If you are already accredited with another SSIP member scheme, our Deem to Satisfy process is quick and easy and often take minutes to complete. We operate on a 1-2 day turnaround, meaning you and your team can get to work as quickly as possible when switching.

construction health and safety

How long does SMAS accreditation last?

SMAS accreditation is issued for 12 months at a time but by becoming a member and renewing your accreditation online, you can save 40%.

Why is SSIP important?

SSIP certification is required by a large portion of buyers working in construction, education and social care. By gaining a qualification from one of the members of SSIP like SMAS, contractors can be discovered by buyers for jobs with these expected requirements, as well as highlight their professional dedication to health & safety management.

What are the benefits of SSIP accreditation?

The objective of SSIP accredited certification is to reduce bureaucracy and costs for both contractors and buyers. However, there are a number of other benefits of SSIP recognition for both parties.

Benefits for contractors:

  • A streamlined tender process
  • An advantage over competitors without the accreditation
  • Faster registration with other related pre-qualification portals to improve the range of jobs available
  • Making a more attractive business to draw in industry-leading talent

Benefits for clients:

  • A more comprehensive way of assessing potential contractors' compliance
  • Access to the database of users to find the most appropriate companies to work with
  • Simplifies the process of determining the level of compliance through easy to interpret questions
  • Full professional supply chain management solution available
construction site workplace safety

How does SSIP relate to ISO 45001?

Given that ISO 45001 is an occupational health and safety management scheme, ISO 45001 is closely related to the intention of the SSIP forum. SSIP criteria are aligned with ISO 45001 so those accredited will likely qualify for Deem to Satisfy with SSIP member schemes such as SMAS.

SMAS Worksafe Preferred Supplier is more closely aligned with the objectives of ISO 45001 in health and safety management so those who are interested in extending their compliance accreditation should consider completing the extra question set outlined in our Preferred Supplier scheme.

What are the requirements of SSIP members?

The requirements of all SSIP members are related to the SSIP core criteria. These are 14 criteria which members must achieve to be accredited by a member of the SSIP. These criteria include evidence of a health and safety policy, availability of competent health and safety advice and monitoring and auditing procedures. For organisations who are unable or unsure of how to evidence how they meet each of the criteria will benefit from direct contact with our assessors who will be available to offer guidance and direction when completing the application to improve your chances of success first time.

Can I gain SMAS accreditation if I’m already accredited with another SSIP scheme?

SMAS is just one SSIP certification body and works in conjunction with many of the other members to support and improve levels of health and safety conformity across the UK. For those who already hold accreditation from other member schemes such as CHAS and Constructionline, we offer a Deem to Satisfy service which can take as little as two minutes to complete.