We help contractors get their third party accreditations such as CHAS, Constructionline, Achilles etc. and what has always struck us is that it can be an utter waste of time and money when our clients have to be assessed against all of them because their clients only recognise one or the other.

But hopefully, this has now come to an end.

The Common Assessment Standard

Build UK has announced that the new industry-wide pre-qualification (PQ) system, The Common Assessment Standard is now fully up and running, simplifying a complex system for the benefit of everyone in the construction sector. The rollout of the Common Assessment Standard will significantly reduce the duplication of time, effort and resources that are costing the sector up to £1 billion a year.

Major contractors and clients have all adopted the Common Assessment Standard meaning that members of their supply chains will need to obtain just one certification to tender for work with them. This follows the recent implementation of a new data-sharing solution, which enables contractors and clients to obtain key PQ data from any one of three Recognised Assessment Bodies: Achilles, CHAS or Constructionline.

The Common Assessment Standard is an industry-agreed question set with two levels of certification – desktop and site-based – and companies can apply to any Recognised Assessment Body to get the appropriate level dependent upon their trade, size and requirements of their clients.

Common Assessment Standard Achilles CHAS Constructionline
Desktop Building Confidence CAS Desktop Assessment CHAS Premier (CAS) Constructionline Gold
Site-Based Building Confidence CAS Site Assessment CHAS Premier (CAS) Assured Constructionline Platinum

However, it’s not for the faint-hearted, it covers the following 12 areas of risk management including requirements of PAS 91:

  • Identity — General information about your company is used to verify that you’re legally able to operate within the UK. This information includes your company’s name, contact details, registration, company size and address.
  • Financial — Has the company taken the necessary steps to reduce financial risks, so you will need to answer a few questions about your company’s financial information and provide any required supporting documentation.
  • Corporate and Professional Standing — Questions relating to criminal activity, corruption, terrorism and human trafficking.
  • Health and Safety — A huge amount of importance rests on health and safety during the Common Assessment Standard. You will need to demonstrate that your company has taken steps to protect workers, site visitors and the public from harm.  It follows the Safety Systems in Procurement (SSIP) question model
  • Environmental — Whether your company has taken the necessary steps to reduce the environmental impact of projects and meet environmental management standards.
  • Quality — Quality assurance can prevent problems from arising and reduce the risks involved in projects, so the Common Assessment Standard will require confirmation that your company meets quality management standards
  • Equality — Confirmation that your company promotes equality and diversity in the workplace and that all people are treated fairly.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) — How your company impacts society, so you will need to answer a few questions about your CSR policy.
  • Information Security and GDPR — demonstrate that your company is protecting personal data in line with the GDPR.
  • Building Information Modelling —  How your company develops, manages and controls design information, if applicable.
  • Anti-Bribery and Corruption —  How your company has implemented procedures to prevent persons within or associated with your organisation from receiving bribes or bribing others.
  • Modern Slavery — Confirmation that your organisation has taken steps to assess and manage modern slavery and human trafficking risks.

Our Thoughts

Unless you have everything in place already, we suggest you go for SSIP like Constructionline Acclaim, Safe Contractor or CHAS H&S to start with then work up to the common assessment standard.

Topaz Health and Safety can assist in getting third party accreditation and obtaining the common assessment standard.  So why not CONTACT US to get started.