Health & safety accreditation: Is it worth your time?

Is health and safety accreditation worth your time and money? 

You may have been told about it by a partner business or pointed towards it by a potential client, suggesting you get yourself health and safety accreditation, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually worth the investment. 

Health & safety accreditation safety firstHealth and safety accreditations, offered by companies such as CHAS, who are founding members of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) help businesses demonstrate their ability to conform and comply with risk management and safety objectives. They do this without your business having to go through audits or share its health and safety policy documents and provide evidence of good practice whenever you try to work with a new client. 

In effect, the accreditation is the evidence; evidence that shows others your business is following important health and safety guidelines, protecting workers and preventing you from becoming a supply chain risk. 

While that sounds like a clear benefit, what is the reality of qualifying for a scheme like CHAS? There’s no point in investing in something that doesn’t actually help you. So is there any real value in health and safety accreditation? 

Prequalify for tenders

You’ll often find, particularly in the public sector and on large client projects, that you’ll be asked to provide health and safety accreditation to simply be allowed to tender. This practice is becoming ever more commonplace as project teams move away from creating their own health and safety assessments and instead rely on accreditation schemes to qualify their prospective contractors for work. 

Win contract bids

If prequalification for tenders wasn’t good enough, health and safety accreditation could add extra value by helping you to win bids:

  • First, it can help you access bids quicker. If you prequalify, you can get your bid in fast. If a project is time-sensitive, this can mean you have the chance to get your bid and proposal reviewed and accepted before others even get the opportunity to bid. 
  • Another benefit is that health and safety schemes often have is the ability to provide bidding channels and access to client tenders, which means that acquiring your it through a health and safety assessment scheme allows you to access bid opportunities you’d previously have been unable to reach — CHAS is an excellent example of a health and safety scheme that offers access to jobs as a benefit of membership and accreditation. 
  • Finally, having health and safety accreditation helps you stand out in those bids where it’s not a mandatory prequalification, showing that you’ve taken steps to ensure your competence within the client’s supply chain. With the dangers of supply chain risk often weighing heavily on a client’s mind, your accreditation can help your bid be a more attractive prospect. 

Save time and money

Health and safety accreditation schemes often run annually. You’ll need to re-apply for accreditation once per year to ensure your business maintains its health and safety policy and stays up to date with evolving regulations. However, the benefit of only having to complete the assessment once per year is that when it comes to bidding on contract tenders, if you already have your accreditation, you can often bypass any health and safety documents involved in the application process. So, instead of having to fill out multiple forms, one for every job you apply for, you only have to do it once that year when you file your accreditation assessment. 

That saves huge amounts of time, money and, quite simply, energy. 

The added benefit is that if you have accreditation from a trusted scheme, your potential client does not have to review and assess your health and safety documents because it’s already been done for them. You can save your clients time and money by taking a job off their hands. 

Saving your clients time is definitely a good thing, which not only increases your chance of winning a bid but also leads nicely into our next point:

Improve your reputation

Clients want to work with suppliers and contractors that help protect their interests. They don’t want to work with risk-prone enterprises that could sink their supply chain, their projects and their profits. Health and safety accreditation is a powerful tool for building your reputation. It says that you’re invested in making their lives easier, safeguarding their supply lines and maintaining workplace stability.

All this helps improve your reputation within your industry, which could lead to more opportunities for work and networking.

Keep your employees safe

Let’s not forget the number one goal of health and safety: To safeguard your employees from harm and mitigate the risk that could result in injury or even death. The role of health and safety is to protect your team, and accreditation can help you do that. To achieve accreditation, your health and safety efforts must be assessed for effectiveness by a qualified assessor. If your assessment is successful, then you can give yourself and your employees some peace of mind. If you fail to meet the standards required of the health and safety accreditation assessment, then you have a clear sign your business is not doing enough to protect its employees.

If you’re not yet ready to keep your employees safe, then schemes like CHAS offer expert advice on how to obtain accreditation, helping you analyse your workplace and look for areas of improvement. Health and safety schemes can also help you successfully pass accreditation processes through access to benefits programs like the Business Shield support offered by the CHAS scheme — a service that includes unlimited access to health and safety telephone support, online policy documents and more — as well as health and safety training courses and further guidance.  

Alex Minett is the Head of Product & Markets at CHAS, the UK’s leading health and safety assessment scheme and provider of risk mitigation, compliance and supply chain management services. With a working history in the audit and management consulting industry, Alex is experienced in implementing visions and strategies. Skilled in negotiation, management and business development, he is passionate about driving CHAS in its mission to safeguard organisations from risk in the UK.