Why is CHAS so difficult?

CHAS is a well known and recognised health and safety assessment, but it can be a very difficult accreditation to achieve.

CHAS carries out an assessment of your health and safety provision, and will add you to their suppliers list and give you a certificate to show that you have passed. However, having CHAS do the assessment isn’t the only way to get a CHAS certificate.

CHAS is a member of the SSIP Forum (Safety Schemes in Procurement). This means that they should assess you H&S procedures in the same way as every other forum member company (and there are lots of others).

All of the SSIP forum members (including CHAS) assess your H&S procedures according to the PAS:91 government specification for contractor H&S assessments.

However, not all of the SSIP forum member organisations work in the same way:

Some will be based in a single office, with all the assessors regularly talking to each other,  and training each other, which makes the application process more predictable and easier.

Some (like CHAS) will rely on external consultants based all over the country, with no regular communication, and each with their own specialisms, preferences and pet-hates. This makes the application process very dependant on the assessor you get, and so much more unpredictable, and difficult.

Some SSIP members will assess your application to the PAS91 standard. This standard was written to assess whether a contractor has sufficient H&S provision to safely work as a sub-contractor on an external site, or principal contractor for a client.

The standard does not require that you have done PAT testing on your own office equipment, or a fire assessment for your workshop, or detailed tests and calibration on tools that you do not use on site.

However, some SSIP members (CHAS) will want to see all of this information. We are not saying that this is a bad thing, and you should certainly be doing it if it applies to your company. But, it hardly seems fair for a company to pay hundreds of pounds for an assessment, then fail it on the basis that you have not had PAT testing done, when this is not actually part of the specifications that you are supposed to be assessed to.

So, CHAS has lots of independent assessors spread across the country, and they do not assess to the core PAS:91 standard. This makes it much more difficult to achieve the accreditation than it should be.

We’ll soon be posting how you get around this problem, and our preference when it comes to choosing an SSIP member to carry out your assessment.