What is CHAS?
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
If you’ve had a look around the ASM Metal Recycling website, you’ll probably have noticed that we’re certified by the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS). It’s also quite likely that you won’t be sure what that is.
Today, then, we’re going to take a look at what the CHAS is and why it’s important.
What is CHAS?
CHAS was set-up in 1997, by a group of health and safety procurement professionals working alongside the Association of London Government (ALG). The aim of CHAS was twofold:
- To improve health and safety standards in Britain.
- To cut down on duplicated safety applications for both buyers and suppliers.
In 2016, more than 500 buyer organisations are certified by CHAS, including councils, housing associations, NHS trusts and many others. And, as it happens, ASM Metal Recycling.
So, what does CHAS actually do?
Thousands of contractors and consultants apply for work with public and private sector organisations each month. To gain this work, it’s a requirement that they meet the buyer’s own safety standards. Needless to say, this can be quite a time-consuming process: there are a lot of different companies, all with their own unique requirements.
Being CHAS Certified can really streamline this, as supplier compliance can be accepted by all CHAS buyers.
CHAS assesses credentials in:
- Organisation for health and safety
- Health and safety policy
- Specific health and safety arrangements
Essentially, CHAS buying companies can work with CHAS-certified suppliers worry-free.
What are the benefits to CHAS?
There are a number of reasons why this scheme is popular with both buyers and suppliers:
- It demonstrates compliance with health and safety law. Businesses can demonstrate that they are committed to keeping their operations as safe as possible.
- Suppliers are instantly approved to work for all buyers in the network.
- It cuts down inconsistencies, saving everyone time. Suppliers who train for compliance in a specific policy may then find that they need to re-train in order to work for a different company. This can be extremely time-consuming.
- CHAS offers guidance. The scheme offers ongoing healthy and safety advice to all members, helping them improve and maintain their standards.
How is competency assessed?
There are three stages for businesses looking to operate as a supplier in the CHAS network:
- The initial CHAS assessment. A buyer will undergo an in-depth assessment to verify effective health and safety management.
- The buyer will then conduct their own supplier checks, including specific risk assessments, references, examples of previous similar work, training and available resources and method statements.
- The buyer will then monitor the supplier whilst carrying out the work, inspecting the elements above and providing supervision where necessary.
Buyers will of course still be responsible for monitoring suppliers, ensuring they are working under the necessary safe conditions.
How is CHAS managed?
CHAS has ongoing founder member status with the HSE supported Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) competence forum. The scheme also receives annual accreditation from an Independent SSIP appointed auditor approved by the Health and Safety Executive.
BM TRADA, a UKAS accredited certification body, also carry out an annual audit.
Get in touch
If you’d like to know more about CHAS and how it relates to our work, get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help.