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What is CHAS accreditation?

  Monday, 17 June 2024

As you might have seen, ASM Metal Recycling is certified by the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS). It’s also quite likely that you won’t know what this means.

So, we’re going to take a look at CHAS, what it aims to achieve 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 the UK
  • To cut down on duplicated safety applications for both buyers and suppliers

More than 2,500 organisations are certified by CHAS, across a wide range of industries including construction, education, local councils, manufacturing, NHS trusts and many others. Including, 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:

  • Health and safety competency
  • Risk assessment management
  • 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 health and safety process 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 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 as they go about their normal day-to-day 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.

There is no joining fee and as a CHAS member you will be allocated a dedicated account manager.

What do I need to get CHAS accreditation?

Here is a summary of the application process:

  • Register on the CHAS online portal – here you can manage your account, monitor your accreditations and membership benefits

  • Provide information about your business as part of your CHAS application – such as your contact details and number of employees

  • Choose an accreditation package – standard, advanced or elite

  • Complete your assessments – including details of health and safety processes and risk management policies, and any supporting documentation

  • Review of your application by CHAS assessors

What does it mean to be CHAS registered?

A company that is registered with CHAS has achieved a high level of health and safety compliance. Its employees will be protected by health and safety procedures and policies that meet CHAS standards. Being CHAS accredited is also a minimum requirement in many tender frameworks, so it acts as a pre-qualification screening process in many respects.

Having CHAS will immediately give an organisation an advantage over one that does not.

It helps buying organisations because it reduces the amount of time it takes to assess a company when applying for tenders or contracts.

How long does CHAS accreditation take?

A CHAS application can be responded to in as little as 48 hours by a CHAS assessor, if it is a fast-tracked application. The assessor lets the client know as soon as possible if they have been successful.

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.

How does having CHAS help ASM Metal Recycling?

Scrap metal recycling sites can be full of hazards and potential danger. Our staff work with heavy machinery and bulky items, and our sites are busy places. So, it is important that we keep our employees safe. Risk management is key to how we operate our premises, so being CHAS accredited helps us to maintain a safe working environment at all times.

If you’d like to know more about CHAS and how it relates to our work at ASM Metal Recycling, get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help.

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