What is CHAS?
The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme, or CHAS as it is commonly refered to, is an important pre-approval scheme to promote the benefits of effective Health and Safety within Business that was set up in 1997. It is intended for the use of contractors and consultants (suppliers) who are applying for work with public and private sector organisations (buyers). To win contracts, contractors and consultants must meet the health and safety standards of their clients. If you are CHAS approved then it is easy for your potential clients to know the standards you will be working to in view of health and safety .
When the CHAS certification was set up, it had two main aims:
- To improve the health and safety standards across Great Britian
- To reduce the amount of duplicated safety applications for both suppliers and buyers.
There are currently over 500 public and private sector “buyer” organisations, including Councils, housing associations, NHS trusts, as well as a growing number of private companies who employ sub-contractors.
What benefits will I get from being CHAS accredited?
There are several benefits from being CHAS accredited including:
- Showing compliance with important parts of health and safety law (the core criteria described in the CDM regulations).
- By achieving compliance a contractor or consultant is approved to work for all CHAS “buyers
- It removes inconsistancies where some contractors/consultants are judged to be compliant by one client, but not another
- It gives guidence on any weaknesses in the contractors/consultants safety management, including how they can improve.
- Saving time and resources for both the contractor/consultant and the client.
How do I become CHAS certified?
You can download the application forms direct from the CHAS website if you are familiar with the forms and requirements, however, if you are at all unsure or find that filling out all the paper work is too time consuming, it would be worth you contacting a specialist in CHAS registration.
How often do I need to apply?
As of the 1st October 2012 CHAS, along with the majority of other health and safety pre-qualifications moved to an annual assessment cycle.
How much is it to have a CHAS assessment?
Depending on the level and complexity of the assessment, CHAS applications start from £110 +VAT (figures correct at time of writing and taken from www.chas.gov.uk) if you download the application and do the work yourself, and you can expect to pay a little more if you go to a specialist to help you with the forms.