When the revised Construction (Design & Management) Regulations came into force in April 2007, a concept known as Stage 1 Core Criteria was introduced. This criterion is used for assessing health and safety competence of contractors and consultants working in the construction industry. Such an assessment is often referred to as a pre-qualification scheme.
There are currently a large number of pre-qualification schemes serving the construction industry. The CDM based competence criteria therefore provided an opportunity for there to be mutual recognition between these H&S pre-qualification schemes.
To facilitate mutual recognition between the participating health and safety pre-qualification schemes the SSiP forum developed. This, it was agreed, would remove the need for multiple registrations by construction organisations against a similar set of requirements.
It was also anticipated that the scheme would actively advise and influence clients as to the suitable interpretation of H&S standards in UK schemes. This, it was hoped, would improve standards within the construction industry in general.
The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations as revised in 2015 removed the formal requirements for a stage 1 and stage 2 assessment as detailed in the CDM 2007 Approved Code of Practice replacing this with the requirement that duty holders assess the organisational capability of those working on a project. The SSiP terms of reference were modified to reflect the previous ACOP Stage 1 requirements, requirements also published in PAS 91.
An important element in the mutual recognition of SSiP assessments is ensuring a consistent approach by assessors working for SSiP members. To support this SSiP has developed, in collaboration initially with IRCA , and with the kind support of the Health & Safety Executive, a certification programme for assessors working under the SSiP umbrella. This certification focuses on the core competence requirements that are common to assessors working for all SSiP members, and recognises that the assessment processes and additional requirements differ from member to member.
This course is a critical requirement in the process of individuals becoming certified as registered SSiP assessors.