Many of our clients regularly get requests from companies running pre-tender qualification schemes that have to be completed in order to be considered for contracts.
These companies generally work for large blue chip clients (and in some cases for local authorities); what they do is try to build up a picture of your health and safety systems. Increasingly, we have found the requirements of these schemes have become more demanding; as they invariably now want proof that you do what you say you do. An example was a building company we helped this year to achieve CHAS accreditation; they found the requirements a far cry from what they needed to provide previously.
In the past clients have been passed on little more than giving the answers that tick the right boxes on the questionnaire. This from experience is no longer the case and a number of companies are finding it hard to stay on the approved tender lists; not being on the list means a big dent to the business. Certainly for our building client not being on the list was not going to be an option if they wanted to win new work.
Over the last 2 years many businesses have found the task of staying on these lists has become onerous and time consuming. So what does a business need to do to stay ahead of the game and to reduce the burden?
We find that the first step for the businesses we work with is to get them to forget the past and think to the future. Clearly the rules have changed and this needs to be understood and accepted. Working together we have shown clients that providing the evidence requested by these schemes does not need to be a burden, but it does have to be done.
By introducing effective health and safety systems where information is regularly recorded and easy to access, many of the answers are ready to be presented upon request. It’s also true to say that the businesses find the changes enhance their health and safety performance; leading to cost benefits.
Clearly getting it right gives the business a much easier route to qualification; which is imperative in many cases in order to survive and even thrive in these difficult economic times. Get it wrong and won`t get onto the qualification list.