What is SafeContractor?
SafeContractor is a health and safety audit service for tradespeople, similar to the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS). It’s a great way of reassuring homeowners that you work safely, and can help you win bigger commercial contracts and save time and money by taking away the need to complete pre-qualification questionnaires. You can join SafeContractor on two levels – 1) membership and 2) full accreditation, but you won’t be classed as SafeContractor approved until you gain full accreditation.
What is the difference between SafeContractor and CHAS?
SafeContractor and CHAS are both health and safety audit services. They belong to Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSiP), which was set up in 2009 to enable a recognition of assessments between different member schemes. If you belong to one of these schemes and want to receive accreditation with another, the assessment process is much shorter and you’ll get a discount.
Membership gives you access to a host of useful business benefits:
- Trade discounts – including up to 50% B&Q Tradepoint discount across the country.
- Training discounts – 10% discount on health and safety training with Santia.
- Free health and safety advice – 24/7 unlimited guidance via their expert advice line.
- Free legal guidance – free commercial and employment law guidance in conjunction with Abbey Legal.
Going one better with full accreditation
Being an accredited SafeContractor means your procedures, policies, training and insurances have been rigorously audited by SafeContractor’s Audit Services Team. This takes risk away from the homeowner, making you a much more attractive tradesperson to work with.
Once you gain accreditation, you’ll be added to their online client database. Clients can use the database to search for approved tradespeople to carry out work. You’ll also be able to use their logo to promote your business.
Where can I use the SafeContractor logo?
You can use the SafeContractor logo in your own marketing materials, including letters and on your website, once you’ve passed the audit and become accredited. You’ll also receive van stickers and marketing support, including a PR Guidance Note.
How to become SafeContractor approved
All tradespeople are able to join the scheme, whether you’re a builder or an office cleaner. Accreditation centres around you completing a health and safety risk questionnaire. If you’re a sole trader or have less than five employees, the questionnaire you’ll fill out will be different from that of a larger company. You won’t need to have a health and safety policy written out but you’ll need to be able to show that you understand health and safety legislation and how it applies to your business.
- Complete the questionnaire – once you’ve registered, you’ll be asked to fill in a risk assessment questionnaire in your online account, and sometimes upload some supporting documents.
- Pre-assessment – a Technical Support Officer will get in touch to check you have the right documents for your audit.
- Assessment – a member of the Audit Services Team will receive your questionnaire and review your health and safety policies, procedures and documents. They’ll take your trade and business size into account when deciding whether you qualify for accreditation.
- Receive the results – your auditor will let you know whether you’ve passed the audit. If you have, your SafeContractor certificate will be in the post. If not, they’ll let you know what’s missing to help you gain the accreditation. Most tradespeople will gain accreditation within a maximum of two audits.
Who carries out the audit?
The Audit Services Team is made up of health and safety professionals who have technical qualifications and industry memberships, for example Masters Degrees in Safety or Technical Member status with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). As well as the qualifications, each professional has practical experience and is assessed to make sure their audits are consistently up to scratch.
Gain fast accreditation with FastTrack and FastTrack Premium
On average, a health and safety audit takes 4-6 weeks to complete, depending on how long it takes you to complete the questionnaire. The audit is normally completed within 20 working days but you can speed this up if you choose to go for one of their FastTrack or FastTrack Premium options. It’s a bit like paying for first class at the post office – with FastTrack, your SafeContractor questionnaire will be in the hands of an auditor within 3-5 working days of you submitting it. With FastTrack Premium, it’ll get there even quicker – being received by an auditor within 2 working days.
The table below outlines the cost of joining SafeContractor and obtaining full accreditation.
|Company type||Standard price||SSIP price||FastTrack
(in addition to standard price)
(in addition to standard price)
|Groups||–||–||£100 plus 15 per subsidiary||£200 plus 30 per subsidiary|
*SSiP price = price for tradespeople registered with another member scheme which belongs to Safety Schemes in Procurement. All prices exclude VAT and valid as of 11th September 2017.