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Councils to ask for firms with SSIP approval

Local authorities in Lambeth, Doncaster and Wigan will be the first to demand their contractors be accredited by a new body established to standardise safety pre-qualification questionnaires.

Safety Schemes in Procurement was launched this year as an umbrella organisation to facilitate mutual recognition between health and safety PQQs.

By using an SSIP-approved accreditation scheme, contractors only have to complete the stage one assessment form once and can focus instead on the project specific requirements of stage two, said chairman of the SSIP Forum John Murphy.

Nine accreditation schemes are registered so far with SSIP, including Chas, Exor and NHBC, and a further four have applied to sign up.

Speaking at an event in London to celebrate the SSIP’s six-month anniversary, Mr Murphy revealed he had spent recent months canvassing clients and contractors to win their backing for the scheme.

He said: “We have written to all local authorities and housing associations. Lambeth, Doncaster and Wigan are among those who will now be asking for SSIP-accredited contractors.”

The Construction Clients Group will also be asking firms to demand SSIP-accredited contractors.

Construction companies are being urged to use only approved schemes, with smaller firms in particular being told the initiative could open the door to tendering for a much wider range of work.