A Beginner's Guide to understanding SSIP Membership and Accreditation

What is SSIP?

Founded in May 2009, Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) is an umbrella organisation that pulls together multiple occupational health and safety schemes with the aim of reducing costs and duplication for both suppliers and buyers, particularly in the construction industry. 

SSIP members who provide these schemes accredit suppliers through conducting assessments. These require the supplier to complete forms which are sent remotely to an external auditor who then assesses current health and safety practices and procedures against SSIP core criteria endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

SSIP now features over 60 members who have accredited in excess of 55,000 suppliers. Since its creation, SSIP has saved buyers and suppliers more than £142 million (https://ssip.org.uk/ssip-savings-to-industry-top-156-million/), a number that is continuing to grow year upon year.

What does SSIP accreditation mean?

Nowadays, there are many Health and Safety schemes which buyers may request suppliers to be accredited with when tendering. Obtaining SSIP accreditation demonstrates to a buyer that the supplier is competent in health and safety practices and procedures, and therefore a business that is safe to work with. Accreditation from an SSIP scheme is also mutually recognised by all other SSIP members. As such, accreditation from one SSIP member is sufficient to meet the criteria of the other members; thus, suppliers only require accreditation from one SSIP scheme, preventing the requirement to perform multiple health and safety assessments.

What are the benefits of SSIP accreditation?

SSIP membership has large upsides to both suppliers and buyers. With reference to the former, suppliers with SSIP accreditation appear more credible to prospective clients. Furthermore, suppliers are only required to be accredited by one SSIP scheme rather than obtaining multiple certificates. 

Buyers, on the other hand, only need to request evidence of an SSIP accreditation to ensure they have met their legal requirements under CDM 2015. In addition, buyers are easily able to find and contact SSIP accredited companies through the online portal. Overall, obtaining SSIP membership simplifies the process of tendering for all parties involved, hence saving time and money.

Who are SMAS?

Safety Management Advisory Services (SMAS) are part of the Citation Group and a sister company of QMS. They are one of the leading members of the SSIP forum with over 25,000 registered contractors. SMAS work with many major housebuilders in the UK and specialize in new build construction, helping businesses achieve SSIP accreditation. 

SMAS offer two forms of assessment to its customers – a full assessment for previously non-accredited suppliers, and a Deemed to Satisfy assessment for suppliers who already own an SSIP member scheme certificate but are looking to gain membership with SMAS. 

SMAS accredit suppliers in as little as 3 to 5 days thanks to their dedicated in-house team, and this enables them to provide a service that may take up to 6 weeks if outsourced. Another aspect which makes SMAS unique, is their adoption of a flat-rate pricing scheme, providing far more value for money for their suppliers that register. SMAS pride themselves in their quality of service and have a returning customer rate of 95%, demonstrating an excellent level of customer satisfaction.

To find out more about SMAS and the services they provide, visit their website.

Joe Evans

Joe Evans

Marketing Assistant

Joe underwent a 9-week internship with QMS international.
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