A Common Assessment Standard (CAS) is a procurement, or buying, tool used to assess, or vet, subcontractors.
A set of standardised questions has been agreed to give buyers an insight into a potential suppliers business. The questions give buyers an understanding of how issues such as health and safety, equality and diversity are managed within their potential supply chain.
Most subcontractors and certainly all developers will be aware of the common assessment standard but not necessarily by that name. It is currently, commonly known as a PQQ, or pre-qualification questionnaire. It’s the questionnaire subcontractors have to fill in with tender documents.
If I were to say CHAS or Constructionline, would you be more familiar with the process?
In previous forms, the Common Assessment Standard, has been referred to as the SSIP1 (Safety Systems in Procurement) standard. There are many, many companies offering assessment to this standard. SMAS, Acclaim and SafeContractor are the most popular ones. Over the years since the standard was established, several extras have been added in. Corporate Social Responsibility, Equal Opportunities and Disability Discrimination policies have now become commonplace.
For a small company, a corporate social responsibility policy seems somewhat over the top. In order to meet the standards, small businesses have to match the bigger players in their field. With the CAS, it looks more certain that smaller businesses are going to have to invest in their systems to be able to tender.
Whether you choose to receive templates to amend yourself or have our professionals produce bespoke policies, all our retained services meet the requirements of the Common Assessment Standard.
The Common Assessment Standard has been adopted by the Main Contractors on the HS2 project. This standardizes the criteria the subcontractors must meet, but it also gives subcontractors a choice on which accreditation body to use.
The three assessment bodies, CHAS, Constructionline and Achilles, have agreed to data share. This is big news.
Buyers can, and have in the past, specified which accreditation body subcontractor use. For example one housebuilder may only accept Safecontractor accreditation and not SMAS accreditation. This is confusing as Safecontractor and SMAS are essentially assessing to the same standard, the SSIP1 standard. The reason they specify one accreditation body is because they, as a buyer, subscribe to one system. Buyers will use the system they subscribe to, lets say SMAS, and they simply type in Joiner and a geographical area to see all the joiners accredited to the SMAS standard.
Deem to Satisfy is a work around for subcontractors but it is an additional cost to the subcontractor.
With data sharing agreed between CHAS, Constructionline and Achilles, subcontractors are free to choose one of the three.
If you are wanting accreditation to CAS rather than SSIP1, then choose CHAS Premium, Constructionline Gold or Achilles. Other suppliers will be approved by Build UK in the future.
Our retained clients benefit from a suite of documents to meet the Common Assessment Standard. Dependent on the level of service chosen, we complete the assessment on your behalf with the assessment body of your choice. But you don’t have to pay for our weekly updates at all. Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date. Read what we shared last month in our round up post.