Secure Your Future in Construction – The SME Fast Track to Preferred Supplier Lists

The SSIP umbrella organisation helps trade contractors get onto preferred supplier lists quickly and easily and find work with the major construction companies.

All construction suppliers are looking to find more business & but many of the biggest construction companies will only work with contractors that are on a preferred suppliers list.
It’s understandable that major construction company need to be able to trust contractors – like roofers and plasterers – when it comes to sensitive areas of compliance, for example. But if you’re confident that you’re following best practices, how do you get on the preferred list as quickly and easily as possible?
Getting on to a preferred suppliers list involves going through an assessment process to confirm that you comply with all the relevant regulations. This will involve answering relevant questions about your business practice, and may include an on-site audit by the assessor.
The procedure might be a little time-consuming & but if you’re complying with the regulations, you can be reasonably confident of passing. Your business then stands a much better chance of getting noticed by major construction companies.
Reducing the Bureaucratic Burden
However, a real problem arises because there are so many different accreditation schemes in the construction industry. So even if you’ve passed one, another client looking for a contractor may work with a different accreditation scheme. This has the potential to create a serious bureaucratic burden & especially for time-pressed SMEs.
So how do you make it onto preferred supplier lists for multiple construction businesses without getting burdened with an unmanageable load of bureaucracy? Your first port of call should be the Safety Schemes in Procurement forum, which is designed to combat this problem by encouraging cross-recognition between different schemes.
The SSIP describes itself as an €œumbrella organisation€ that facilitates mutual recognition between different assessment schemes. SSIP has a set of core criteria, approved by the Health and Safety Executive , that set out what construction firms need to do to meet basic health and safety law. These cover a whole range of areas and include guidelines on having a regularly reviewed policy, appropriate training and information, qualified staff, a system for monitoring procedures, and a way of consulting with the workforce.
The SSIP has a web portal which lists suppliers who have been assessed by SSIP members. And because many of the major accreditation schemes are members of the forum, this acts as a kind of master list. HSE encourages construction businesses to accept certification by any SSIP forum member scheme as having met the core criteria, and therefore not needing to provide any further evidence in order to tender for a contract.
Agreements between Different Accreditation Schemes
This can help you get around the problem that arises when a potential client asks you to register with their preferred scheme but you have already been accredited with another scheme. If both the schemes are members of SSIP, then you will not need to go through a second assessment, under what is known as a €œdeemed to satisfy€ agreement & you’ll just need to fill in some routine paperwork.
Sometimes, a business will not specify a scheme, but allow the supplier to choose one. When registering with an accreditation scheme, you should decide the one best suited to you based on its cost and whether it covers your particular area of work.
Members of the SSIP include the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme , Achilles BuildingConfidence, the National House-Building Council & Safemark ,and Constructionline.
However, you should bear in mind that Constructionline has a one-way deemed to satisfy arrangement – suppliers who are accredited with an SSIP member are exempted from the relevant part of its assessment process, but Constructionline membership is not accepted by other SSIP members.
Choosing the right SSIP to register with is important, the most important thing is to register with one. Whatever area of construction you work in, it will seriously cut down on bureaucracy and leave you with more time to focus on winning great work.

The number of accreditation schemes in the construction industry can create a serious bureaucratic burden for time-pressed SMEs.
The SSIP is an “umbrella organisation” that facilitates mutual recognition between different assessment schemes.
When registering with an accreditation scheme, you should decide the one best suited to you based on its cost and whether it covers your particular area of work. 

Find out how you can cut down bureaucracy and get onto more preferred supplier lists. Download: How to Hit Your Bonus with Waste Management Best Practice.