What is a CHAS Accreditation?

chas accreditation

Before you ask, CHAS isn’t the name of some bloke down at the pub. If you’re in the UK construction industry, you’ve probably heard of CHAS before. You might see it mentioned in promotional material or might’ve had a client ask if you’ve got CHAS accreditation.

CHAS is a top UK health and safety body. Accreditation signifies that your business has reliable health and safety credentials. It proves to other professionals and clients that you take health and safety seriously and comply with legislation and industry standards.

We’ll take a closer look at CHAS and explain why it’s important, how to get it and what it might cost you. We’ll also give you tips on preparing for CHAS accreditation.

What Does CHAS Stand For?

CHAS is the rather snappy acronym for the Contractors Health and Safety Scheme. It’s an independent health and safety assessor that’s been around since 1997. CHAS helps businesses demonstrate that they fully comply with health and safety standards.

As an organisation, CHAS provides a range of accreditation and consultation services. It also helped create the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) and the Common Assessment Standard. These schemes are endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They are designed to lower the costs of health and safety compliance and reduce supply chain bureaucracy.

Why Is CHAS Accreditation So Important?

CHAS is a big deal for anyone working in the building trade. Having CHAS accreditation proves to potential clients and other businesses that your company meets a benchmarked standard and complies with relevant health and safety regulations.

CHAS acts as a shortcut that lets people know your company is on the up and up regarding health and safety requirements. This will put your business in a better standing to attract more work. Some projects, especially anything involving public works, won’t even let you put in a bid to tender unless you have accreditation.

CHAS saves potential clients from wasting time doing their due diligence on a construction company. It also protects the company’s time and resources as lengthy paperwork won’t need to be filled out to show it meets health and safety regulations. There’s no need to fill out prequalification questionnaires (PQQs) or deal with other assessment bodies.

CHAS also helps improve your visibility. Once a business has gained CHAS accreditation, their details go into a database that the public can access and search. A company also earns the right to use the CHAS logo on all its promotional materials, website and paperwork.

Health and Safety Courses

Our Health and Safety courses help trainees explore common workplace hazards that might become fatal if ignored. Understanding the nature of the problem can help control and manage the issue before it gets worse.

What Are the Different Types of CHAS Accreditation?

There are three different types of CHAS accreditation:

  • CHAS Standard – Shows that you meet basic SSIP requirements
  • CHAS Advanced – Proves you comply with both SSIP and PAS 91 standards
  • CHAS Elite – Demonstrates compliance across 13 risk management areas, including health and safety, equality and diversity and modern slavery

Which one you choose depends on your company’s needs and your budget:

CHAS Standard accreditation is ideal if you don’t tender for larger contracts and have little money to spare but want to show that you comply with health and safety requirements.

CHAS Advanced accreditation shows that you meet the requirements of the PAS 91 prequalification questionnaire developed by the British Standards Institute (BSI). It’s a good option for more prominent companies putting tenders in for larger projects.

CHAS Elite accreditation assists your company in complying with the Common Assessment Standard, developed by construction industry experts like Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA). This can help companies pre-qualify for larger tenders and government contracts.

How Much Does CHAS Accreditation Cost?

Each level of CHAS accreditation has a different price point. Exactly how much accreditation costs depends on how many employees your business has. At the time of writing, the following prices were applicable:

  • CHAS Standard is available from £339 plus VAT
  • CHAS Advanced is available from £529 plus VAT
  • CHAS Elite is available from £739 plus VAT

All accreditation levels provide CHAS members access to the CHAS jobs board, free advice on legal and human resources issues and eBooks and podcasts.

Other benefits include discounted vehicle hire costs and fuel, tools and equipment deals and discounted training costs with some CHAS training partners.

Does Your Business Have to Have CHAS Accreditation?

There’s no legal requirement for a construction business to have a CHAS accreditation. There are also other assessing bodies out there other than CHAS that will provide you with a health and safety certification.

There are more than 15 other members of the SSIP scheme. But CHAS is the best-known and one of the longest-established accreditation bodies. CHAS has a sterling reputation and over 32,000 members. You can go with a quicker and cheaper SSIP accreditation option. Still, it probably won’t carry the level of brand recognition that CHAS has.

How to Apply for CHAS Accreditation

Applying for CHAS accreditation is a reasonably straightforward process.

First, you’ll need to contact CHAS, inform them about your company, and tell them the level of accreditation you wish to apply for.

CHAS accreditation requirements

Next, you must provide CHAS with proof that you comply with the relevant health and safety requirements and legislation. To do this, you’ll have to give CHAS:

Once you’ve submitted these documents via the CHAS online portal, an assessor will review them and contact you to let you know if you’ve passed.

This process can take some time and only 20% of applicants pass on the first attempt.

You must be thoroughly prepared to ensure you get your CHAS accreditation quickly. This means providing evidence you and your team have a good grounding in health and safety principles and have completed suitable training courses.

How to Meet the CHAS Accreditation Requirements

CHAS accreditation is a pretty handy thing for a construction business to have. It’s the building industry’s equivalent of having a mate tell a nightclub doorman, “He’s alright, he’s with me”. You’ve got someone vouching for you that others trust and can rely on.

Proof that your business complies with health and safety legislation is critical to getting your accreditation. Completing health and safety training proves that you understand your responsibilities and your team has the correct health and safety skills and knowledge.

Health and safety training doesn’t have to impact your work schedule. You can take any of our courses online in segments whenever you like. We’re a CHAS training partner, so you’ll find us on their website.

Upskill your team and prepare with our CHAS Essentials health and safety courses.

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