4th February, 2021

What Is SSIP Accreditation?

SSIP is a new term that has popped up in health and safety in recent years and often appears in pre-qualification questionnaires and company literature. But what is SSIP? Is SSIP another assessment you need to go through? If SSIP is a new requirement, how do you join or become a member?

What Is SSIP Accreditation? header image

SSIP stands for Safety Schemes in Procurement. It is an umbrella body for assessment schemes, and those schemes that become members of SSIP all share mutual recognition. You don’t join SSIP, and you don’t need to contact them to be assessed. You may even have SSIP without knowing it.

There are quite a few safety accreditation schemes, and you may have heard (or even be a member) of some of them. Constructionline, CHAS, Acclaim, SafeContractor, SafeMark etc. They all carry out a similar role, assessing a contractor or businesses health and safety records and arrangements. You will usually complete an application and if you meet the standards required, and pass the assessment, you get a certificate.

Clients will often require accreditation for tendering for work, and often principal contractors might also ask for this from their subcontractors. It gives clients the confidence that your business takes health and safety seriously and meets the required standards, without them having to carry out a detailed assessment of each tendering contractor themselves. It's a bit like subcontracting out the health and safety assessment.

If clients didn't use these accreditation schemes, they would need to carry out these assessments themselves anyway. And every client would need to do it. So instead of passing the application once, you would need to do it for each different client you worked for. Each asking slightly different questions, with unique questionnaires, duplicating the amount of work you need to do on each tender.

So in theory, these health and safety accreditation schemes are good for contractors too.

But the problem many contractors were finding, is that as more and more accreditation schemes popped up, each client might ask for a different standard. Some clients might require CHAS accreditation to work on their projects. Other contractors might ask for SafeContractor accreditation to work on their sites. So contractors were still having to go through multiple assessments, plus having to pay to be a member of each one.

In other words, they weren't getting the benefits after all.

completing assessment paperwork

So when the SSIP standard started popping up on tender requirements, you could be for forgiven for wondering, is SSIP another assessment you need to go through? There are already so many. If SSIP is a new requirement, how do you join or become a member?

The good news is, no, it’s not another assessment scheme. In fact, SSIP aims to address the problems we've highlighted in this post. It is exactly the quantity and variety of health and safety assessment schemes that SSIP is trying to help with.

SSIP stands for Safety Schemes in Procurement. It is an umbrella body for assessment schemes, and those schemes that become members of SSIP all share mutual recognition. You don’t join SSIP, and you don’t need to contact them to be assessed. You may even have SSIP without knowing it.

Supported by the HSE SSIP aims to streamline prequalification and encourage straightforward mutual recognition between its Member Schemes.

If you have health and safety accreditation from SSIP members such as CHAS, Acclaim or SafeContractor, you have satisfied the criteria for all other SSIP members schemes. SSIP now boasts over thirty members, so if you have any type of health and safety accreditation, it is worth checking if it is part of the SSIP standard.

smiley face on paper

So rather than yet another accreditation to the list, the aim with SSIP is to reduce duplication.

So if you are in a situation where one client asks for CHAS accreditation, and another asks for SafeContractor, you're not facing the problem of picking which client or assessment scheme to go with. Before SSIP, if you wanted to work with both clients, you would have to go through the full assessment process (and cost) with both schemes. After SSIP, clients are now more likely to be happy with either certificate, as they both meet the same standards.

It’s better for clients as they are not reducing their choice of contractors by excluding those that are accredited by other schemes. Even if they do insist on one or the other, most SSIP members will no longer require you to go through the whole assessment again. You can usually apply to another SSIP member with your existing SSIP certificate (for example, provide Acclaim with a valid CHAS certificate) at a reduced cost.


Going through an SSIP application doesn't have to be daunting. Read our contractors guide to CHAS application success to help you pass your assessment the first time.

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This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

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