Frequently Asked Questions for Client Users (Buyers and Prospective Buyers)
Q: What are the benefits of being a CHAS buyer?
A: In essence, we complete the initial Health and Safety application process for you.
Please see the buyer checklist for prequalification schemes
or read more about CHAS.
Q: Who can become a CHAS buyer?
A: The scheme is open to the public and private sectors. CHAS membership extends to health trusts, councils, emergency services,
the voluntary sector, housing associations, government departments and private companies who have a supply, for example
Royal Mail Group and British Aerospace to name but a few. View buyers.
Q: Is CHAS just for the construction industry?
A: No. The database stores information on a wide range of contractors and consultants (suppliers). It addresses all categories
of work from asbestos removal to window cleaning and from catering to residential care. We currently have 124 work categories
to select from in the database.
Q: How much does it cost to be a CHAS buyer?
A: There is no charge for being a CHAS buyer.
Q: Who manages the CHAS system / scheme?
A: CHAS is owned and managed by the London Borough of Merton. Click here
for more details.
Q: Does a CHAS assessment determine the competence of a supplier?
A: Yes but only to the first stage described in the CDM 2007 Approved Code of Practice . A compliant supplier has
demonstrated they have adequate compliance with current legislation and sound management of health and safety.
The ACoP requires the buyer to undertake a second stage (job or project specific) assessment. CHAS cannot do this for you.
Q: As a CHAS buyer must I do Health and Safety assessments?
A: No. We recognise that some prospective buyers do not have the skills or resources necessary to undertake supplier
assessments so we offer subscriber level membership (can search the database only).
Q: Do suppliers need a written Health and Safety policy?
A: Yes, if they have 5 or more employees. No, if they have fewer than 5 employees; the CHAS application form for those employing fewer than five people is specifically designed to help the supplier prove their commitment and management to health and safety.
Q: Can second stage assessment findings be displayed in CHAS?
A: Yes but only in the form of a 'comment' or 'private comment'. A supplier who has been listed as compliant on the database,
has achieved the required threshold standard. As the standards for a second stage are not clearly defined, someone using
the information will be unaware of what has been checked, and there can be no guarantee of consistency.
Q: Can CHAS be used in the short-listing process for term contracts?
A: Yes it can but you should remember that your selection process must be fair, clear and auditable when drawing up the
short-list. All suppliers must be treated in the same way. Your application used in the process would need to reflect CHAS
standards, and also build on them to elicit information relating to the second stage.
If a supplier has been recently successfully assessed as CHAS (stage 1) compliant (say in the last 9 months) you need only
assess the second stage competence element.
If the supplier has failed a CHAS assessment or has not been CHAS assessed, you need to complete a stage 1 assessment.
If they fail, there is no point in doing a stage 2 (they have not demonstrated compliance and/or adequate management).
They are not short-listed for this reason and you have saved time and work.