Nearly all PQQs feature a health and safety section. As with all sections of a PQQ, it is important to give these questions full attention, as a failure to answer them properly can exclude you from the ITT stage. It can be easy to attach your outdated health and safety policies and procedures without another thought, but this will not add value to your response and could ultimately lose you the contract.
To write a winning PQQ you must aim to score highly in each section. Irrespective of your industry, health and safety provides you with the opportunity to gain marks by evidencing safe systems of work that provide reassurance to the assessor of low accident rates and the continuing safety of staff and members of the public alike.
On the whole, health and safety is evidence driven and it is necessary to provide reassurance to the contracting authority that you can adhere to safe processes and procedures. There are many professional health and safety certifications available to companies, with the leading and most reputable ones being CHAS, Construction Line and SAFEcontractor, who are part of the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP). SSIP contains 30 member assessment schemes and UKAS accredited certification bodies who offer OHSAS 18001 certifications in health and safety. Providing evidence of membership of any of these schemes immediately shows the contracting authority that your organisation has a fully assessed and certified health and safety system. In tandem with a fully qualified and experienced health and system advisor, and the provision of their CV as evidence of this, you can provide a wealth of supporting evidence to reassure the assessor of your capabilities.
Supporting Evidence and Compliance
As well as having a reputable image through certifications, it is vital to provide supporting evidence within your submission of all your policies and procedures. For the health and safety section of your response these are likely to be fairly standardised and will include: risk assessments, safe systems of work, equipment assessments and fire hazard assessments. You may even be asked to provide completed and anonymous assessments as evidence of everyday use so make sure that you have these available.
It is important to show the contracting authority evidence of how your supporting documents are kept current. All policies, procedures and supporting documents should be regularly reviewed to ensure their suitability and compliance, signed by the responsible person; and provided with both a review and next review date as evidence of your quality assurance processes. If necessary, you may be required to provide case studies to show how an issue has arisen and what steps were taken to overcome this. You will also need to show how your systems are managed and integrated into all daily working practices, namely through inspections, audits and observations of staff.
Further support can be provided through evidence of communication to, and the involvement of, employees in your health and safety processes. This will include providing evidence of the health and safety training with which they are provided; evidence of the communication of policies and procedures through meetings, emails and memoranda, for example; as well as staff’s involvement in safety committee meetings.
Added Value to Your Submission
Ultimately, the health and safety section of a PQQ exists so that the contracting authority is reassured that your company minimises and eliminates all risks, and their associated effects. This can be shown by both adhering to all health and safety aspects outlined in the specification and by providing supporting evidence. This can be the difference between you submitting a winning response and losing out to a competitor.
Added value can be achieved when responding to the health and safety section in a PQQ to ensure that you score as highly as possible, especially given the importance and legal aspects of health and safety. You may be able to provide evidence of where you have worked with contacting authorities to implement or develop health and safety systems, showing that you can be as site and client specific as possible. This will show that you are aware of both general hazards, but also specific or previously unrecognised hazards inherent in the work provided under a contract, and that you can manage them safely.
The bid writing team at Executive Compass has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in completing health and safety responses for a variety of industries. If you require help with a PQQ or tender please do not hesitate to speak to one of our team today by calling 0800 612 5563 free to see how we could add value to your submission.