CHAS: Health and Safety Accreditation in Construction

CHAS Accredited Workforce

In the construction industry, safety is paramount. Every project, big or small, requires strict adherence to health and safety standards to protect workers and prevent accidents. That's where CHAS comes in—the health and safety accreditation that sets the gold standard in the construction industry.

CHAS, or Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme, is an accreditation for the construction industry. This blog explores CHAS accreditation and its connection to industry standards such as Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), PAS 91, and the Common Assessment Standard (CAS). We will also address the benefits it brings to contractors.

What is CHAS?

CHAS, which stands for Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme, is a vital accreditation in the construction industry. It improves safety compliance, risk management, and best practices.

CHAS was developed in 1997 by a group of health and safety professionals to improve health and safety standards across the sector. Today, it is recognised as one of the leading accreditation schemes in the industry.

Why is CHAS so important?

CHAS accreditation enhances safety compliance and risk management in the construction industry. It demonstrates a contractor's commitment to best practices and safety compliance, opening doors to work opportunities and business growth.

Becoming a CHAS-accredited contractor is not a legal requirement for construction workers. However, some clients, such as public sector contracts, will only use CHAS-accredited contractors.

Benefits of CHAS Accreditation

CHAS accreditation offers various benefits to contractors, including client trust, increased work opportunities, and improved competitiveness. It proves a commitment to health and safety compliance, giving it a competitive edge.

CHAS Health and Safety helps with:
  • Trust and Commitment: CHAS accreditation reflects a contractor's dedication to health and safety, facilitates client trust and secures more work opportunities.
  • Amplifying Work Opportunities with Local Authorities: CHAS accreditation opens doors to local authority contracts, increases visibility, and demonstrates health and safety compliance, leading to more work opportunities.
  • Enhancing Work Prospects: CHAS accreditation boosts credibility, competitiveness, and access to new work opportunities, contributing to business growth.
  • Proof of Health and Safety Compliance: CHAS accreditation proves a contractor's commitment to health and safety compliance, enhancing credibility and trust.
  • Streamlined Tender Processes: CHAS makes life easier for both buyers and contractors. It saves buyers time by streamlining contractors' health and safety standards assessments. For the contractor, it cuts down on the paperwork of providing detailed health and safety information for every project you bid on.

Becoming a CHAS-accredited contractor

Van showing a CHAS accreditation sticker

The application process involves creating an account, completing forms, submitting documentation, and paying fees. Utilising resources on the CHAS website can help streamline the process.

Documentation includes health and safety training evidence. To prove your training, you can submit certificates offered for completing Commodious Training Courses.

CHAS Accreditation Cost Breakdown

The costs include accreditation fees, annual membership fees, and safety assessment costs. The CHAS price is subject to changes based on the membership level, the number of employees in a construction company, and annual inflation.

You can visit the CHAS website for up-to-date information about CHAS prices, products, and packages.

CHAS Application Process

CHAS accreditation involves submitting an application, assessing safety procedures, reviewing documentation, conducting on-site inspections, and making a final accreditation decision.

How long does it take to become CHAS-registered?

Obtaining CHAS accreditation requires careful planning, with factors such as a multi-staged process, first-attempt preparation, and renewal considerations affecting the overall time frame. CHAS offers a support package called ‘CHAS Assist’ to guide contractors through the process and expedite assessment.

Essential Documentation for meeting the CHAS standard

Contractors must submit essential documentation, including a safety policy, method statements, risk assessments, safety training records, and a health and safety management plan. Showing proof of industry-related training holds significant weight, particularly in CHAS assessments. CHAS values certificates that confirm your completion of training, placing more importance on them than relying solely on experience without supporting evidence.

To ensure compliance, make sure you and your staff receive suitable health and safety training and, importantly, that you can provide the necessary proof. While the specific documents can vary based on your business, the most common ones include:

  1. Your health and safety policy and/or information outlining how health and safety are managed in your business.
  2. Proof of risk assessments, method statements, and related details.
  3. Insurance details, including employers and public liability insurance.
  4. Records of equipment maintenance and testing.
  5. Documentation of on-site health and safety.
  6. Attendance sheets from Toolbox Talks.
  7. Information about your safety advisor.
  8. Construction phase plans.
  9. Details about health surveillance.
  10. Proof of training and certification.

Does CHAS accept commodious certificates?


You can submit certificates from Commodious as proof of industry-related training for your CHAS application. Completing our online courses earns you both a digital and physical certificate. Our learning management system lets you access your digital certificates and training records for a year after completing the course.

Our training courses include:

  • asbestos,
  • fire safety,
  • manual handling,
  • working at height,
  • first aid,
  • COSHH,
  • abrasive wheels, and
  • many other relevant aspects of your work's health and safety training needs.

CHAS Renewal

Both CHAS membership and accreditation need to be renewed every year.

CHAS accreditation vs. CHAS membership - what's the difference?

CHAS membership works on an annual subscription basis, granting you access to membership benefits for a yearly fee.

The proof of your CHAS accreditation is a certificate awarded upon meeting the assessment standard.

Your membership expiry is your yearly payment date, while your accreditation expiry aligns with your annual assessment renewal.

CHAS Membership Packages

CHAS offers three packages that meet different requirements and industry standards. These packages are:

  • Standard
  • Advanced
  • Elite

All levels of CHAS accreditation meet the SSIP requirements.

What is SSIP?

Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) streamline prequalification processes in the construction industry. Membership demonstrates compliance with health and safety legislation, saving time and costs for contractors seeking certification.

The connection between SSIP and CHAS

As an SSIP member, CHAS commits to safety training and industry-wide standards. This connection promotes safety and best practices throughout the industry.

Choosing the right package will depend on the types of contracts that you tender for. All membership levels meet the SSIP requirements.

Advanced and Elite memberships also meet PAS 91 requirements.

What is PAS 91?

PAS 91, Publicly Available Specification 91, is a standard document that sets out the pre-qualification criteria for construction procurement. It was developed to streamline the tendering process and ensure consistency in assessing suppliers' health and safety capabilities.

PAS 91 covers various topics, including environmental management, quality management, equal opportunities, and health and safety. By meeting PAS 91 requirements, contractors demonstrate their commitment to best practices in these areas, making them more likely to be considered for public sector contracts.

An Advanced or Elite CHAS membership means you already meet the PAS 91 requirements. This is a significant advantage for contractors who want to bid for public sector contracts.

Chas Elite

Chas Elite membership meets both SSIP and PAS 91 requirements. It also includes approval for Common Assessment Standards.

What is the Common Assessment Standard?

The Common Assessment Standard (CAS) sets a benchmark for health and safety standards that contractors must meet, ensuring consistency across different projects and industries.

The CAS covers various areas such as risk assessment, training and competency, and management systems. By implementing these standards, contractors can identify potential hazards, train their employees effectively, and establish robust safety protocols.

Why Common Assessment Standard Matters

Just having SSIP accreditation is not sufficient for government contracts anymore. To win or keep public sector contracts, contractors must show they comply beyond SSIP accreditation.

New Procurement Policy Note (PPN 03/23)

The recent Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 03/23 now requires public sector contracting authorities to ensure their supply chains follow the Common Assessment Standard (CHAS Elite) to stay competitive. This means meeting the CHAS Elite standard is crucial for success in public sector contracts.

In 2023, the government implemented a new procurement policy note (PPN 03/23) for the construction industry. This note aims to improve the way public sector contracts are awarded, significantly emphasising health and safety.

The PPN 03/23 outlines that all contractors bidding for public sector projects must have CHAS accreditation. This requirement highlights the importance of maintaining high health and safety standards in all construction activities. By ensuring contractors meet the Common Assessment Standard, the public sector can be confident working with qualified and responsible organisations.

This new policy note brings added importance to obtaining CHAS accreditation.

The government's PPN 03/23 emphasises health and safety best practices, guiding public procurement professionals and contractors in prioritising safety compliance in construction projects.

Choosing the Right Qualifications for CHAS Accreditation

The qualifications needed for CHAS accreditation depend on the size of your business and the type of work you do. Here's a simple breakdown:

For Self-Employed Persons: If you're self-employed, formal qualifications probably aren't necessary for CHAS. You will need certificates from courses relevant to your work. For example a self-employed painter might need certificates for manual handling training, working at height training, and other necessary training.

IOSH Managing Safely for Small Businesses: The IOSH Managing Safely qualification is suitable for CHAS accreditation for businesses with fewer than five employees. It's designed to give individuals the knowledge required to manage smaller operations safely, giving you the know-how to maintain health and safety standards and meet legal requirements.

For Larger Businesses: If your business has more employees, you'll need more formal qualifications for CHAS. The health and safety officer should have an NVQ in a relevant subject, SSSTS (Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme), or an equivalent qualification. These qualifications match the complexity of more extensive operations.


In conclusion, obtaining CHAS accreditation is crucial for contractors and businesses in the construction industry. With the government's emphasis on health and safety best practices, prioritising safety compliance in construction projects becomes even more important.

The qualifications required for CHAS accreditation vary depending on the size of your business.

By obtaining these qualifications, businesses can not only meet the requirements for CHAS accreditation but also ensure the safety and well-being of their employees. With proper training and knowledge, they can effectively implement health and safety measures on construction sites, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Furthermore, CHAS accreditation can open doors to new business opportunities. Many organisations, especially large companies and government agencies require contractors to be CHAS accredited before they can bid for contracts. By obtaining this accreditation, businesses can access a wider range of lucrative contracts and increase their chances of securing profitable projects.

IOSH Managing Safely® Course

IOSH Managing Safely® Course

IOSH's Managing Safely® course is designed for anyone responsible for managing others in the workplace, including:

  • Line managers.
  • Supervisors.
  • Team leaders.
  • Company directors.

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Bethany Wesson

Bethany Wesson

Bethany is a freelance content writer and has produced articles for the Commodious Knowledge Bank since 2023. She has written about various health and safety topics, from asbestos to mindful business practices.

  • Health and Safety
  • IOSH
  • Business
  • Risk Assessment