09 Jun The benefits of outsourced compliance in construction
Meeting your legal requirements, acting in accordance with industry specifications and standards, and managing health and safety issues on a construction site are obligations every organisation in the business is required to adhere to. Failing to meet such standards or follow set practices can have serious repercussions, including injuries or fatalities, penalties or prosecutions. As such, compliance in the construction industry is a hot topic and one that can not be ignored as it is written in law.
But meeting your legal obligations is not the only reason for ensuring your company remains fully compliant. Being compliant and up-to-date with your safety regulations, industry accreditations, employee training schemes, insurance policies, building codes and green policies can benefit your business in many more ways than just keeping on the right side of the law. Compliance often comes hand-in-hand with increased efficiency, cost savings, better performance and improved competitiveness – and can act as a boost to your reputation too.
However, getting compliance right, keeping track of changes in regulations, knowing local building codes and requirements, and making sure accreditations and training schemes are up-to-date and relevant, can become overwhelming, often leading to a deadline being missed. And a deadline being missed, like the renewal of your Chas or Constructionline accreditation, for example, can be enough to lose you a tender bid or fail to impress a potential contractor or partner.
Outsourcing your compliance to a specialist service provider is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry as it is an area which requires expert knowledge, attention to detail and progressively more use of quality management systems or specific tools to help oversee the task. By outsourcing the time-consuming and often complicated job of compliance to an external provider, you free up your time, and that of your team members, for your core day-to-day business.
The reasons for outsourcing your compliance responsibilities to an external provider are numerous:
Stay abreast of current legislation
National and regional rules and regulations are ever changing and can be hard to keep track of. The current Environment Bill and the government’s commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 are examples of ongoing changes in law that are likely to have an impact on every building site in the UK. Do you have time to follow all the updates and understand the full implications for your business? Can you be sure you’ve put in place all that is required of you? If not, then maybe it’s time to outsource to a company who can do this on your behalf?
Expert support with your compliance documentation
Paperwork may not be your forte, even though it’s a crucial part of any successful business, be it big or small. And documentation which relates to compliance, be it a legal policy, an industry accreditation, or a training scheme, often doesn’t make the lightest of reading! Giving the job of managing, updating, and even storing your compliance documentation to a specialist provider of compliance support services can really lighten your load, and your bedtime reading!
Never let an industry accreditation go out-of-date and make sure you have the latest required
You may have put a lot of effort into achieving your Chas or Constructionline accreditation, for example, only to realise that you failed to renew it in time. This scenario repeats itself in site managers’ offices across the UK and can be a matter of great frustration and stress. Also, another common occurrence, you may find yourself half-way through a complicated tender submission before realising that to be successful in this particular bid you need to be able to demonstrate SSIP or ISO 45001, for example, which you don’t have. Again, this can waste time and cause disappointment. Specialists in providing support for your compliance requirements will keep track of your accreditations and policies (flagging up BEFORE they run out!) and highlight schemes or systems that may benefit your company to apply for or adopt, helping you keep ahead of the game.
Better prepare for audits
Audits can be another cause of stress and panic. Can you find all the relevant and required documentation to satisfy the auditor? Have you got enough historical proof of your ongoing and updated health and safety assessments, staff training and corporate social responsibility plans? Failing an audit due to a number of non-conformities can cause loss of business and more costs in time and money as you race to rectify the situation. But if your compliance is in order, and if you choose to store the necessary documentation using specialist software, you can often make this accessible to your auditor too, making the whole process much easier for both of you.
Make sure your site workers continue to complete their training requirements
All sorts of training, qualification and certification is required if you want to work on a building site. From the basic CSCS card to more in-depth training courses, like the SMSTS and the SSSTS certificates, employees will be required to attend training, pass the test, and then update the training when it runs out. First aid training is another must on building sites and all these qualifications need to be recorded and maintained for every single employee. This can easily be outsourced and managed by an external company.
Be green – Look after your environmental responsibility
The construction industry is becoming more and more subject to environmental regulation. From land impact assessments to waste management, stricter regulation is coming into force to ensure the environment is affected as little as possible. As such, it’s vital for modern builders to be able to prove their green credentials and meet requirements, such as reduced carbon emissions. You may wish to set your environmental improvement objectives ahead of current regulations in a bid to improve sustainability. Again, a specialist provider of compliance support services can help you set goals, record them, and ensure you stick to them.
Increase efficiency and help your business grow
Outsourcing your compliance management to an external service provider can improve your company’s efficiency in many ways. First and foremost, you and your employees are then able to focus on your core responsibilities, without having to spend time and energy on a specialist area which you are not a specialist in! You’ll also benefit by having everything in order, never missing a renewal update, avoiding penalties and prosecutions, and by using your compliance, and proof of it, to win more contracts.
Be more competitive and win more business
One of the key benefits of being organised in your compliance obligations is being able to demonstrate your compliance to potential or existing clients. You can achieve real commercial advantage over your competition by attaining certification, like ISO 9001, which gives your clients confidence in your organisation’s ability to achieve what you say you will. You may find it easier to become ISO 9001 certified with the help of an external service provider, and, with your compliance in order, you will improve your company’s reputation, build customer trust, attract new business and, ultimately, build your own business faster and stronger.
Benefit by being better prepared for submitting, and succeeding in, tender submissions
You’ll find those tender applications so much easier to manage once your compliance is in order. And better still, your chances of winning a bid are also greater if you can tick those boxes and have proof at hand that you are compliant where required.
Save time finding and sourcing documents
To be truly organised and compliant, it’s time to say goodbye to paper. Rather than dig around for the latest copy of an insurance policy or search the drawers of your office for your most recent training certificate, companies are increasingly turning to software systems to help manage their compliance paperwork. Software solutions are increasingly tailor made to suit specific client needs and can be made accessible while out on-site, with access made possible for multiple employees, and even auditors too!
The benefits of outsourcing this complicated and time-consuming (but absolutely vital) part of your business, are, we believe, clear.
KCS Compliance Services
With experience in supporting construction companies across the UK with their compliance needs, we provide specialist services aimed at making sure your company becomes compliant and stays compliant.
We provide a number of services to help you maintain your company’s compliance documentation. ComplianceManaged®, our cloud-based solution, stores all your compliance documentation in one place and consolidates the task into one easy-to-manage dashboard; tracking updates in real time and notifying, reminding and alerting you as critical documents require action.
What our clients say about our ComplianceManaged® service:
“We completed our BSI ISO 9001 audit this week which we passed with zero non-conformances. The auditor loved our new system and said it made things so much easier. The whole audit was completed remotely. ComplianceManaged® has taken all the hassle of auditing away and is highly recommended.”
“We are delighted with ComplianceManaged®. It’s made life so much easier having everything in one place. The support received from Katy and her team is first class, nothing is too much hassle.”
Health, Safety and Training Director, M&J Construction Group
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