Contractor compliance in 6 simple steps
Contractors are a highly valuable resource that bring many business benefits, not least scalability, expertise and efficiency. However, contractors also come with inherent risks. Are they adequately insured? Do they carry current and valid licences? Are they competent with the necessary experience? Do they have the appropriate safety systems implemented? The benefits will only outweigh the risks when contractor requirements are defined, and their compliance managed effectively. Failure can result in significant financial loss, reputational damage to the organisation and ultimately worker injury or death. Take the example of the Central Norseman Gold Corporation in WA who in July 2019, not only attracted considerable media attention, but were also fined in relation to the deaths of three workers in a six year period.
Contractor compliance can be a daunting prospect, but by adopting the right technology, framework and providing the necessary contractor support, it doesn’t have to be. By following six simple steps, businesses can begin the journey of managing their contractors more effectively, achieving compliance and ensuring continued workplace health and safety.
1. Identify key stakeholders
Before an organisation can set up a contractor engagement process, key stakeholders and departments need to be identified. These are the people within the business who will be involved in the hiring and management of contractors.
2. Set pre-qualification standards
A pre-qualification standard is ultimately a checklist that will form the foundation for contractor compliance. The important areas of these standards include setting definitions of the language and terms that will be used across the business in relation to compliance — there needs to be clear responsibilities for each stakeholder. Additionally, processes and tools that contractors need to follow for the pre-qualification process should be identified, written and developed.
Once the checklist has been created, it should be signed off by subject matter experts and approved by executive management.
3. Establish roles and owners
One of the keys to successful implementation and ongoing management of a contractor compliance system is the setting of roles and responsibilities. Every step of the compliance journey requires a person to be assigned to a specific role that takes ownership of that aspect. Once established, these roles and responsibilities should be communicated formally to their owners and other stakeholders. This ensures that everyone involved has a clear line of sight of who is responsible for compliance at any given stage.
4. Develop a pre-qualification framework
The pre-qualification framework is the structure that ensures a business has everything it needs at all times to maintain contractor compliance; the process involves four crucial steps:
- Gather information
- Assess safety standards
- Pre-approve contractors
- Maintain compliance
5. Create efficiencies with automation
Contractor compliance involves not only collecting documentation but verifying, categorising, storing and renewing those documents. Technology can help make the process more efficient through automation, sending notifications and minimising human error. With the right system in place, system sustainability will be created with scalable technology to meet unique business needs.
6. Engage professional support
Software can help businesses automate processes, but it can only do so much. To achieve compliance, organisations need to support contractors directly while delivering pre-qualification and implementing ongoing compliance processes. Whether it is validating documentation, onboarding contractors or enforcing agreed compliance requirements, having dedicated phone and email support to bridge the gap between busy contractors understanding their obligations and ultimately proving their compliance with an organisation’s requirements makes all the difference.
By following the above six steps to outline standards, responsibilities and frameworks and implement automation with dedicated support, businesses will be in a stronger position to create a robust contractor pre-qualification process and ensure compliance throughout the contractor engagement cycle.
For more information on building a contractor compliance process for your business, download our Free Infographic.
Or head to www.conserve.com.au to find out how we can help.
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