• Simon Lawrence
    107
    Final post in my 10 Safety Myths series: What is the true value of "Pre-Qual"? In the context of legal duties, my opinion is we may be assigning it an undeserved status. The temptation is to hide behind it, when what we should be doing is far more active management of this brand of "worker".

    Does the Forum share my belief that we are being naive in hiding behind this thin paper wall? My article lists the myriad other legal duties we have under the Act. Active management duties. Are many PCBUs at risk of being caught out badly, or is it all hunky-dory out there?
  • Peter Bateman
    162
    The topic of H&S pre-qualification came up a while back on the Forum and generated quite a bit of heat! Here is the earlier thread.
  • Simon Lawrence
    107
    That's why I saved it till last...
  • Steve H
    15
    The temptation is to hide behind it, when what we should be doing is far more active management of this brand of "worker".Simon Lawrence

    Having seen some of the larger Civil Engineering companies "out source" this aspect of their operations to third party pre qual operations, who then make a buck out of charging both the principals involved, and subbies,with nothing changing except more cost and time spent shuffling existing paperwork such as Insurance Certs for the poor subbies, who have most likely had their payment terms pushed out to 60 or 90 days, and can't afford to list with every random pre qual agency- bah humbug
  • Don Ramsay
    6
    Pre quals are only to the benefit to the provider as they are making money from us the suppliers when we provide the information, and charging the customer to use the information. My understanding of pre quals when they first kicked off was that they were to streamline the passage of information and make the process easier, but I have found that this is not the case. I now need to do 8 differing prequals based on who our customer uses... and now I understand that there is another in the wings CHANZ
  • craig christie
    2
    We use prequalification simply as one of a whole range of tools. The prequal is not site specific but does give us some degree of confidence that we are awarding work to subcontractors that can evidence relevant systems for managing their own risks.
  • Rob McAulay
    17
    Great read, thank you Simon.
    I have a similar opinion to Craig in relation to using pre-qual, if a contractor provides a copy, great but they still need to provide evidence to Us (Organisation) of how they intend to do the job and how they are minimizing the risks to others in our workplace. I feel that all the pre-qual provides us is confirmation that when the contractor was assessed their ducks were lined up, but that doesn't mean they are still lined up 6, 12, 18 months later, the ducks move. it can be useful but I do not see it as a prerequisite.
    I believe for most organisations Contractors are the most awkward risk to manage.
  • Jan Hall
    36
    "When the contractor was assessed their ducks were lined up". Nope All it shows is that they had a good system of documents. Since neither Prequal nor Sitewise gets off their rear ends and actually goes out to where it matters: on SITE! - good documents is ALL it shows. Unlike accounting, where faulty documentation means something significant, inadequate h&s documentation means very little. Apart from TAs, Training and Competency, and pre-start toolbox talks the rest is not indicative of anything but an ability to create endless mostly useless documents and ALL OF IT can be created, managed, successfully uploaded for high prequalification success by someone sitting in an office with a keyboard. (Working for an organisation who doesn't understand 'lean and keen' and is HAPPY to employ more admin. staff.)

    For example: "Sub contractor pre-selection documents"? Oh please! Unless there some huge bureaucratic ineffective communicating, overspending monolith that HAS to send documents across an office rather than speak, this is how it usually goes and it's perfectly effective with good, knowledgeable personnel:
    QS to Site Manager: "what was the scaffolder like?" Site Manager: "Yeah, good bloke. Worth getting again."
  • Mike Massaar
    45
    While you need to have a system to measure the competence etc.of your contractors, I don't think these large formal and expensive prequalification systems have saved anybody's lives.
  • Steve H
    15
    Since neither Prequal nor Sitewise gets off their rear ends and actually goes out to where it matters: on SITE! - good documents is ALL it showsJan Hall

    Be nice if there were only two Jan a couple of years ago it seemed like every second emailwas an invitation to register with our preferred "prequal company" at varying degrees of cost, one of our big clients decided that they were going with a US based one, $2,300 for me to register our business with them, plus the time taken to jump through their hoops, I just said "no thanks", it meant kissing goodbye to $35K worth of work PA. In the end, a lot of their subbies revolted and gave them the advice that involves sex and travel, and they backed down and went with SiteWise. Much more cost effective, but you are totally right, no boots on the ground to confirm that practice matches documentation.

    While you need to have a system to measure the competence etc.of your contractors, I don't think these large formal and expensive prequalification systems have saved anybody's lives.Mike Massaar

    It's more a butt covering exercise from my observation, than anything to do with life saving
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