• Hilary Kearns
    8
    Dare I even broach the subject of pre-qualification again, I know we all have opinions on it :)

    I'm interested to know what the take-up on Totika is, ie are organisations subscribing to the fact that they are the "single framework that brings all health and safety pre-qualifications together"??

    I work for a earthmoving company, we currently have an accreditation with a pre-qualification company that is not intending to become an affiliated assessor for Totika. So it looks like we are going to have to go through yet another prequal assessment to become Totika approved (this is driven by our clients).

    I like the concept of a one stop shop for prequal - but unless Chasnz can bring the majority within the industry on board with Totika, then it is just going to be one more system.

    Has anyone else encountered this yet?
  • Tony Walton
    88
    I think it's well overdue that the various trade industry associations front footed this and provide a competent, independent prequal and public safety star rating service for their members.
  • MattD2
    206
    Just saw a LinkedIn post today from CHASNZ / Auckland Transport that AT are moving from their current ISNet prequalification to Totika (https://www.chasnz.org/articles/auckland-transport-health-and-safety-pre-qualification).
    Interestingly that this is only if your work is considered to be medium or high risk, without really defining how that is determined or who makes the decision. More interesting is the fact that while (as I understood it) the Totika scheme was supposed to bring consistency to all prequalification through the use of one universal standard, that this is an example where "clients" are dictating how Totika is actually applied in practice which will inevitably lead to confusion and contradictions in the future for contractors.

    Also I don't think the tiered prequal supplier structure is working as intended as there are also only three current pre-qualification suppliers that are accredited to the scheme (and all of them are at gold level), with just one more pending (which from their website looks very similar to the other 3 and so would also be expected to be at gold level).

    My honest opinion - the main pitch for Totika was to simplify and streamline the pre-qualification practices in NZ. However it has introduce new terms, new structures and new processes which seem to have created more confusion than they have solved... is the cure worse than the disease?

    Looking at this in more broader terms, the topic of reliance on third-party "prequalification" schemes for the management of contractors is still unclear to most NZ organisations, as is the wider context of what is considered to be reasonably practicable contractor management in NZ. Even in Australia this area of H&S legislation has still not been tested significantly. My gut feeling is that if we stepped back just a little bit further and asked ourselves what good contractor management looked like (rather than what good contractor pre-qualification looked like) we would likely be left with some hard questions about how we actually got to where we are with our current accepted practices for contractor pre-qualification.
  • Sarah Bond
    52
    Most of my clients are small businesses in the Construction space. Their principals/clients require them to be part of the pre-qual system that is not part of Totika.

    From an HSE professional perspective I 100% support Totika and see that it could be of huge value to the construction industry. They have similar systems in the UK and various provinces/territories in Canada.

    I feel that for whatever reason this initiative has been "cock blocked" (for want of a better word) by a major industry stakeholder, to the detriment of the industry as a whole.
  • Hilary Kearns
    8
    thanks for your comment Tony, wasn't that the goal of Totika, ie to be the industry standard? But this approach relies on all of industry to voluntarily get on board with it....
  • Hilary Kearns
    8
    thanks for your comments Sarah
  • Don Ramsay
    70
    My understanding is that Totika is not the prequal as such but an umbrella that prequals are registered by the company providing the service, The upshot is previously I had to do 5 prequals as our customers used differing suppliers for the service. Now I do 1 through one of the prequal suppliers and that is it, my customers are logging onto Totika to see the result. If I am wrong please correct me. I see it as a great step forward and it is now up to the companies that supply the service to get up with the play and help reduce the compliance that we as customers are required to do.

    The only difference in the prequals currently is that some companies have promoted their content better and created an industry out of it. Hence under Totika they may see a reduction in customers.
  • Alan Boswell
    11
    I kind of agree with Don. It is my understanding that if you pre qualify under a Totika registered pre-qualification outfit then you are good to go as if you had pre qualified with any of the other Totika registered outfits. The problem is that it is a voluntary scheme. If a required pre-qual isn't registered your still going to have to pay the extra cost. To think this out; if they register they will definitely see a reduction in customers (instead of 5 accreditations you now only need 1), so where's the incentive to volunteer to the scheme?
    These folks seem to be worried about losing money rather than ensuring we have a workable standard benchmark that gives clients the confidence that any contractor they take on has robust practice and procedure in place.
    Which brings me neatly to my next point. The disparity in information and evidence required between different third party qualifiers is enormous. We have just completed two from the leading contenders, two different standards, varying amounts of evidence, and two very different results. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but we are the same company doing the same job regardless of our pre qualifier, how do different results accurately reflect our ability to 'do' health and safety?
    One standard, one result, confident contractors and client confidence!
    I'll get off my soap box now...
    ... and breathe :-)
  • Steve H
    160
    The disparity in information and evidence required between different third party qualifiers is enormous. We have just completed two from the leading contenders, two different standards, varying amounts of evidence, and two very different results. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but we are the same company doing the same job regardless of our pre qualifier, how do different results accurately reflect our ability to 'do' health and safety?Alan Boswell

    Hazarding a guess, neither had boots on the ground Alan? So they have no real idea if what you say you do, is what actually happens.
  • Alan Boswell
    11
    Spot on Steve. To be fair, Third party Pre qualification is a good idea, but they stop short of it being a great idea. If they came out and actually audited us 'in action' a for more confidence inspiring result would occur. But alas, tell them what they want, pay your money and move on!!! Hhurumph!
  • Michael Wilson
    102
    I would much rather see a plan for how a contractor was going to do the job they were contracted to do safely than see that their H&S policy was signed and dated by at least three members of the executive.
  • Don Ramsay
    70
    I would like for a site visit to be part of the prequal the same as when Telarc audit for ISO Standards
  • Jon Harper-Slade
    61
    Just augmenting the comments with few points of my own:

    1. The purpose of H&S pre-qualification is 'for a supplier of services to demonstrate to a buyer of their services that they have a health and safety management programme suitable and sufficient for the type of business they are'. It cannot (and should not) do more than that.

    2. Assurance around a suppliers capacity and approach to manage project/contract specific risks isn't (and cannot) be achieved through a PQ process. That requires buyers of services to specify specific expectations on specific procurement documents (e.g. ROI's, RFPs etc.) and have a process of evaluating individual supplier responses to those expectations (and picking the one that provides the best approach for that work or contract). After the appointment of a supplier, the buyer can then request the suppler to expand on the detail of how exactly they will meet their H&S expectation for that project/contract, which will produce a bespoke and comprehensive H&S management plan. From this specific measures can be developed to monitor supplier performance on H&S and provide a performance review mechanism to ensure both supply chain leader and supplier can learn, improve, and enhance a better relationships in the future.

    3. The stuff in 2. above generally isn't happening because we are overcooking the H&S pre-qualification process. De-cluttering pre-qualification (the demonstrated safety work), provides both supplier and buyer more capacity to deliver improved procurement processes that can focus on the safety of the work people do and improve relationships between people and organisations.

    4. The intent of Tōtika is to standardise, cross-recognise, and de-clutter H&S pre-qualification across industries. Moving to a world where suppliers choose one method that suits them to prequalify for all of their buyers is necessary if we are going to improve how H&S is integrated into procurement, with a focus on improving the environments our peole actually work in.

    5. Tōtika recognises that approaches such ISO 45001 (and for smaller suppliers Q-Safe and SafePlus Onsite Assessment) do a much better job of this than 'desktop' pre-qualification assessments.

    6. Tōtika Core Requirements initially included an onsite assessment to augment the desktop assessment for larger/higher risk businesses. On implementation we received significant push back from industry suppliers, so this requirement has been suspended for the next year or so and will be re-introduced at a time industry stakeholders feel it is appropriate.

    Sorry it's a lot. Fundamentally Tōtika is new, not another pre-qualification scheme, and as far as our research tells us the best chance we have of exiting the current swamp. Happy to discuss better ideas if anyone has any; email me at and I'll set up a call.
  • Sheri Greenwell
    271
    This also highlights the importance of educating project managers who review and decide (or significantly impact decision-making) on awarding contracts. I remember attending a seminar - I think it was put on by WorkSafe - where a H&S Manager from a major construction company talked about how he was working with his project managers to look past the $$$ on tender documents and ask more questions during the RFP / tender process. I remember he made a point of saying he was coaching them to ask more analytical questions, especially to look more closely at WHY a particular vendor was tendering $1M lower than their competitors, to look for where they might be taking shortcuts, or also to consider where a contractor might be trying the old construction industry game of making their bid at a level they thought it would take to win a contract, then hoping to make up the difference in exceptions. So there should be more due diligence on both sides of big contracts.
  • Steve H
    160
    The modus operandi of a certain large construction/building materials supply company, generally wise to keep those decisions as far away from accountants and procurement officers as posible.
    , or also to consider where a contractor might be trying the old construction industry game of making their bid at a level they thought it would take to win a contract, then hoping to make up the difference in exceptionsSheri Greenwell
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