Universities and the education sector have distinct hurdles when it comes to contractor compliance. Single teams appear to manage contractors across numerous campuses and sites, as well as labs and nurseries. Universities often engage contractors to perform various services, ranging from construction and maintenance to consulting and research. Ensuring that contractors comply with all relevant regulations and standards is crucial to protecting the interests of the university, its students, and the wider community.
In this article, we will cover several strategies that universities can employ to improve contractor compliance.
Before engaging a contractor, universities should conduct a thorough pre-qualification and due diligence process to assess their suitability for the project. This process should include reviewing the contractor’s history, experience, qualifications, and references. It often takes the form of a Health and Safety Questionnaire.
Universities should ensure that all contracts with contractors have strong terms outlining both parties’ obligations and expectations. Contract measures for monitoring and enforcing compliance, such as regular site inspections, progress reports, and performance assessments, should also be included. To track contractor performance and assure compliance, universities can consider instituting monitoring techniques such as periodical audits, site visits, and record keeping.
Universities should provide training and support to contractors to help them understand and comply with relevant legislation and standards, as well as the universities’ safe systems of work and policies. This can involve offering orientation seminars, health and safety training, and access to appropriate resources and information. Universities can also provide regular feedback and coaching to contractors to help them consistently improve their performance.
Open communication and collaboration between universities and contractors can assist in the establishment of a compliance culture and ensure that all parties understand their respective roles and responsibilities. Universities should encourage contractors to express their concerns or challenges, and provide opportunities for constructive criticism and solutions.
A well-structured contractor management system (CMS) can assist universities in successfully managing their contractors and ensuring compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and standards. A CMS should include rules, procedures, and guidelines that describe the university’s and the contractor’s expectations and obligations. In addition, the CMS should offer detailed instructions for contractor selection, assessment, monitoring, and evaluation.
Allowing your team of employees to readily confirm which company and contractor were working at that time/day, under what permit, what RAMS and training, and the location they were operating in, via Live Project Calendars and Dashboarding, through an easy-to-use system is a wonderful place to start when attempting to fix this problem. Verature has worked with universities such as The University of York, Strathclyde, and Falmouth Exeter to create a contractor management system that allows them to provide health and safety management for the education sector. By integrating electronic work permits, permit mapping, and onsite visibility across many locations, we help to keep their colleges, buildings, labs, nurseries, landlord buildings etc safe at all times.
Verature is the best system for your university’s continuous contractor compliance, find out more about the benefits of our system by reading our previous article.
In conclusion, improving contractor compliance is a key responsibility of universities. By implementing a comprehensive Contractor Management Program, conducting thorough pre-qualification and due diligence, implementing strong monitoring mechanisms, providing training and support, and encouraging open communication and collaboration, universities can help to ensure that contractors comply with relevant regulations and standards, and protect the interests of their students, staff, and the wider community.
Contact us today for a quick initial discussion or to schedule a free, no-obligation webinar tour of Verature to learn how our contractor management tools may help you achieve better contractor compliance for your university.
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