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The Importance of the Procurement Process

02 February 2018
In the FDIS a change has been included which identifies contractor and outsourcing under the main heading of procurement. Let’s consider why we think this is?

All organizations have some form of procurement (purchasing/buying) process. Therefore the relevant OHS considerations for the procurement need to be included in that process. This is not a new concept for OHS management systems.

However in ISO 45001 this requirement has been linked directly to enhance and clarify the application. It could be very problematic if you attempted to exercise controls and requirements solely after the service provider had received an order from you.

How would you know they were competent to deliver the service, had the resources and experience you required and how would you be confident they would deliver the service safely and effectively?

What criteria was used for selection (if any), was this based purely on cost and availability?

Contractors

There may be technical and statutory requirements; for example GAS Safe registration may be a requirement for gas fired heating system servicing – has this been captured and understood within the Procurement process? Are the selected provider capable and competent to undertake the work – how can you demonstrate that within your system before the work was started?

In the ISO 45001 standard it defines CONTRACTOR as; external organization providing services to the organization in accordance with agreed specifications, terms and conditions – ISO 45001 ref; 3.7.

Outsourcing

This for example may be in a Sales organization they choose to outsource the collation, mailing and delivery of the marketing materials to an external organization based in the geographical location of the target recipients – it would be prudent to check if the identified potential providers were capable, reliable, had the desired / required systems and resources in place to deliver the requirements in consideration of OHS requirements – Do the potential providers have recognised system and registrations in place, how can this be checked and demonstrated.

Is the labour used capable both physically and of legal age to work – do the companies have policies and procedures to provide this?

How can you demonstrate this prior to the order being placed?

In the ISO 45001 standard it defines OUTSOUCE as; to make arrangements where an external organization performs part of an organization’s function or process - ISO 45001 ref; 3.29.
 
We hope this blog helps clarify the meaning and application of the standard and terms.

Author: Terry Fisher, NQA OH&S Principal Assessor