Selecting a competent consultant for good health and safety

If you need the services of a health and safety consultant, ensure that anyone you employ is able to provide advice that suits your business.

Selection process

By using this checklist you will get a good idea of whether the company / individual is right for your business. The register on its own won’t tell you this.

Tip. A copy of the completed checklist should be kept on file for at least three years. It will help you to demonstrate that you’ve taken all reasonable steps to appoint someone who is competent.

The checklist

The checklist begins by asking, “Is the consultant on the register?” Obviously, if you’re using the register to find someone, then the answer to this will be “yes”, but if you’re using another method, e.g. local networking groups, an Internet search engine etc. then you will need to confirm this with the health and safety company or individual that you’re speaking to.

Tip. If a consultant isn’t on the register, it doesn’t mean that they should be overlooked. If they’re not, check their qualifications against the information on our checklist. We’ve identified the type of qualifications that you should look for.

What do they offer?

The next questions identify what sort of service you will receive from the consultant. For example, it asks if associates will be used. And if an emergency response policy service will be offered in the event of an accident or inspection. Do they offer to make a safety file or health and safety template.

Insurance

Next, the checklist asks the short-listed consultant to provide details of their insurance cover.

Tip. Ask for a copy of their insurance policy. In particular, make sure their Professional Indemnity cover is up-to-date. If you’re not sure that the cover they have is enough for you, check this with your insurance broker – they should be happy to give advice.

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