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March 2020

3 Ways Your Contractor Compliance Solution Could be Failing You

Let’s be honest. Do you think you’ve got it all covered when it comes to contractor compliance? Do you realise that whether you are using a paper filing system, an excel spreadsheet or even an online application, there is still a chance that your contractors aren’t actually compliant? The truth is, even with the very best technology at your fingertips, you could still be exposing your business to significant risk by engaging non-compliant contractors. Technology can assist in providing a framework to manage contractor information, but these systems need to be used in conjunction with human expertise to support both the process and the contractor.

The following are three common failures that can lead to your compliance solution falling down:

1. Insufficient Planning

The first step towards building an efficient contractor compliance system is in the planning. You can start by defining your different types of contractors, followed by determining the relevant criteria for each type of contactor, finally mapping out the process for compliance checking and monitoring. However, the real question you need to ask yourself at this early stage, is whether or not you actually have the expertise and resources in-house to achieve compliance. Most organisations have a reasonable idea of their own contractor engagement requirements, but are you familiar legislative and industry standards? To properly define your checklist of compliance information, you will need to make the investment in time and resources, ensuring that you consult with all relevant internal stakeholders. Bottom line, if you haven’t laid the foundational plan for compliance, you could be setting yourself up for failure and significant risk down the track. It is imperative that you detail a comprehensive checklist that can then be used as the one source of truth across the business when engaging contractors.

2. Lack of Prequalification

Prequalifying contractors against your compliance check list, before you engage them protects both your business and the contractors you take on. The compliance checklist may include the following:
  • Insurances
  • Licences and Qualifications
  • Safety systems
  • Contract specific documentation
A thorough prequalification process not only requires requesting and gathering all the necessary documentation, but also checking and validating the information. Contractors may need support in understanding their non-compliances, and this is best handled by real people who familiar with your compliance criteria.

3. Unsustainable Maintenance

Once you’ve done all the hard work of setting up your compliance checklist and prequalifying your contractors, you’re going to need a solution in place to help you to maintain compliance. By utilising technology, you can keep on top of expiring documentation. If you engage several contractors, an automated platform could be a lifesaver, sending expiration notifications. However, relying on an automated system alone isn’t enough. It’s fairly straightforward to upload a document via an application, but there is no guarantee that the document is what it is supposed to be. Documentation still requires human oversight to check its validity and authenticity. Your contractors may also not be as tech-savvy as you are, needing some additional support to use the technology. It is vital that they have support options, further reducing the challenge of attaining compliance.

Make Sure Your Compliance Solution is Fit For Purpose

The chances are you know what you need to do or should be doing to make sure your contractors are compliant. The difference, however, is doing it as efficiently and effectively as possible. To get the job done properly, you need a properly thought out compliance checklist you can rely on, a robust process for compliance management and lastly a sustainable technology solution. Most importantly, compliance needs to be supported by people. If your current solution doesn’t deliver on all of these levels, it may be a good time to review your contractor management process.