On the surface, achieving contractor compliance might seem fairly straight forward. Surely all you have to do is make sure that all contractors are working as they should in line with your organisation’s requirements. Simple right? However, if you’ve ever hired contractors, then you’ll know that compliance management is far from simple. And, the more contractors you have and the more sites they work on, the more complicated it all becomes. So, can you really achieve compliance? Or is it more about striving for it, ensuring you have the right steppingstones in place to reach for 100%?
The Challenges of Contractor Compliance
Compliance is a complicated aspect of contractor management that ensures contractors are operating per the terms of their contract and also adhering to regulatory and health and safety obligations. At a minimum, contractors must have the appropriate insurances, qualifications and safety systems in place, making contractor compliance an essential task with serious consequences if not carried out properly.
So, what does contractor compliance look like? Well in order to deem your contractors compliant, they will need to adhere to your organisations specific criteria. This may include the following:
- Valid ABN and be registered for GST
- Appropriate types and level of insurance cover
- Adherence to industry specific regulations
- SafeWork licences
- Trade licences
- Current white cards
- Management system accreditations
- WHS documentation
- Induction and training
Contractor compliance can’t be assured with a one-time check. These requirements need to be monitored on an ongoing basis, checking for currency and validity. For example, licences or insurances may expire during the course of engagement. This level of compliance monitoring can be an extremely onerous and time-consuming task for any organisation, especially if the checking and notification processes aren’t outsourced or at the very least automated.
Ideally, you need to be aiming for 100 percent compliance to effectively manage the risk (legal, financial and safety) of engaging contractors. But, with so much to think about, it can seem overwhelming and quite frankly unachievable.
Steppingstones to Successful Compliance
As with any overwhelming task, the most important aspect of contractor compliance is breaking it down into manageable steps. If you can create an organised framework that enables your contractors to demonstrate compliance with your requirements in a managed and predictable manner, you’ll be halfway there. By using the following three steps, your organisation should be able to strive for contractor compliance in a way that is actually achievable:
1. Embrace Technology
To maintain contractor compliance and keep on top of all of the paperwork and processes, you need to make your life as simple as possible. Technology is there to help. It simplifies so many tasks in our day to day lives, and contractor compliance should be no different. Technology is able to take away a lot of the administrative burden that comes with contractor compliance management, automating processes, sending you and your contractors notifications and making sure you’re on top of your to-do list.
2. Simplify Processes
In the same way you find striving for compliance taxing, so do your contractors. They don’t want to create safety or financial risks for their company either, however keeping on top of everything when they’re working for multiple companies can be an enormous challenge. So, make it easier for them. You don’t want to be constantly putting pressure on, so create processes that are easy to follow, and you’re much more likely to reach your compliance goals.
3. Be Consistent
If you’re working with small and large contractors, it can be tempting to have different processes for each of them. Perhaps you use technology to ease the pressure with the larger companies, but still rely on folders and spreadsheets for the smaller ones. Quite honestly, by doing that, you’re making more work for yourself. It takes more effort to keep two processes up to date than it does one. Be consistent and have one process that works well, and you’ll find compliance a lot more achievable.
Striving for 100% Contractor Compliance
You owe it to your organisation and everyone who works there to strive for 100 percent compliance. And, you can make it a realistic goal by using these steppingstones. Don’t make compliance harder than it has to be. By leveraging technology and having one simple and consistent process, your contractors will be able to give you what you need, and compliance might not seem so unachievable after all.