Selection criteria are concerned with the capability and capacity of an economic operator to deliver the contract. They do not focus on how an economic operator proposes to perform the contract; this is assessed at the award stage.
In the case of health and safety requirements, you will need to satisfy yourself that the contractor you choose can do the job safely and without risk to health. This means making enquiries about the competence of the contractor and ensuring they have the right combination of skills, experience, and knowledge. This is best done at the supplier selection stage.
Any selection criteria deemed appropriate must be tested through the format of the Single Procurement Document (Scotland) (SPD). The SPD consists of a fixed set of questions that allows bidders to self-declare whether they meet the exclusion and selection criteria. Contracting authorities must incorporate statements into their contract notice or prior information notice (PIN) to help with the interpretation of the standardised questions in the SPD. If you are looking for experience of health and safety in the past, then this could be worked into the experience related sections of the SPD (parts 4C 1 and 1.2 ask candidates to provide relevant examples of contracts carried out in the past, “as specified in the Contract Notice”).
We have published the SPD (Scotland) Standard Statements document which is available to download from the Procurement Journey This document sets out several examples of statements to build into tender documentation specifically on testing bidders’ health and safety credentials. These standard statements relate to question 4D.1 which asks bidders’ to confirm whether they hold independently accredited certificates (to be specified by the buying organisation). Please see these statements for further details.
It may also be appropriate to ask bidders to provide details of what training employees are already being provided with. To assess this, the following statement can be included in the contract notice:
‘In answering question 4C.6 of the SPD, please [also] list any health and safety qualification, certificates, etc. held by the bidder and/or the service providers.
Depending on the degree of competence required for the work, it may be appropriate to request more detailed information about a bidder’s previous experience of health and safety measures. This would for example be in instances where the contracting opportunity involves significant levels of risk, including heavy machinery or hazardous substances. In such instances, the following statement could be included in the contract notice:
‘In answering question 4C.1, please [also] describe your experience of your recent health and safety performance over the last [3 or 5 years, depending on type of contract], including numbers of accidents and cases of ill health have you had and any action the HSE has taken against you.’