The Journey to Safe Contractor Success

As an SME, we always aim to offer the best possible service to our customers. Trust Networks pride ourselves in going the extra mile, to show our customers how much we care for their business, because of this ethos we have a

customer retention rate of 90%!

The remaining 10% are customers who have often been bought out by larger companies that already have IT support in place.

Even though we have an incredible loyal customer base, we are always striving to be better. To better our offering, our procedures, our polices, our customer journey and all other aspects. We do this because we want to make sure that Trust Networks constantly and consistently provide the best service we can. We have spent lots of time, over the past 2 years in particular, investing in the business, and its resources. We are so proud of how far we have come. We all know… As you get better, you better the opportunities that come to you.

Six months ago, we were offered a fantastic opportunity to do some cabling works- including data caballing, electrical, projector and whiteboard shift replacement, and WIFI network replacement, for a multi-million pound company.

But we had a problem…

The potential clients were only able to use suppliers who were part of the ‘Alcumus Safe Contractor’ Accredited scheme and, we were not accredited. After the considerable investment we had made to better our business, finding out that we wouldn’t be able to undertake this amazing opportunity as we were not part of this scheme… Well, it just felt like a kick. It was truly disheartening.

Luckily the story didn’t end there…

The client made us aware that the job wasn’t going to be proceeding for around 8 weeks, and if we could become Safe Contractor accredited within that time, then we would win the tender.

Could this be achieved? Do we have time? What happens if we fail?

Head of HR and H&S, Chantal Shaw, quickly got onto the Safe Contractor team, who talked her through the accreditation process and reassured her that it was totally possible to be accredited within 8 weeks, but it would take a lot of hard work and dedication.

We love a challenge at Trust Networks and so… Off we went!!

Initially we needed to register with SafeContractor, and pay an upfront free (which differs depending on the size of your business and the level of accreditation you require). Chantal also established that becoming accredited with SafeContractor would enable Trust Networks to demonstrate its compliance with health and safety, meaning that clients can have total confidence in choosing us, knowing we will not pose any risk to their supply chain.

A few benefits to our business of becoming accredited include:

  • Gaining peace of mind that our business has all the Health and Safety Paperwork in place to meet and enable us to exceed the industry standards to work on site.
  • Staying ahead of the competition when tendering for more work opportunities.
  • Promoting our commitment to Health and Safety Best Practice by displaying the approved seal. The sign of professional and credible supplier business.

The more we learned, the more we knew that we had made a great choice in taking on this challenge of gaining the accreditation, even in such a short space of time.

We were determined.

We started the process which included gathering ALL of our current H&S processes and policies and sending them over to the SafeContractor team to be reviewed. Not only H&S, but we also needed to demonstrate our compliance with things such as GDPR, Modern day slavery, anti-bribery etc.

Although we thought we had all of our ducks in row with the current policies we had in place, it was highlighted that some were missing and therefore;

We needed to get to work.

We spent the following 7 weeks and 5 days, going back and forth with the team at SafeContractor. The guys there supported us in ensuring all of the below processes were completely and thoroughly compliant to the high Alcumus SafeContractor and H&S standards.

  • Computer Network Services and Software – Fibre Optics Installation, Wi-Fi Network Installation
  • Electrical Services – Cabling and Trunking
  • Health and Safety
  • Quality Control and Management
  • Building Information Modelling
  • Environmental
  • Equality, Modern Slavery, Anti-bribery and Right to work
  • GDPR

It was a lot of work and took an incredible commitment from the Trust Networks team to get all of this in place.

Two days before we needed the accreditation in place to enable us to undertake this for this new client,

We were ready to send our submission.

We knew if we had nailed the compliance requests as we thought we had, we would receive the accreditation within 24 hours.

We waited. Nothing came through, so we called the SafeContractor team the following day to check in.

The chap who was dealing with our submission had been struck down with COVID-19, and was now off sick.

With 24 hours to go our submission had not been reviewed!

Our team was full of dread! Would SafeContractor have the time to get this reviewed before we needed that key certificate to enable us to start on site that

Very next day?!

We begged and pleaded, and of course the SafeContractor team ensured they would do their best to come back with any amendments we needed to undertake before the next morning.

At 4.30pm, on the day before we started on site, SafeContractor came back with a rather large amendment to our H&S policy.

Chantal downed tools on everything else and spent the evening working through the amendments to get them solidly into our H&S policy.

We then submitted the last piece of the puzzle.

The first day on site arrived, and we still had not received the certificate… Our chaps were ready to leave to go to site, but, were waiting with baited breath, as we knew they could not commence any of the work without the all important stamp of approval.

With minutes to spare, the certificate came through…

We were accredited!!!

It would be an understatement to say how happy we were, along with knowing we would be able to undertake the works and have a happy client. We are delighted to say that we completed all the works required by the client, safely, within the timeframe, and in the SafeContractor approved way.

However hairy the process of becoming Safe Contractor accredited was (due to the short timescale, challenges, and frustration), we couldn’t be more pleased we accomplished it, and we are very proud to be a part of such a reputable scheme moving forward.