You may have already seen this in the Industry press, but for those who haven't from 1st October 2017, Assurity Consulting became the first organisation in the UK to offer our customers Assured Advice status for our Legionella risk assessments.
We have secured a Primary Authority co-ordinated partnership with the City of London Corporation with advice covering "the competence and ability of Assurity Consulting to undertake suitable and sufficient Legionella risk assessments in accordance with the relevant legal requirements."
This is a significant step in allowing us to continue to provide customers with the best possible advice and combined with our already extensive quality assurance and accreditation systems demonstrate our commitment to continually improving what we do for our customers.
If you were unaware of the scheme or the benefits it offers why not invest five minutes and see what it could mean for you?
1. What is a Primary Authority?
Primary Authority is a statutory scheme allowing eligible business "to form a legally recognised partnership with a single local authority in relation to regulatory compliance. This local authority becomes the 'primary authority".
The scheme, established through the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (as amended) was first started April 2009 and can cover aspects of environmental health, fire safety, trading standards and licensing legislation.
The aim of the scheme is to ensure that "local regulation is consistent at a national level and sufficiently flexible to address local circumstances."
2. What is a coordinated partnership and how does it work?
The scheme allows businesses access to consistent, tailored, "assured advice" they can rely on and provides regulators with flexible and responsive ways of working. It operates on two levels:
- Direct partnership - between a primary authority and a single business
- Co-ordinated partnership - between a primary authority and the co-ordinator of a regulated group (i.e. trade association, customer)
Assurity Consulting's co-ordinated partnership is with the City of London Corporation, a local authority which is already recognised as one of the most experienced in Legionella management. Our report is the first of its kind for assured advice covering Legionella risk assessment.
3. What is Assured Advice?
Effectively Assured Advice is earned recognition that for example a product or practice has been assessed by an enforcer and is fit for purpose. So through Primary Authority local authorities and fire and rescue services in partnership with commercial businesses can provide organisations with robust and reliable regulatory advice.
The scheme "supports growth by enabling organisations to invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures, knowing that there is endorsement of the resources they devote to compliance."
Our Primary Authority co-ordinated partnership with the City of London Corporation currently covers "the competence and ability of Assurity Consulting to undertake suitable and sufficient Legionella risk assessments in accordance with the relevant legal requirements."
4. Why should I need to consider such schemes for my health and safety management?
When it comes to health and safety and buildings, the need for risk assessments is a clearly established principle especially for aspects such as fire, Legionella and asbestos as well as an array of other topics, tasks and disciplines (COSHH, manual handling, DSE, contractor work, work at height, etc.).
To be effective however that risk assessment needs to be suitable and sufficient for the aspect of health and safety it is considering. And as it is also the first step in the management process, if the risk assessment is not fit for purpose, how does that affect the controls and processes you then put in place?
Rather than a cost, a risk assessment should be seen as an investment the dutyholder makes in identifying what is required to manage a system, hazard or process in the right manner for that organisation.
Achieving Primary Authority Assured Advice for our Legionella risk assessments demonstrates Assurity Consulting's commitment to working in partnership with regulators and builds on our extensive accreditations and quality assurances to continue to give you the best possible standards of service.
5. So what does it all mean for me?
Peace of mind
The process of our Legionella risk assessments has been robustly challenged by enforcers and has been identified as Assured Advice, demonstrating it meets the required standards giving you information you can rely on.
It provides a consistent and uniformed approach across your whole property portfolio, saving you time in your ongoing Legionella management because our Legionella risk assessment are recognised by enforcing authorities, insurers and regulators as a credible and reliable assessment.
It will save you money because you are investing in a document that has been assured to deliver the compliance you need. It will reduce the burden of compliance and their associated costs on your organisation, by eliminating inconsistencies and allowing you to target your resources to best effect.
It will make sure your ongoing Legionella control is based on a reliable and reasoned risk assessment and that you have invested in a process that is of a recognised quality, to deliver on your health and safety compliance objectives.
Knowing your Legionella risk assessment has been assured by an enforcement authority gives you greater confidence when making operational decisions about your ongoing management.
It will enhance your organisation's reputation by demonstrating you have a culture to actively invest in the highest standards of health and safety.
Assurity Consulting are leading experts in workplace health, safety and environmental compliance. For more information on our services, and how we can help you, please contact us on tel. +44 (0)1403 269375 or email us.