Products and Services


Safemark NHBC's Health & Safety Competence Assessment Scheme

Safemark is our pre-qualification health and safety assessment scheme. It's the only such scheme designed by house-building specialists for house builders. It is recognised by Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP).

Why measure health and safety competence?

Being able to prove your health and safety competence in the building industry is a crucial element to securing contracts. Clients will always seek highly competent principal contractors who then, in turn, will look for the same in the sub-contractors that they employ.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 07) state that both contractors and sub-contractors must be able to demonstrate Stage 1 competence which can be approved through an independent assessment scheme.

Assessing health and safety competence can be a complicated and time consuming process. There are two levels that need to be considered:

Stage 1 - The primary level.  This is the ability of an organisation to prove that their arrangements for managing health and safety are sufficient to allow them to carry out work safely and without risk to the health of their workers.

Stage 2 - The second level assesses competence in relation to experience and the needs of the particular job. It looks at an individual's track record of working on similar types of project to those being tendered for.

What is Safemark?

Safemark has been developed to help home builders meet their obligation to only appoint competent contractors.

The scheme is a pre-qualification assessment designed around the requirements of Appendix 4 of the Approved Code of Practice to CDM `07. Competence is assessed against the criteria set out in Stage 1 including, amongst others, the requirements for contractors to have a health and safety policy, access to competent health and safety advice and to ensure employees are appropriately trained.

By satisfying the Safemark assessment, the contractor is able to demonstrate Stage 1 competence to future employers, avoiding the need to repeat the process for every builder worked for. This also helps those buying services from contractors, as they need only worry about Stage 2 assessments (i.e. matching the experience of the contractor to the work being undertaken). 

A certificate will be issued to those who successfully complete the assessment, along with a logo for use on corporate stationery. Accreditation lasts for 12 months and needs to be renewed annually by reassessment.

Why choose Safemark?

  • Safemark is the only scheme on the market at present designed by house builder specialists for house builders. 
  • By accepting a third party assessment of Stage 1 competence, builders no longer need to maintain a register of competent contractors or undertake costly, time consuming Stage 1 assessments. 
  • Safemark in effect provides contractors with a 'passport' exempting them from undergoing repetitive Stage 1 assessments.

  •  NHBC's health and safety reputation speaks for itself with many years experience of running an Audit and Accreditation scheme, quality of assessment is guaranteed.
  • The scheme saves clients and builders time as there is no need to manage the lengthy administration associated with self certification.
  • Accreditation lasts 12 months so once contractors have satisfied the assessment they only need to repeat it once a year rather than for every builder they work for.
  • Safemark is accredited to the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) standard, of which NHBC is a founder member.
  • Being registered as part of the scheme will actually help generate business for contractors as clients and builders look to meet health and safety competence requirements.

Safemark provides:

  • reassurance that contractors/sub-contractors are compliant with important health and safety legislation;
  • time saved as there is no need to repeat the effort of assessing health and safety compliance for every builder worked for;
  • better business practice in the tender process and more profitable and effective client - contractor/sub-contractor relationships through monitored compliance. 

For more information:

To download further information and Safemark documentation please choose from the links below:

Safemark appointment form and registration pack: 

Safemark Application Pack

Safemark guidance document

Alternative SSIP scheme application:

Safemark SSIP application

Should you require further information or assistance please email or contact us on 029 2085 5600.

If you have any comments about the Safemark process or would like to give feedback on Safemark please visit NHBC Customer Charter.