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Contractors / Health & Safety / Prequalification with Wellington Water

Prequalification with Wellington Water

Before a contractor starts working with us, we want to know they are a safe company that has good systems, capability, and is backed by credible evidence. Prequal is one of the first steps for selecting good contractors. 

Prequalifying safe and good contractors are major steps of the Principal's Guide to Contracting to meet Health and Safety Legislation.

We use Prequal NZ, an assessment subsidiary of Impac, to give us an assessment report with a percentage score of a contractor. Prequal NZ is widely used by NZ's largest companies, and a contractor can simply supply their prequalification to other companies they do business with. 

All third parties who do physical work and/or high-risk work for us must be prequalified and meet a minimum required score of 60%. If a contractor scores between 60% and 80%, additional controls must be put in place to ensure contractors have the support they need to work safely.

It can take some time for both contractors and Prequal NZ to work through the requirements. New Contractors should give their safety evidence to Prequal NZ about 3 months before a tender closure date. It takes Prequal NZ around 2 months to assess their evidence. 

Wellington Water requires all contractors and consultants to meet the Tōtika prequalification scheme standard. Tōtika is overseen by the Construction Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (CHASNZ). Tōtika recognises Safe365Impac, and SHE PRE-Qual pre-qualification assessments, with more likely to be added in future. CHASNZ has more information.

Contractors engaging sub-contractors must have systems in place to ensure they are controlling the risk that sub-contractors may bring to work. This could include their own internal prequalification or requiring an external prequalification (e.g., Tōtika, SiteWise, Impac, ISO45001). Sub-contractors that are prequalified directly with Wellington Water (through Tōtika or through Fulton Hogan) can be considered prequalified for use by other contractors.  

Contact the Wellington Water Health and Safety Team to determine if a sub-contractor is already prequalified. All contractors must ensure processes are in place to ensure sub-contractors are meeting the Wellington Water Standards while working for them.  

We have made steps towards also allowing ISO45001 to be used in place of Impac’s prequalification assessment. If you would like to make use of this exception, please contact our Health and Safety Team for formal approval. As of December 2020, only four parties have been approved to use other evidence in place of Impac’s prequalification scheme.