Top 5 Mistakes Contractors Make during the Prequalification Process and How to Fix Them

A LinkedIn Article noted that 35% of project defaults are due to issues identified in the prequalification process but ignored! 

Prioritizing safety and compliance is a critical step that helps contractors land more jobs. Prequalification can ensure contractors are capable, insured, and able to meet all the complex safety and performance requirements. 

In this blog, we’ll break down the top 5 mistakes made during the prequalification process and how to fix them. 

1. Failing to Provide Complete Safety and Compliance Documentation

One of the biggest prequalification mistakes is failing to thoroughly complete all required documentation and provide requested records. Contractors are required to provide documentation such as: 

  • Financial statements 
  • Insurance certificates 
  • Safety plans 
  • Licensing information
  • Training logs
  • And more!

Rushing through applications or forgetting paperwork makes contractors look disorganized, sloppy, unprepared, and unable to handle reporting obligations.

How to Prepare Necessary Documentation

Start compiling required contractor documentation months before renewal deadlines rather than waiting until the last minute. Create master checklists of required documentation matched to each prequalification vendor that subs can follow to ensure no critical item gets missed. 

As a pro tip, assign prequalification preparation tasks across a team or use Safety Services Company to free yourself up while never missing a single step. 

2. Low Investment in Ongoing Employee Training

Prequalification platforms usually require submitting staff training records, licenses, and professional certifications to validate workforce competency. But it’s more than just checking the boxes. 

Studies show that 3.6% of budgets are spent on injury while only 2.6% on training. Failure to invest in training puts your teams and organization at risk of injury and loss. 

Letting advanced safety certifications lapse, ignoring emerging methods/technologies, under-investing in ongoing skills development, or failing to master equipment and regulations does not reflect well.

How to Sufficiently Train Employees

Investing more in safety training doesn’t only ensure prequalification but has sizable impacts on lowering the risk of onsite injury. 

You’ll also want to maintain meticulous records of all licenses, certificates, and qualifications in structured digital databases for easy retrieval. That way, you can stay prequalified and show clients how your training investment positively impacts safety metrics.If you don’t know where to start, Safety Services Company offers Toolbox Talks that cover a wide range of safety topics you can use to train workers.

3. Overlooking Employee Mental Health

While physical safety receives heavy emphasis in contractor prequalification, other factors and resources to consider are mental health, fatigue risk management, and psychological support resources. 

In 2020, the CDC released a report revealing that construction, specifically, has the second-highest suicide rate compared to all other industries in the US. 

Firms that fail to consider workers’ mental health can experience higher risks down the line. This can raise red flags that translate to reduced productivity, injuries, or interpersonal conflicts.

How to Implement Mental Health Resources & Solutions

You want to advertise a commitment to mental health in your prequalification phase. One that recognizes: 

  • Psychological well-being 
  • Work-life balance
  • Fatigue management 
  • Open communication 
  • Appropriate shift scheduling 

Doing this can also boost retention, morale, cognitive effectiveness, and site safety. You may also want to consider getting Mental Health First Aid certification. Workers are a firm’s greatest asset—their health and safety should be treated with care from start to finish.

4. Failure to Proactively Update Safety Plans

Being unaware of recent OSHA regulatory changes or ignoring updated industry safety best practices demonstrates complacency and could lead to losing prequalification. 

With frequent technical and regulatory changes around issues specific to your industry (i.e., silica exposure, equipment safety, road risks, or fall prevention), we can’t rely on dated practices.

How to Stay Prepared

To meet prequalification standards, contractors need an actionable and comprehensive safety plan. You can designate a senior safety professional as a compliance officer to be responsible for actively interpreting regulatory trends.

So, what do you need in a safety plan? Ideally, you’ll want to ensure you account for the following: 

  • A clear description of each project: the scope and site conditions 
  • Identification of potential hazards at the job site
  • Contact information of emergency personnel
  • Guidelines and protocol for addressing potential emergencies
  • An outline of up-to-date local, state, and federal safety regulations
  • Guidelines for reporting safety incidents, near-miss events, and hazards
  • A feedback system for the safety plan 

Be sure to think through training programs, emerging issues, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other safety measures. 

Remember, go beyond the check marks wherever possible. The maximum should be your minimum in prequalification through safety and compliance.

5. Not Using a Contractor Management Service

By now, you may be overwhelmed with all the steps and considerations to obtain and maintain prequalification. If so, you’re not alone. 

Whether you’re using services like *ISN®, Avetta®, or Veriforce®, staying up to date with all the latest training and safety requirements while bidding on jobs and overseeing your workforce is becoming a near-impossible task. 

Contractors who are not using contractor management services are at a disadvantage. Many well-meaning contractors have run into prequalification issues because of the time-consuming process.

How to Leverage Contractor Management Services to Stay Prequalified

Meeting and maintaining prequalification criteria can be an intricate task for contractors. Working with contractor management service providers, like Safety Services Company, will help you go beyond the check marks. 

If you need help with your prequalification process, our team is here to manage and monitor your account. 

Conclusion: Avoid These Mistakes to Maintain Prequalification

As contractors, safety and compliance should stand at the forefront of your business. That way, you can stay qualified and compliant to keep bidding on (& winning!) jobs. 

As industry-leading contractor management services, we are here for you! Contact us today and learn how we can manage your *ISN®, Avetta®, and Veriforce® accounts along with 30+ other contractor management platforms!

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