Contractor Prequalification is now open

What is CAF Contractor Prequalification?

CAF Contractor Prequalification is a high-level systems, policies and processes assessment against the CAF Star Standards. Prequalification is designed to facilitate CAF Building Certification at a portfolio level leading to a more rigorous and efficient certification process.

Prequalification is not an assurance of compliance with labour standards at a building level. Click here for more information on the interaction between CAF Prequalification and CAF Certification.

Benefits of CAF Contractor Prequalification

A cleaning contractor that is CAF Prequalified can signal to existing and potential clients that the company has:

  • adequate management systems in place to provide correct wages and conditions and superannuation, including appropriate record keeping systems;
  • processes to educate cleaners about their workplace rights and conditions of employment policies, procedures and systems in place to provide cleaners with paid and unpaid leave entitlements;
  • systems to verify and monitor visa holders’ right to work in Australia
  • financial viability;
  • systems for the responsible management, monitoring and enforcement of labour subcontracting;
  • adequate WHS systems, policies and procedures to provide cleaners with a safe work environment;
  • mechanisms in place to reduce the risk of worker exploitation, e.g. sham contracting, underpayment, modern slavery, etc., and considered ways in which it can provide cleaners with job security at a change of contract.

Property owners, landlords and procuring parties that certify buildings where the contractor is CAF Prequalified will also benefit from a reduced certification fee and a more simplified assessment process.

Steps to becoming CAF Prequalified

Cleaning contractors that wish to become CAF Prequalified will go through the following steps:


Cleaning contractor submits an expression of interest using the online application form. This includes completing a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) with a minimum threshold requirement.

Eligibility screening

Phase 1: Initial screening

CAF will consider the application and SAQ and if the minimum threshold requirement has been met, will progress the application to Phase 2. CAF will issue an invoice to the company for a non-refundable deposit equivalent to 10% plus GST of the prequalification fee, which must be paid prior to moving to Phase 2. This amount will be deducted from the full assessment fee if the application progresses to this stage.

Phase 2: Screening reports

CAF screening report

  • If the contractor has participated in CAF Building Certification, CAF will review the compliance findings, investigation and remediation, and any other relevant information on file.

Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) screening report

  • FWO to review public records (e.g. compliance deeds, enforceable undertakings, penalties etc.) and non-public records (e.g. compliance notices) and provide a report to CAF.

United Workers Union (UWU) screening report

  • UWU to review its internal records (e.g. membership system, industrial records, legal cases etc.) and conduct interviews with UWU officials to identify any compliance issues.
  • Contractor to provide a list of cleaning worksites, employing entities, subcontractors and cleaners (employees and subcontracted staff) to UWU.
    • Contractor to facilitate access to chosen sites for the union to conduct paid time meetings (sample size).
    • UWU to run worker meetings at chosen sites, gather evidence of any issues or concerns through use of a standard survey. Note, at these meetings UWU may invite cleaners to join the union in accordance with the principle of freedom of association and industrial relations legislation.
  • UWU to provide a report to CAF on the above.

Phase 3: Eligibility determination

CAF assesses screening reports to determine whether the contractor is eligible to progress to the Prequalification assessment stage:

Report findingsOutcome
CAF determines no high-risk issues are present.Contractor progresses to Prequalification assessment.
CAF determines some high-risk issues are present but that these can be integrated into the prequalification assessment.Contractor progresses to Prequalification assessment. Additional assessment fees may apply and will be communicated and approved in advance.
CAF determines some high-risk issues are present and require follow up engagement between the contractor and UWU.1. CAF will provide UWU and the contractor with a list of issues that require follow-up.
2. UWU will provide the contractor with suggested investigation and remediation action.
3. Once the investigation and remediation is complete, UWU will submit a follow-up report to CAF (including where the contractor does not engage with UWU).
4. CAF to assess follow-up report and either proceed or not proceed with the application.
5. If the application proceeds, CAF will adapt the assessment to focus on high-risk areas, which may come at an additional cost.
CAF determines serious or numerous risks are present.Contractor will not proceed to the Prequalification assessment stage. The contractor will be able to reapply after a period of 6 months.
If the contractor passes the eligibility screening, they will move to the Prequalification assessment stage.

Prequalification assessment

Cleaning contractors will be assessed against the CAF 3 Star Standard. An outline of the assessment is provided in the table below. The assessment will be conducted by a registered auditor selected by CAF, followed by a process of investigation and remediation conducted by CAF. The application will then be assessed by the CAF Certification Panel. If all issues have been satisfactorily addressed, the contractor will be awarded CAF Contractor Prequalification.

Prior to commencing the assessment, contractors will be issued with an invoice for the remainder of the prequalification fee, which must be paid prior to the assessment.

CAF 3 Star RequirementPrequalification criteria
1. LabourCleaning Contractor has appropriate Labour management practices (systems, policies, and procedures) in place to facilitate:

• Maintaining regulatory compliant payroll management systems;
• Compliance with applicable Award/Agreements with regard to the payment of wages and entitlements;
• Compliance with applicable Award/Agreements and National Employment Standards with regard to accrual of leave and administration of paid and unpaid leave entitlements;
• Compliance with statutory PAYG tax and superannuation requirements, including remittance to required authorities in a timely manner;
• Compliance with record-keeping laws;
• Right to work in Australia checks and monitoring;
• Provision of paid induction and training to employees;
• Provision of job security to cleaners at change of contract;
• Employees’ right to join and actively participate in their union. Contractor respects and supports the role played by workplace representatives, including CAF Representatives;
• Management and prevention of bullying and harassment;
2. Responsible Contracting - SubcontractingCleaning contractor has adequate processes in place prior to subcontracting of non-specialist cleaning services, including undertaking due diligence of suppliers, standardisation of service agreements, assessment of the adequacy of pricing to ensure the subcontractor is able to meet minimum legal commitments to its staff, obtainment of approvals and insurances prior to subcontracting, and monitoring and enforcing subcontractors’ compliance with labour standards.
3. Safe Working ConditionsCleaning contractor maintains compliance with WHS/OHS obligations including operating a WHS/OHS system that complies with legislative requirements and ensuring appropriate insurance is in place.

Cleaning contractor has adequate systems, policies and procedures in relation to:
• Provision of workplace health and safety induction and training;
• The election of health and safety representatives in accordance with relevant state legislation;
• Providing cleaners with sufficient time, serviceable equipment and time to safely complete their duties to the required standards.
• Ensuring that cleaners are not directed to perform unsafe work.
4. Financial ViabilityContractor maintains an operationally and financially viable business to enable the contractor to meet all their financial obligations to creditors, including sufficient funds to safeguard worker entitlements.

Cleaning contractor has governance measures in place to prevent fraud or any form of corrupt conduct.
5. Worker EngagementAppropriate policy and procedures to facilitate genuine workplace consultation.

Contractor proactively engages with worker representatives (the union) in relation to issues which might lead to disputation or where changes to the workplace are being considered or have been decided.
6. Issue Identification and RemediationContractor demonstrates adequate processes are in place for cleaners to raise issues with their employer.

Contractor demonstrates that issues relating to potential breaches of employees’ workplace rights are adequately investigated and promptly remediated.

Contractor demonstrates adequate processes that ensure that work performance issues are dealt with in a fair and transparent manner which takes into consideration the employees’ level of English language, experience with Australian workplace laws and allows them sufficient time to seek representation.


Annual revenue CAF Prequalification fee (annual)
<$50m $12,000 (excl. GST)
$50 – $100m $14,000 (excl. GST)
$100m – $500m $16,000 (excl. GST)
>$500m $20,000 (excl. GST)

Fees exclude the cost of assessment conducted by an external auditor as part of the application. This fee will vary depending on the nature of the assessment, however for a standard assessment where no subcontracting occurs and the contractor only has one entity is estimated to be around $7,000 (excl. GST).

What happens once I am Prequalified?

Upon successful completion of the CAF Contractor Prequalification assessment, the contractor will receive a certificate, be listed in our directory, provided the Prequalified Contractor badge and guide, as well as access to the CAF Learning Hub for training all employees on CAF Standards.

Annual renewals

CAF Prequalified Contractors will be required to renew their Prequalification annually. This will involve an interview-based assessment and implementation of any updated CAF requirements. A supplementary defined scope assessment may be required if there have been any significant material changes to the business or any systemic non-compliance identified over the previous year.

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