CAF Contractor Prequalification is being developed to accompany the CAF Building Certification Scheme. It is designed to facilitate CAF Building Certification at the portfolio level. CAF Prequalification is currently in pilot phase and has not yet been launched to market. Three companies have been awarded CAF Prequalification status for their contract cleaning services through the pilot thus far; BIC Services, Consolidated Property Services and ISS Facility Services.
The process of CAF Prequalification involves an assessment of the adequacy of a cleaning contractor’s management and HR systems to facilitate compliance with the CAF 3 Star Standard at the building level, if implemented appropriately.
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.
How do Prequalification and Building Certification interact?
Using a Prequalified Contractor alone is not enough to demonstrate that cleaners’ labour rights at an individual building are being respected. This is because the prequalification assessment process is focussed on management systems, policies and procedures – checking that the right systems are in place at head office to facilitate compliance at site level.
This includes, for example, appropriate payroll and attendance systems; appropriate training programs for cleaners; and HR policies that are consistent with the applicable legal and regulatory frameworks.
The only way to obtain assurance that management systems are being implemented effectively – that is, that cleaners are indeed being treated fairly and are receiving their full wages and entitlements – is through assessment at an individual building level. This involves:
- independent third-party engagement with cleaners, which CAF does through our unique worker engagement mechanism; and
- independent third-party assessment of the supply chain conduct at an individual site during building certification (and in a portfolio of assets once the CAF Portfolio Certification scheme has been launched).
Prequalification is not a certification or an endorsement of the cleaning company; rather it is a way for a cleaning company to demonstrate that they have the right systems in place to enable the provision of decent work to cleaners at a building level. Assurance of the latter can only be provided through CAF Building Certification.