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The management of contractors policy

To ensure that works carried out by contractors do not pose a significant risk to them or other members of the University community.


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Approval date
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Approved by
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Date of last review
12 Sep 2023
Date of next review
16 Sep 2025


This policy sets out the principles for how all works carried out by contractors, or their sub-contractors, either for or on behalf of the University of Bath will be managed. Contractor compliance with other University requirements is covered separately under specific University policy, regulations and guidance.

Relevant Legislation



Contractor means any individual, company or organisation, other than an employee, engaged by the University to carry out any work for gain or reward. People carrying out work for an organisation on a voluntary basis are considered to be employees for the purposes of health and safety law, Sub-contractors are individuals, companies or organisations employed to undertake works, for gain or reward, by the contractor.

All Contractors

All Contractors are both contractors and sub-contractors.

Competent person

Individuals who have the relevant skills, knowledge (qualifications) and experience to carry out specified tasks. For complex or large projects, the competency requirement may be met by a team rather than by an individual. However, clear accountabilities should be established within the team to ensure that duties are assigned to the appropriately competent team member.

Construction work

Construction work is legally defined within the CDM Regulations as “the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work" and includes:

(a) the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or an abrasive at high pressure, or the use of corrosive or toxic substances), de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure;

(b) the preparation for an intended structure, including site clearance, exploration, investigation (but not site survey) and excavation (but not pre-construction archaeological investigations), and the clearance or preparation of the site or structure for use or occupation at its conclusion;

(c) the assembly on site of prefabricated elements to form a structure or the disassembly on site of the prefabricated elements which, immediately before such disassembly, formed a structure;

(d) the removal of a structure, or of any product or waste resulting from demolition or dismantling of a structure, or from disassembly of prefabricated elements which immediately before such disassembly formed such a structure;

(e) the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services which are normally fixed within or to a structure”.

Notifiable projects

CDM requires that certain projects be notified to the Health and Safety Executive. These include projects that will last more than 30 days where there will be 20 or more workers on site at any time during the project and any projects involving more than 500 person working days.

Principal contractor

A principal contractor is a specific duty holder required, under CDM, to be appointed on all notifiable projects. They plan, manage and monitor the construction phase so that it can be performed safely. The University will never act as the Principal Contractor on such projects. Whilst the University has some duties with regards to how notifiable projects are planned and delivered, these do not extend to approving method statements and risk assessments or directly supervising works unless these are carried out outside of areas specifically handed over to the Principal Contractor. In these instances, the University must check and approve RAMS before any work are carried out. The University will also be responsible for monitoring how the work is undertaken to satisfy themselves that appropriate safety procedures are being followed.

Policy statement

The University of Bath is committed to managing, so far as is reasonably practicable, works undertaken on its behalf by contractors, or their subcontractors, in such a manner as to reduce risks to the campus community and to the University of Bath’s property, environment and assets, to a tolerable level. The University aims to deliver this commitment by:

  • carrying out appropriate checks of each of its contractors prior to the letting of any contract (or establishment of any framework agreement) to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that it only engages suitably competent contractors to carry out works on its behalf

  • providing contractors with the necessary information, induction training, supervision and instruction to undertake their work in accordance with this and all other relevant health and safety policy and any specific legislative requirements that might apply

  • providing contractors with suitable and sufficient asbestos information, at tender stage, to enable them to plan and deliver their works without risk of exposure to, or the uncontrolled release of, asbestos fibres

  • only allowing contractors to commence work once they have provided, and where necessary implemented, suitable and sufficient risk assessments to manage any significant risks associated with their works. In the case of notifiable projects, construction works will only be allowed to commence when the Principal Contractor has provided a suitable and sufficient Construction Phase plan and has put in place adequate welfare arrangements

  • notifying the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of all relevant University construction projects as soon as is reasonably practicable

  • ensuring that construction works and projects are planned so that there is adequate time to deliver these safely

  • overseeing and monitoring all contractor works under the direct control of the University. Oversight will be carried out by a suitably competent person (or persons) appointed by the University

  • developing and implementing suitable and sufficient risk-based procedures to gain effective control, coordination, cooperation and communication of all contractor works

  • establishing and implementing “Permit to Work” arrangements for the management of specified high risk works. This will include providing sufficient resources such that Permits to Work are only issued by suitably competent and appropriately authorised persons

  • requiring that all contractor works which involve, to any extent, works on building fabric or services or infrastructure are approved, in writing, by the Director of Estates (or their appointed agent). No such works will be allowed to commence until this approval has been provided. This will include the installation of any services not controlled by Estates, such as data cabling, where this requires works on building fabric or services

  • monitoring contractor performance at appropriate intervals and taking appropriate corrective action where health and safety issues are identified

  • implementing arrangements to ensure that contractors provide any necessary information, documentation or certificates in order to ensure that the University can meet its general and specific health and safety responsibilities

  • reviewing overall contractor performance at the end of each contract and implementing, where practicable, any significant findings


The Vice-Chancellor (VC)

The VC has the overall day to day responsibility for health and safety matters at the University. The VC delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management and identified roles. The following people are identified as having responsibility for management of contractor safety issues in those areas, and for those relevant persons, that fall under their control:

Director of Campus Infrastructure (CI)

The Director of Campus Infrastructure has been delegated responsibility for approving and overseeing all works on University building fabric and services.

The Director of CI will ensure that:

  • all applications to carry out work on University owned or managed building fabric or services or infrastructure are considered in a timely manner by a suitably competent person

  • all duty holder appointments required by the CDM Regulations are made for relevant approved projects (including any approved projects that will be locally managed (i.e. outside of the Campus Infrastructure function)) and that the appointed duty holders are competent to fulfil their appointed role

  • all projects subject to CI’s approval are managed by a suitably competent person

  • adequate resources, including reasonable access to competent project managers, are available to enable the University to manage construction works in accordance with legislative and policy requirements

  • Faculties, Schools, Departments and Directorates are provided with adequate information about routine works that CI’s contractors will be carrying out in their areas. This will include giving sufficient advanced notice of when, where and how such works will be carried out and ensuring adequate communications with local management about matters which could affect the health, safety or welfare of members of the campus community whilst the works are delivered. In the event of an emergency situation, where there is a significant risk of imminent injury or of significant damage to property, the requirement to provide notice to local management may need to be waived in order to ensure that the University does not breach its duty to manage such significant risks

  • where there is sufficient reason to believe that any duties associated with notifiable projects cannot be met then the project work should be halted and the VC advised

The Director of CI delegates the day to day management of these duties through the CI line management chain.

Deans, Heads of Department and Directors

Deans, Heads of Department and Directors are responsible for ensuring that:

  • people who may be commissioning and/or managing contractors for works controlled by the School, Faculty, Department or Directorate are competent to do so. Where the required competency to manage specific contractors or projects is not available within the School, Faculty, Department or Directorate then a suitably competent person is engaged to manage these works on their behalf

  • sufficient competent people have been appointed, where relevant, to implement and manage School, Faculty, Department or Directorate permit to work systems

  • suitable and sufficient information about local hazards (other than those related to building fabric and services) are communicated to contractors working in their areas

  • their staff cooperate with other duty holders under this policy to ensure that the Management of Contractors policy is implemented effectively

  • all proposed works to building fabric or services or infrastructure are communicated, at the earliest opportunity, to the Director of CI (or an appointed deputy) for approval and in any case before any such works are commenced

  • procurement or design for works on University owned or managed building fabric or services or infrastructure is not started unless and until approval for these works has been provided in writing to them by the Director of CI (or an appointed deputy). If CI are subsequently appointed to manage the project on behalf of the School, Faculty Department or Directorate then all subsequent contractor management responsibilities under this policy will transfer to CI. If the Director of CI agrees that the works can be managed locally then all duties, except those explicitly placed on the Director of CI, will fall to the School, Faculty, Department or Directorate engaging and managing the contractor(s)

People commissioning and/or managing contractors for the University:

1) All Contractors

University employees (or consultants or other persons appointed by the University to undertake this role) commissioning or managing contractors for, or on behalf of, the University will be responsible for ensuring that the contractors under their control:

  • provide the University with any required information before they are allowed to commence working for the University. Where the work will be carried out in University controlled areas and poses significant risks to any person or to University property or to the campus environment then this will include the provision of written risk assessments and/or method statements to clearly describe how the work will be safely carried out. Such works will not be allowed to commence until these have been agreed with the relevant University representative

  • have the necessary competence to safely undertake the work they are employed to carry out and to deliver that work to the required quality/safety standards

  • are provided with suitable and sufficient information, including information on any hazards or significant risks that may be present in the areas that they will be working, and instruction to safely carry out the works expected of them

  • receive a suitable and sufficient induction appropriate to the work that they will be doing and that a record of this induction is kept. Where works involve works on building fabric and services then Estates will provide this induction. For all other works, for example servicing of department-owned equipment, this responsibility will fall to whoever commissions the contractor to undertake this work

  • are monitored at appropriate intervals depending on the risks associated with their works

  • are aware of and, as far as is reasonably practicable, comply with the University’s Management of Contractors policy and any associated procedures

Where a project involves the contractor working in areas that are controlled by others, then the University representative responsible for managing the contractor will be responsible for ensuring that:

  • local management are given timely notice about what contractor works will be carried out, and where and when these will be undertaken

  • works are coordinated and organised with local management so as to ensure that the risks to contractors and to other members of the campus community are reduced to a tolerable level

2) Construction works/works on building fabric or services or infrastructure in University controlled areas

If the proposed works will involve construction works or other works on building fabric, services or infrastructure, the commissioner will, in addition to the responsibilities in section 1, be responsible for ensuring that:

  • the works are communicated as soon as is practicable to the Director of CI (or their appointed deputy) but in any case prior to any works being carried out

  • works on building fabric or services or infrastructure are not started unless and until these have been approved in writing by, or on behalf of, the Director of CI

  • appointed contractors:

    • are allocated sufficient time in order to deliver their works safely
    • are provided with suitable and sufficient asbestos information to reduce the risk of exposure to, or uncontrolled release of, asbestos fibres
    • are easily identifiable by other members of the campus community
  • works are communicated and coordinated to ensure that significant risks associated with those works are reduced to a tolerable level

3) Notifiable projects

Where the construction works are 'notifiable' projects under the CDM Regulations, then the University representative will, in addition to the responsibilities in sections 1 and 2, ensure that the Principal Contractor:

  • has developed satisfactory risk management plans to enable them to carry out their works without significant risk to themselves or anyone else who might potentially be affected by their works

  • has made adequate arrangements to provide or to gain access to suitable welfare facilities throughout the duration of their contract

University employees

University employees will be responsible for:

  • providing University representatives responsible for commissioning and/or managing contractors with any relevant information about hazards that may be present in areas where contractors will be working

  • taking reasonable steps to ensure that contractors (or anyone else) are not put at significant risk by their work

  • reporting any significant concerns about contractor working to their line manager


The University Health and Safety Committee (UHSC) is responsible for monitoring and reviewing this policy. Reviews will be carried out every two years from the date of approval.

Document control

Date of last review: This policy was reviewed in September 2023.
Date of next review: The next review is scheduled for UHSC September 2025.**


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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