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Certification VCA*, VCA** and VCA Petrochemicals

With a VCA certificate, you show your clients and coworkers that you've taken into account the necessary prevention measures during the execution of the works, in such a way that all coworkers at the site will experience minimal risks. Our auditors use a questionnaire during the audits to check if you comply with the VCA criteria.

What is VCA certification?1

VCA is a procedure for the certification of a safety management system.

The company that applies for certification must prove that they comply with the VCA criteria that are presented in the form of a checklist (VCA checklist), during audits carried out by one or more of our auditors.

The VCA is part of the Central Committee of Experts VCA (CCVD-VCA), which manages the certification system and monitors its quality. Vinçotte is required to meet all the accreditation requirements and comply with the agreement between the certification bodies and the SSVV (Foundation Cooperation for Safety).

We make a distinction between three levels of certification:

VCA* : This level relates to the direct management of the HSE aspects at the workplace, without relying on sub-contractors.

VCA** : This level relates to the direct management of the HSE aspects in the workplace, as well as of the HSE structure (policy, HSE organisation, improvement), in which, wherever applicable, sub-contractors are engaged

VCA Petrochemicals: This level relates to the direct management of the HSE aspects in the workplace, as well as in the HSE structure (policy, HSE organisation, improvement), in which, wherever applicable, sub-contractors are engaged, as well as requirements specific to the petrochemical sector.

Course of the certification cycle

There are several stages in the certification cycle:

  • Making contact and obtaining information
  • Offer/order
  • Possible pre-audit (analysis and evaluation of dossiers on request). This pre-audit is optional and offers the contractor the option to assess whether his system is ready to be certified.
  • Prior verification of the documentation (Phase 1 of the audit).
  • Audit and report. An audit consists of a verification of the documentation of the system and the implementation of the system in the company. The remarks are recorded in an audit report.
  • Decision and certificate (+ corrective measures). Based on this report, the coordinator of the certification body decides whether or not the contractor may be certified. If the recommendation is positive, a certificate is awarded. If not, an additional audit (post- audit) has to be carried out after implementing corrective measures, in order to take a decision on whether the system actually complies with the requirements of the reference system (checklist VCA).
  • Follow-up audits. A follow-up audit shall be carried out each year. This audit consists of an assessment of the evolution and the continuity of the application of the system.

The certificates issued are valid for three years. A full audit has to be carried out after three years (re-certification).

1Safety, Health and Environment Checklist for Contractors

This management system places the customer in a position to carry out his activities within a structured framework, in order to improve safety. It also provides guidance for compliance with the statutory requirements relating to safety.

The certificates issued provide you with the following advantages:

  • significant reduction in the number of accidents and thereby work stoppage of employees as well
  • reduction in undesirable consequences and the related costs
  • reduction in damage to the equipments of a company and costs arising due to equipment shutdowns
  • they confirm to your employees that things are proceeding as they should be, and that they are working in a structured manner to protect their own safety and that of others
  • they motivate your employees to constantly improve safety
  • they provide access to markets and customers in which VCA certification is an absolute necessity in order to carry out your activities (for example, petrochemical, steel industry, etc.)
  • they also largely contribute to the positive image of the company, both in the eyes of your personnel as well as externally

Our auditors are Prevention Consultants, and all of them have considerable field experience. They are therefore highly familiar with the industrial context within which your company is operating. If you do not know how to go about obtaining a certificate, they are ready to assess your safety management system as it currently exists, and to inform you of the best procedure that you should follow.

During the entire course of the management system audits, due account shall be taken of the applicable laws, regulations and standards, both in relation to the field of activity as well as the workplace.

This certification is intended for undertakings that carry out high-risk work in a risk prone environment (work in factories, installations, workshops and project sites), such as: metal construction, mechanical and electrical works, buildings, bridges and roads, industrial cleaning, industrial maintenance, etc.

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