What is the WPA?
The Welsh Procurement Alliance (WPA) is a new approach for procurement in Wales, created for organisations that buy products and services for the construction, refurbishment and maintenance of social housing and public buildings. The Framework is now live and will run until the end of August 2022.
The WPA brings buyers and suppliers together, to build and maintain public property more efficiently and cost effectively, and to benefit local communities. The organisation is backed by LHC, established in 1966 and recognised as one of the most experienced and respected providers of procurement frameworks in the construction sector. LHC is a not-for-profit, ‘.gov’ provider of OJEU compliant frameworks.
The old LHC frameworks were not always suited to requirements in Wales, so LHC set up regional business units from 2012, with the Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA) established in March 2016 and the WPA established in April 2017. The WPA AS2W is a framework in Wales, for Wales, providing duty holders with access to the top asbestos consultancies operating in Wales.
Over 200 publicly funded organisations throughout the UK use LHC frameworks to procure works, goods and services. The WPA Founder Partner Committees include some of the biggest and most established public-sector organisations in Wales, including Trivallis, Wales and West Housing, Bron Afon, Flintshire County Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Merthyr Valleys Homes and Linc.
Who is eligible to use the Framework?
Those eligible to use the WPA include those with a duty to manage asbestos in domestic or commercial public buildings such as:
- Local Authorities
- Registered Social Landlords
- Health Authorities, Boards and Trusts
- Publicly Funded Schools
- Universities and Further Education Establishments
- Police Forces
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Registered Charities
Santia in 1st place for commercial buildings for South and Mid Wales
The Framework has 3 separate Regional Lots (North, Mid and South Wales) with 2 work streams per region – commercial and domestic. All 6 Lots were assessed individually and include suppliers who have demonstrated the competence and experience to provide services in that region.
Asbestos is a category one carcinogen, and companies working with it must demonstrate the highest standards of quality. Santia’s asbestos testing and inspection services are delivered in accordance with the associated quality standards, ISO 17025 and 17020 and are accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service), the UK’s sole accreditation body for these services.
In order to ensure that those using the framework will be able to access high quality services which also provide value for money, the award criteria were set at 60% quality and 40% price. Santia achieved the highest quality weighting of all suppliers across all Lots, scoring between 58- 60% for each Lot. Combined with Santia’s commercial proposition which provides value for money, Santia were awarded a place on all 6 Lots with the following rankings:
|Lot||Santia Framework Ranking|
|South Wales – Commercial||1st|
|South Wales – Domestic||3rd|
|Mid Wales – Commercial||1st|
|Mid Wales – Domestic||2nd|
|North Wales – Commercial||2nd|
|North Wales – Domestic||3rd|
Which services can be accessed via the Framework?
Asbestos remains the UK’s biggest workplace killer, with 5,000 deaths per annum caused by asbestos-related diseases. Consequently, all work with asbestos is tightly controlled, with UKAS accredited consultancies like Santia working in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012), associated ACOPs and guidance.
The specialist asbestos management services which Santia can provide via the framework include:
- UKAS accredited asbestos surveys
- UKAS accredited asbestos sample analysis, air monitoring and four stage clearance
- Bespoke consultancy services including expert advice, gap analyses and asbestos management plans.
Santia also offers a full range of other services including BOHS and UKATA approved asbestos training, the project management of HSE licensed asbestos removal via the Santia Preferred Services Providers’ Scheme (SPSPS) and CDM services.
How does it work and what are the client benefits?
Welsh public-sector organisations can become a WPA member free of charge. The WPA offers two procurement mechanisms – direct award or mini competition amongst the Framework suppliers. A 5% levy is paid by the supplier to the WPA on the value of all invoices. As WPA is a not for profit organisation, any surplus generated is funnelled back into Wales, with an annual rebate used to create social value from procurement and positive outcomes for Welsh communities.
For many clients, undertaking an OJEU tendering process for their own organisation can be a mammoth task. The production of a PQQ, ITT document, bespoke specification, pricing matrix and supporting documents which all need to comply with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 takes time. The coordination and investment in time of key stakeholders including technical service users is also a distraction from core activities. Combined with the highly regulated tender scoring and evaluation process, a typical OJEU tender can take at least 6 months to complete at a significant cost.
The WPA offers a fantastic alternative to in-house tendering, with low-cost, rapid access to high quality services from local suppliers who have successfully completed a rigorous OJEU tendering process. With the rebate being funnelled straight back into the local community, the WPA is aligned with the main objectives of Welsh public-sector organisations.
To find out more about the WPA and how to become a member, click here: https://welshprocurement.cymru/
Why choose Santia?
Santia was ranked so highly across the Framework for a number of reasons. Whilst we are a national company, our Head Office and main UKAS accredited laboratory is based in Cardiff. We have operated in Wales for nearly 25 years and have always maintained a strong reputation for quality. Employing over 130 staff nationwide, more than 50 live in Wales, meaning that we can respond promptly in an emergency, keep travel costs and the impact on the local environment to a minimum. We also have a reputation for customer service excellence, for which we won a UKATA award in July 2018.
“As one of the longest standing and largest asbestos consultancies in Wales, we are delighted to be awarded a place as one of the top suppliers on the new WPA Framework. We have supported countless Welsh public-sector organisations over the years. We look forward to helping more duty holders comply with their legal obligations and anticipate that sales growth will generate more opportunities for local employment at Santia.” – Amy Jones, Head of Bids and Marketing
If you have an enquiry, please contact us on 03300 241 444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Neil Barker, Director, WPA