Peter McAteer, CEO, Sysmax

Our NHMF Contractor Forum membership represents the housing sector’s very best in innovation, best practice and collaboration. Embodying a broad cross section of organisations with differing interests and specialisms, from the large to the small providers, we’re speaking to a cross section of our members and other stakeholders to find out more

petersysmax900x4502 image source : NHM|F

Peter McAteer, CEO, Sysmax

This month, we speak to Peter McAteer, CEO of Sysmax, the technology company whose software is helping social housing providers meet the new competency standards and comply with The Golden Thread approach as defined in the updated Building Safety Act. Sysmax has developed a comprehensive suite of software that helps clients transform their organisations using a compliance and competency platform that ensures procedures are evaluated, managed, measured and most importantly, implemented.

Competence is a combination of skills knowledge, experience and behaviours: disciplines that Sysmax wants to share with Contractor Forum members

“Sysmax recently decided to join the NHMF Contractor Forum having seen the potential for our solutions to help the social housing market meet the challenges of the new competency standards and comply with the Golden Thread approach as defined in the updated Building Safety Act. With our strong heritage in the energy and oil markets and a passion for compliance, Sysmax has recently started to work in the social housing sector. We carried out a pilot project that included five social housing companies and two contractors, to deliver a scalable solution across the sector. I recently presented about this pilot at the NHMF Conference, and more information can be found at the end of this blog.

A chain breaks at its weakest link

“Launched in 2006, Sysmax was originally part of a multi-disciplinary firm supporting businesses in the nuclear, military, construction, rail, and water sectors before focusing on the oil and gas sectors. Despite these sectors being ‘superficially’ highly regulated, awful tragedies like Alpha Piper and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster were allowed to happen. Although at first glance, the parallels between oil and housing may not be obvious, there are in fact, several to consider. Not least, both involve complex and often fragmented supply chains which rely on things being done competently, and if not, can and do result in loss of life. We need look no further than The Grenfell Disaster with 72 fatalities. The latest challenges to health in housing are the responsibilities surrounding the issue of damp and mould.

“So how do these tragedies arise? Whether in oil or housing, how can things go so easily and so quickly wrong? It all comes down to that Golden Thread, ensuring that compliance is happening at every single point of the supply chain: from specifying, for example new kitchens and bathrooms or boilers, to manufacture, to point of installation, to post-install checks.  A chain breaks at its weakest link, and just one thing done incorrectly or incompetently at any point, can quickly escalate into a far bigger problem.

What gets measured gets done

“It’s a fact of human nature. What gets measured gets done, and many of the conversations I’ve been having with social housing landlords, DLOs and contractors within the Forum, are about the challenges of how to consistently benchmark skills, have real time visibility and ultimately measure the entire supply chain for competency. The increase in accountability arising from the new Building Safety Act puts this into even sharper focus and will weigh heavily on stakeholder protection. The Sysmax Benchmax Compliance Management platform has been proven and endorsed by Direct Works to help to the sector manage the competency requirements of the updated Social Housing Regulation.


Tackle the cause not the symptoms


“My mission for Sysmax is to roll out a competency management platform to implement a standard benchmark in the housing sector, something I recognise will only be possible through collaboration and sharing of experience, data and joint learning. There is a great opportunity for Contractor Forum members to be part of creating this future, tackling together the challenge of The Golden Thread for total compliance with new competency standards. This may require a cultural shift as well, but the focus is on raising standards and safety using data and certainly not about apportioning blame.

“I love the social housing sector: It’s full of caring, passionate people who are happy to embrace change if it helps raise sector standards. I am hoping that working with other Contractor Forum members, we can use technology to support a competent, efficient and compliant workforce, guaranteed to deliver best practice.”

Sysmax is offering product demonstrations and a free pilot to all Contractor Forum members to see the power of the platform for themselves. Get in touch

Case study

Are You Ready for the Building Safety Regulator? Golden Thread - Competency Compliance

A combined pilot project including five social housing companies and two contractors was recently performance to deliver a scalable solution across the sector. A review of platforms suitable for the challenge was conducted across Europe and Sysmax was chosen as the platform provider.

Key roles (joiners, plumbers, painters etc) and challenges (asbestos, fire safety) were chosen, and the workload was shared between the group. The Sysmax platform was deployed which operates on any device, online and offline and tested by the group’s colleagues. Results were shared among the participants and the solution created is now ready to be scaled across the sector. The system is able to upskill personnel by providing real time training and support on the job and both develop and report on, multi-skilling capabilities.

The product is now available to Contractor Forum members to use so that compliance with The Golden Thread is achieved at scale whilst keeping costs down. This is a substantial step forward for the housing market in dealing with a significant leadership and talent retention challenge. Sharing the burden and benefits across the sector offers substantial performance improvement opportunities.

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