Our 10 Key Steps to the Assessment Process

Time from AssessmentAction by the Prime ContractorComments 
AnyStep 1: Pre-Assessment Activity & Commitment to AssessmentPre-recorded webinars and other support materials are available on the Merlin Website:
The Prime Contractor undertakes pre-assessment activities.
No later than 12 weeksStep 2: Submit a Booking FormOnce the Booking Form has been submitted, the Prime Contractor will be allocated a Merlin Lead Assessor.
When ready to begin the assessment process, the Prime Contractor submits their booking form to Assessment Services and the planning of the assessment commences.NB: Assessment Services Cancellation Terms & Conditions can be found at:
No later than 9 weeksStep 3: Engage & Inform Supply Chain PartnersIt is vital that this information is supplied on time and on the excel spreadsheet provided and includes an up to date email address of an appropriate senior manager within each supply chain organisation.
The Prime Contractor informs all their past, present and potential Supply Chain Partners that their Merlin Assessment is being planned and provides Assessment Services with their email and other contact details.Assessment Services will use this information to send each organisation a confidential Merlin Standard Online Survey.
If any organisation does not wish to participate they need to notify the Prime Contractor and Assessment Services in writing.
6 weeksStep 4: Complete and Submit the Self-Assessment QuestionnaireThis can be started and changes made at any time. However, six weeks prior to the start of the on-site evidence gathering the SAQ is Ôsubmitted for approvalÕ after which no changes can be made.
The Prime Contractor reviews their current practices in relation to the Standard, populates and submits a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ).
Ongoing to up to 2 weeksStep 5: Detailed Assessment PlanningThe Assessment Teams evidence gathering schedule / timetable needs to have been agreed and finalised at least 2 weeks before the start of the on-site evidence gathering activity.
The Prime Contractor will work with their Merlin Lead Assessor to plan the evidence gathering activity and prepare the assessment timetable.
ONSITE TAKES PLACEStep 6: Evidence Gathering
The Merlin Assessment Team gathers evidence through interviews and documentation review.It is vital that if changes are made to the evidence-gathering schedule the Merlin Lead Assessor is notified in writing.
Last Onsite DayStep 7: Assessment DecisionLed by the Merlin Lead Assessor, oral feedback will be provided by the Assessment Team on the last day of the assessment.
The Merlin Assessment Team reviews the evidence presented and scores each criteria accordingly.The decision is subject to moderation and quality assurance so no formal publication of the outcome should be made until the written report has been finalised and shared.
All Merlin Assessment Reports are published on the Merlin Website.
OngoingStep 8: Ongoing ImprovementIt is recommended that following the receipt of the final report Prime Contractors review the feedback given and consider the areas for improvement and more importantly, any areas for significant development, and either include any actions within their current continuous improvement plans or create a plan to help and support continued success.
The Prime Contractor develops a continuous improvement plan based on the feedback received both orally and in writing.
OngoingStep 9: Ongoing Self-ReviewMerlin Accredited Prime Contractors are required to notify Assessment Services of any changes within their organisation which might impact on the accreditation.
The Prime Contractor regularly reviews their practices against the requirements of the Merlin Standard and their continuous improvement plan.Assessment Services have a duty to maintain the integrity of the Standard and reserve the right to withdraw accreditation under certain circumstances.
24 monthsStep 10: 2 Year ReviewMerlin assessments follow a 2-year Ôassessment cycleÕ.
To maintain ongoing Accreditation, the Prime Contractor undertakes a review every two years.As such a review, will be due 24 months from the last onsite day of the last assessment.

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