About the client

CDER Group provides enforcement and debt recovery services for over 100 UK local and central government clients – processing around 1.5 million cases and recovering £250 million for the taxpayer each year.


“CDER Group were tasked by the Health and Safety Executive to deliver a robust method of undertaking COVID Secure Spot Checks on businesses and commercial premises across the UK.

“It was vital that we had a way of ensuring that each Spot Check was carried out in a consistent manner and that the information and data captured through the COVID Secure Spot Check was accurately recorded, securely stored and then provided back to the HSE.

“Snap’s software and offline interviewer application proved an excellent fit for our needs and the ability for us to easily implement changes to the question set as COVID measures have been consistently amended and refined has been particularly impressive and important”.
John Mason, Director, Road Traffic and Road User Charging, CDER Group

The background

With businesses slowly reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic in July 2020, many Covid-19 restrictions were brought into play in the UK. Social distancing, face masks, one-way systems and table service were some of the things enforced to open up the economy as safely as possible.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the UK government agency responsible for health and safety directives in the UK.

Their task was to find companies with nationwide field forces who could undertake Covid-secure spot checks of businesses and commercial properties (on the HSE’s behalf) to ensure that the appropriate measures had been put into place to reduce transmission of the disease.

If any issues of concern were identified during an inspection, these would be flagged to the HSE.

“As the project relates to on-site checks of commercial businesses, factories, warehouses etc. the Snap Offline Interviewer App was the most suitable option for our needs.”

Key points

There were several goals and challenges associated with the project.

“We needed to ensure that our Spot Check Officers were provided with a simple yet robust way to undertake the Spot Checks to the HSE’s exact specification, capturing the information provided by the duty holder and then provide daily returns to the HSE of all the Spot Checks carried out and data captured.”

Paper surveys were initially considered as there were concerns about not having enough time to implement an electronic data capture system. Fortunately, after a demo of the Snap Offline Interviewer from a member of our team, CDER were happy to proceed.

We created new functionality within our software specifically to meet the expectations of CDER.

Why Snap Surveys offered the solution

A key benefit of working with Snap Surveys is our commitment to data security, with the guarantee of UK-based servers for holding data.

This is essential for all UK Government projects and we are delighted to be able to accommodate this for any government-sponsored projects.

“Throughout the project Nathan and Annette from the Snap team have been incredibly helpful and assisted us every step of the way.”

And as we had already worked with the Health and Safety Executive, we have a track record of getting the job done to a high standard.

“Due to time constraints our initial plan was to use pad and paper and OCR software as it was felt by the project team that we would not be able to implement an electronic data capture system in the timescale we had. I felt that this was not the right way to proceed and had significant risks and volunteered to lead on sourcing a more suitable data capture solution.

“Following a very quick review and selection process we were impressed with the functionality available through Snap Surveys and following discussions with the Snap Survey team felt confident that the Snap Survey product would meet our needs.

“In addition, Snap Survey’s had worked with the Health and Safety Executive in the past and, importantly, provided UK based servers for the storage of data, something which UK Government departments demand.”

Up to 5,000 commercial properties per week

The HSE issues CDER a weekly batch of between 1,000-5,000 commercial properties and businesses that require a COVID secure spot check.

These are uploaded into Snap Surveys software and allocated to the CDER field team who physically visit the premises.

They use the Snap Offline Interviewer app to capture the duty holders response to a specific set of questions and observations such as whether the business has undertaken a COVID 19 risk assessment, who the risk assessment has been shared with, how often surfaces and vehicles are cleaned etc.

The Offline Interview app enables data to be captured in the field without requiring an internet connection, and automatically syncs to our servers once connection is established later.

Working with us

When you choose Snap Surveys, our expertise is at your disposal every step of the way. In this project with CDER, we worked continuously to adapt to new challenges encountered along the way.

“As we were using Snap Surveys for an inspection / audit rather than a traditional survey, there were a number of areas we needed assistance – in particular building the HSE Spot Check in Snap Desktop.

“As the project progressed, we needed additional checking and quality assurance features and worked with Snap to implement seeding functionality that enables us to upload specific information relating the checks that needed to be undertaken – such as the name of the company and the country in which it was based.”

Successfully minimising virus transmissions

Enabling CDER to do their work has ensured businesses across the country do their part to minimise transmissions of the coronavirus.

“The project has been hugely successful in providing the HSE with a robust process of minimising risks of COVID transmission in the workplace and using our services to focus the use of formal inspections by HSE Inspectors to those business that present the most risk.”

The fight continues

The project is ongoing while we still battle the coronavirus pandemic.

In summer 2021, CDER were successful in a tender process for a formal contract with the HSE – meaning CDER and Snap Surveys will continue working together to minimise the spread of Covid-19.