Frequently Asked Questions About SOA Certification
The SOA Certification is the mandatory certification to take part in tenders intended for the execution of works in the public sphere. It is a useful document to prove, during the tender, the company’s suitability to operate in the public sphere with tender amounts exceeding € 150,000.00.
The SOA Certification does not allow participation in any tender, but defines the categories and amounts accessible for each company. Demonstration of requirements is based on affidavits, tax documents and specific certifications. Below are insights and useful information for obtaining the SOA Certification.
The SOA Certification allows you to participate in all the tenders announced for the realization of public biddings. It demonstrates the company’s ability to carry out, directly or in subcontract, works with a starting price of more than 150,000 euros.
To obtain the SOA certification, the applicant company must sign a specific contract and demonstrate, through verifiable documents and declarations, that it is in possession, over a specific period, of certain (technical/economic) requirements established by the Public Procurement Code and from the ANAC guidelines.
As of January 1, 2021, there were 15 SOAs authorized by ANAC to issue SOA qualification certificates. The first Italian SOA both in terms of turnover and number of customers is CQOP SOA Spa.
The SOA certification is valid for five years, with a mandatory three-year review. It is issued following an investigation to verify the documents produced by the applicant company according to current Italian legislation and the guidelines issued by the ANAC (National Anti-Corruption Authority) supervisory authority.
After signing the contract, the SOA verifies the qualification requirements within 90 days, which can be extended, due to additions or documentary deficiencies, for a total period not exceeding another 90 days. After a period not exceeding 180 days from the signing of the contract, the SOA is required to issue or refuse the certification.
The SOA certification for classes higher than II requires the company to have the company Quality System certification in the EA28 sector in compliance with the UNI EN ISO 9001 standard. The certificate is issued by accredited bodies according to the European EA (European cooperation for Accreditation).
To obtain the SOA certification, a Permanent Consortium must be composed of at least 3 companies in possession of the SOA certification and specific requirements. The qualification of the consortium takes place through mathematical formulas that add up the categories and rankings owned by the individual member companies.
The three-year verification contract must be stipulated with the SOA that issued the valid certification. The review by the SOA must be completed within 45 days of signing the contract, except for any suspension of the procedure to allow further assessments and verifications within a period not exceeding another 45 days.
The figure of the Technical Director is necessary and indispensable in order to obtain the SOA Certification and can be identified in one or more people. The Technical Director must be in possession of a suitable educational qualification or professional experience allowed for the classes lower than IV. The designated persons cannot hold a similar position in other companies.
Article 10-bis of DL 21/2022 stipulates that companies executing works with an amount exceeding EUR 516,000 and related to the 110% incentives must obtain SOA Certification.
From 1 January until 30 June 2023, companies will have to prove that they have a qualification contract signed with one of the SOAs authorised in Italy.
At the end of the transitional phase, as of 1 July 2023, for the purposes of the recognition of the tax incentives, the execution of the works will be entrusted exclusively to companies in possession, at the time the contract is signed, of the SOA Certificate.
As of 1 April 2023, the new Procurement Code is expected to come into force. The new Code provides for two important principles:
- the “principle of result”, understood as the primary public interest of the Code itself, which concerns the awarding of the contract and its execution with the utmost timeliness and the best relationship between quality and price in compliance with the principles of legality, transparency and competition;
- the ‘principle of trust’ in the legitimate, transparent and correct action of the public administration, its officials and economic operators.
In order to facilitate companies, the inclusion of the price revision clause will be envisaged in the event of a variation in cost exceeding the threshold of 5% of the cost of the work, with the recognition in favour of the company of 80% of the higher cost.
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