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FENSA announces sanctions for non-compliance

FENSA has received confirmation from UKAS* that it has met the Conditions of Authorisation required by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG)  the rules under which FENSA operates. This means that it has been accepted that a successfully transitioned FENSA Certified installation company will have met all the competency requirements of Transition  including for staff competence.

 

The FENSA certification approach requires the introduction of a sanctions policy that will be levelled at those registered businesses that do not complete a Transition Inspection by the deadline of 6 June 2014.

 

These are the details:

 

A non-transitioned registered business will find its FENSA account frozen from 9 June (and will be informed of this at the point of notification on the FENSA website). To unfreeze the account, the installer will need to contact FENSA via the dedicated Transition Helpline or Email (020 7397 7208 / transitions@fensa.org.uk).

 

These businesses will be required to make a commitment to undertake a Transition Inspection before the 1st September 2014. Immediately they make that commitment the FENSA account will be unfrozen. The FENSA inspections body (the BBA) will then be in contact to arrange this Transition Inspection.

 

Registered Businesses with frozen FENSA accounts will be prevented from registering notifiable installations and will no longer have the company listing publicly available on the FENSA website.

 

From the 1st September 2014, where Non-Transitioned registered businesses fail to follow these procedures and fail to inform FENSA of a notifiable installation for a Transition Inspection, the following additional sanctions will apply. The FENSA account will be frozen until a Transition Inspection has been successfully undertaken and failure to complete a Transition Inspection by the 31st December 2014 may result in the registration being suspended and the issuing of a 28-day notice of registration removal.

 

The position regarding Minimum Technical Competencies (MTCs) is clarified as follows.

 

Up to 31 May 2015 a FENSA registered company is required to employ operatives (installers and surveyors) who are deemed competent, or are adequately supervised by competent colleagues, to ensure that a job complies with Building Regulations and is safely completed. Demonstration of competence during this period could be by the holding of an industry recognised competency card and/or qualification.

 

The FENSA registered business will need to record that its staff comply by maintaining a register of approved surveyors and installers. This Staff Competency Register will be available on the FENSA website.

 

After 31 May 2015 all relevant installers, surveyors and installer/surveyors will need to prove competency  by holding a recognised card or relevant qualification.

 

Chris Mayne, FENSA managing director commented: FENSA, and the other glazing CPSs, operate under 21 Conditions of Authorisation set down by the government (DCLG). FENSA is assessed against these Conditions by UKAS. Condition 9, which all CPSs have to meet, requires us to assess registered businesses on technical competency against national occupational standards under MTC. Mayne adds: This means that our registered businesses that have transitioned to Certified Installer will be deemed compliant.

 

To help the industry achieve this FENSA will be launching a Staff Competency Register in the summer (available online to companies that have Transitioned) for companies to record the status of their employees and sub-contractors. Compliance will be assessed by BBA during its usual inspections.

 

However, the competency requirements move forward, post 31 May 2015, to focus on the individual installers and surveyors. All operatives who work for self-certifying installation companies will need to hold a competency card (like the FENSA MTC Card) or relevant qualifications. They will need to demonstrate that this is the case.

 

There will be sanctions in place that will apply to companies that do not follow this procedure  and they will include inspections, re-inspections, suspensions and potential cancellation of FENSA registration.

 

The employment of competent operatives by self-certifying installation businesses is a requirement of all glazing Competence Person Schemes. If a company wishes to continue self-certifying it will need to state that it has a competent workforce. The easiest route to achieve this is by getting its operatives registered for the FENSA MTC Card  and selecting either the industry experience or qualifications route  http://www.fensa.org.uk.

 

*UK Accreditation Service (UKAS)  is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess against agreed standards for organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection & calibration services.

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What to check before appointing an installer

Check that you use a FENSA Approved Installer but also check the following:

  • Ask family and friends who have used installers about their satisfaction and whether they got a FENSA certificate.
  • Check the installer's references by talking to their previous customers.
  • Get at least three quotes and check you are being quoted like for like.
  • Cheapest is not always best and good contractors are always in demand.
  • Get quotes, timeframes and the fact that you will get a FENSA certificate all in writing. A proper written contract with an agreed completion date will help prevent confusion later on
  • Check the warranty on the installer's work and ensure they have enough insurance to cover their warranty. Domestic glazing installers that are registered with a competent person scheme like FENSA are legally obliged to provide warranty insurance to cover your installation should the company cease to trade within the life of the warranty.
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