Competent Person Schemes (CPS) have been around for many years. The most well know are BBA,
OFTEC Competent Person Scheme.
To classify as a Competent Person in your chosen line of work in the Home Improvement Industry you must be registered
with a scheme that has been approved by The Department for Communities and Local Government or DCLG which
WAS ESTABLISHED by the Government as far back as 2002 to regulate the Glazing industry.
Its full title is the Competent Person Self-Certification Scheme.
The scheme enables certain businesses that are involved in the building trade to self-certify that the work that they have
undertaken meets the appropriate Building Regulations.
This avoids the need to use an approved inspector or to submit a building notice that are more expensive and time consuming.
Competent Person Schemes also provide training, advice and send out trade related newsletters regarding legislative changes
to their members. There is a lot more to a Competent Person Scheme than just a logo.
Competent Person Schemes also encourage increased training of individuals within the building trade resulting in them
being more “competent”, producing higher standards of workmanship to meet UK Building Regulations.
The industry is doing whatever it can to eradicate “cowboy builders” and Competent Person Schemes
are one of the ways of achieving this.
The consumer would no doubt find it beneficial to use a tradesperson that operates under the Competent Person Schemes
as it will reduce the overall cost of having the work undertaken as there are no building control fees payable.
The various schemes also make it easier for local authorities to administer and enforce Building Regulations across the board.
What sort of trades can register to operate under the Competent Person Schemes?
There are many including the likes of glazing, electrical, plumbing, gas, cavity wall insulation, air conditioning and roofing.
In the case of glazing this would mean a business that is involved in the installation of replacement doors, windows,
roof windows, roof lights and conservatories too.
How do you become a member of one of the schemes?
In order to become a Competent Person you have to be registered with a scheme that has the approval of The Department
for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
In the case of the glazing industry, this could be FENSA, CERTASS or BM TRADA. In fact, 92% of doors and windows
that are installed in the UK are covered by FENSA with in excess of 9 million door and window homeowner certificates having been issued to date.
The application process may differ between the various Competent Person Schemes operators so you should check this with the scheme operator relevant to your trade. However, you will need to prove that you are capable of meeting the Minimum Technical Competencies (MTC).
For example, in the case of FENSA you can apply whether you operate as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. You would submit a written application form providing various information including your bank details as FENSA would wish to undertake a bank reference to establish the business’s stability. You would need to provide an Insurance Backed Guarantee policy, Deposit Protection, Guaranteed or Warranty and have in place suitable public liability insurance and employer’s liability cover (if appropriate). You will require a minimum of two years relevant industry experience as a surveyor or installer. Some of your work will be assessed to make sure that it meets the minimum requirements. Going forward, periodic inspections will be carried out of your workmanship.
You will issue a certificate of compliance to the consumer confirming that the works have been carried out in accordance with Building Regulations and notify the local authority that the work has been done.
The scheme will give the customer confidence in your business and should help you obtain further work.
What are the benefits to the consumer?
By using a tradesperson that is registered under the Competent Person Schemes (CPS) gives the consumer confidence that the
work should be carried out to a satisfactory standard and in accordance with the appropriate Building Regulations.
The consumer can find a list of tradespeople that are registered with the Competent Person Schemes by visiting
inserting their post code or check if a particular tradesperson is registered as such.
It will save the customer time and money to meet Building Regulations as no separate assessment of the work will need to
be carried out by Building Control and the customer will not need to register the installation of, for example,
the doors and/or windows with the local authority themselves. This could save the customer anything up to £250.
The customer is less likely to employ a “cowboy installer” to carry out the work providing peace of mind.
The Insurance Backed Guarantee policy will also provide the customer with peace of mind should they encounter
a problem with the work and discover that the installer has gone out of business during the term of the guarantee that the
installing company had offered. If this were to happen, the insurer would step in to have the problem put right at no cost to
The consumer will receive a Building Regulations certificate to confirm compliance that can, if necessary,
be transferred to the new owner of the property should the property be sold.
So, as can be seen, the Competent Person Schemes (CPS) provides significant benefits to the tradesperson,
the consumer and the building industry as a whole.