Certass Backs Trustmark’s Campaign to Boost Recovery

Certass is backing the new ‘Work Safe. Safe Work’ campaign launched by TrustMark, to help boost the recovery of the construction and home improvement sector.

Supported by the Construction Leadership Council, the ‘Work Safe. Safe Work’ goal is for homeowners and tradespeople to work together to ensure that everyone is kept safe whilst any works are being undertaken in the home.

Chairman at Certass, Jon Vanstone says: “As lockdown restrictions ease, more homeowners are having worked carried out at home and this is vital for the recovery of our sector. ‘Work Safe. Safe Work’ is a great campaign that will bring real clarity and confidence to homeowners who are ready to have home improvements carried out.”

TrustMark is the Government-endorsed consumer protection scheme and this campaign has been developed in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Jon continues: “Certass is a TrustMark Scheme operator, giving members a rapid route to membership. It is a strong brand for businesses to be associated with, as it is the only government-endorsed quality mark for tradespeople and offers real, robust protection for consumers. That’s why membership is so important to Certass.

“All of the ‘Work Safe. Safe Work’ collateral is free to download for all installers. There is a video, website and social media content available as well as a leaflet outlining the responsibilities for both parties, when work is carried out.

“It’s good to see the number of similarities between the ‘Work Safe. Safe Work’ campaign and the Certass Trade Association’s ‘Working Safely in your Home’ consumer guide, which we have had great feedback on from our members. Now they have extra resources to help promote their safe working practices, so that their customers can have real confidence in their installer’s commitment to keeping their family safe.”

If you want to read more here’s our PDF Guide

Open Letter from Jon Vanstone to Alok Sharma Re: Green Homes Grant Scheme

9th July 2020

Dear Mr Sharma,

Including Glazing installations as Primary Measure for Green Homes Grant Scheme

I am writing to you as Chair of Certass Trade Association, the leading representative body of thousands of local glazing installers throughout the UK.

The recent announcement on 8th July has, unfortunately, had the unintentional consequence of damaging the glazing industry as it gives false hope to consumers of being able to acquire glazing work in September through a funded programme.

This has already led to a huge number of job cancellations as consumers wait for Government updates to see if they are eligible for the support. Before the announcement, the glazing industry was bouncing back successfully, both with installations that had been postponed during lockdown and new business.

I would like to ask for immediate clarity on the Green Homes Grant Scheme as regards the position of glazing. I suggest that the most appropriate position is to include glazing as a primary measure for the scheme and to enable the backdating of funds to consumers with immediate effect.

This would result in immediately unlocking the industry-wide problem created by the recent government announcement, create a huge positive in the energy profile of housing stock in the UK and deliver massive benefits in consumer spending for the economy.

Glazing replacement does not deliver the highest level of impact on CO2 emissions but has huge advantages in that it is available to any property in the UK and has an industry active infrastructure level that enables immediate delivery through established SMEs and local micro businesses. Replacement windows and doors also provide significant improvement benefits to homeowners and occupiers.

The success of previous grant initiatives for wall insulation means that many of the remaining uninsulated homes fall into the harder to treat category. Therefore, the most likely primary measure pathway for the fund, as currently detailed, is the installation of External Wall Insulation (EWI).

There are currently not enough trained people to survey, co-ordinate or install EWI to the required standards, and given the housing stock in the UK, the Government is unlikely to achieve its goals through insulation alone.

In comparison, the glazing industry already has the infrastructure in place that can deliver an immediate positive impact. Glazing presents an opportunity to deliver on Government’s energy promise, support an industry that will protect existing and create new jobs and bolster the UK economy. It’s also pertinent to point out that the vast majority of windows and doors are manufactured in UK factories, strengthening jobs further up the supply chain.

The impact of the 2013 Green Deal suggests that the method of focusing on the potential gains offered by the existing primary measures is unlikely to succeed in securing and creating long-term jobs or improving the housing stock.

Glazing has considerable advantages to the UK Government if enabled as a primary method for your Green Homes Grant Scheme, in that the infrastructure is already there in the market at a local level to deliver the benefits of improved energy efficiency, comfort and home value.

Such a programme could revitalise our sector whilst also helping Government deliver on its promises. The glazing industry is dominated by SME businesses, who whilst reasonably supported by Government intervention during COVID-19, are now in a position of considerable instability. Though for many, the bounce back has been relatively successful, there is uncertainty as to how long this success will last and the impact of yesterday’s announcement is stalling homeowners and will affect businesses and jobs.

Time is of the essence for the glazing industry due to the unintended handbrake applied by recent Government announcements. However, glazing can be your vehicle for achieving your aims if September funding can include glazing as a primary measure and be backdated to July so UK consumers will continue to upgrade their homes.

In addition, the coverage on the Martin Lewis Money Show this evening during which he told consumers to hold off buying double glazing until September has basically put the entire industry on hold as it has been picked up across UK media.

If the current position is not rectified urgently, the damage to the sector will be considerable as regards job losses and company closures, due to the lack of financial coverage for businesses that COVID-19 caused and the impact from the announcements and media coverage this week.

Yours faithfully,

Jon Vanstone

Chair, Certass Trade Association

COVID Secure Procedures Pack Launched for Certass Members

Certass Trade Association has launched the COVID Secure Procedures Pack for installers. Endorsed by the Trade Association Forum (TAF), which is supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the pack has been developed with Government to give installers the confidence to install safely in occupied homes as lockdown is lifted.

Jon Vanstone, Chair at Certass Trade Association, says: “We are going to be living and working with this virus in the UK for at least the next 12 months. Through my participation in Government steering groups, it was clear that the delivery of advice for installers needed to be driven by industry. As the only glazing representative in these discussions, responsibility fell to Certass Trade Association.”

Available to all Certass members, the document outlines the best practice procedures for how installers can keep their teams and customers safe as the industry can return to installing non-essential windows and doors in occupied homes.

The Certass TA COVID Secure Procedures Pack includes a full method statement for working safely in the home, with specific advice for surveyors and installers, remote selling and showroom guidance, self-assessment declaration forms for both installation teams and homeowners to complete before work commences and final inspection guidance. There is also a quick reference guide for installers and an information leaflet to give to homeowners. A complete homeowner guide for members to use in their marketing will follow next week.

Jon adds: “The pack is designed to help installers maintain social distancing, keep contact with homeowners to a minimum and prove that they have taken necessary steps to reduce risk for all parties.

“We have stayed in close contact with installers and trade fabricators during the lockdown period and the overriding request was for clear, practical help and information that will help them get their business back to work. This is what we have delivered.”

Members can access the pack via the Certass members area.

Open Letter from our Chairman

29 April 2020

Re: Government Updates

Dear all,

I know statements about ‘talking to Government’ can be met with scepticism from the industry. It’s not just about listening to what Government has to say, but also feeding back what we, as an industry are thinking. Over the last few days, I feel good progress has been made and there are results that are worth reporting.

This week I was invited to the ‘Working in People’s Homes (tradespersons)’ Group by Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, where I have been able to voice concerns from the glazing industry directly to him.

This included the fact that a lot of advice given is only relevant to large businesses, and not the SMEs that make up 95 percent of our industry. We also discussed how we can make guidance easier to understand by using simplified terms, graphic content and pointed out the fact that any liability is a two-way street between installers and consumers.

Through other discussions with Government ministers, we have now gained real clarity on the difference between ‘construction’ and ‘tradespeople working in people’s homes’ which is outlined on gov.uk. Note the wording in this statement – ‘essential repairs and maintenance’ – this is in line with the advice that Certass has given to members, to protect themselves and their customers.

We have tabled further specific questions to Government so we can advise installers who are still working as to what is acceptable during lockdown and most importantly, we are working with Government on guidelines we can make available to installers as we start to return to work.

When we come out of lockdown, life is likely to be disrupted for a long period of time and as a Nation, we are going to need to adapt to this ‘new normal’. In preparation for members to return to installing windows and doors, a pack of practical advice has been created to support members to protect themselves and their customers. This will be checked by Government before release, so installers can rely on the best practice guidance we give.

We don’t expect our members to interpret what Government is saying, that’s our job and a key part of the Certass Trade Association pledge to represent the local tradesperson’s view at Government level. The real value is being proven at the moment, as this feedback offered from industry is driving action and Government guidance.

Yours faithfully,

Jon Vanstone

Chair, Certass Trade Association

Direct Line to Government

Certass Trade Association is supporting members through the COVID-19 situation via its new Certass Members Forum on Facebook. Set up to give members the latest advice and information on how any Government announcements affect them, it is proving popular as a place for discussion between installers, as well as giving members a direct line to Government via its Chair, Jon Vanstone.

Jon explains: “A forum like this is the most practical way to get immediate information to our members. And with the ever-changing situation at the moment, that is crucial. Updates I receive daily from Government can be posted in real-time and it gives members the opportunity to ask myself and the Certass team questions direct.

“It also means that I can feedback our industry’s concerns to Government, which is essential for their decision making.

“The forum is a busy hub of activity and we would encourage all members to join so they can receive the latest updates as they happen. We are expecting more announcements over the coming days in terms of how the lockdown rules will affect installation companies going forward. We have already issued guides on the self-employment income support scheme and practical guidance for employers.

“Any questions we can’t answer straight away are asked of Government direct, so that we have as much clarity as possible for members during this difficult time.

“For any trade association at the moment, the focus should be on delivering good, clear information to keep its members and their customers safe. This means avoiding any misinterpretation of Government guidance which could put installers and homeowners at risk.

“Currently, we are seeking clarification between ‘construction’ workers and installers carrying out home improvements – they are very different working environments and as such, the guidance should be very different too.

“To ensure that members are setting the agenda, we’re running a poll every week to ask members what they need from us and the Certass team is available to answer questions direct.”

Certass members can click here to join the group.

Client Focus: Belonging to Certass is never a PANE for this sash window manufacturer and installer…

We always love hearing how our members are reaping the benefits of the Certass brand.  This London based sash window company tells us how their business has flourished since joining the Certass family fold…

Door Installation By Wandsworth Sash Windows

Having previously been members of another government authorised scheme for many years, we decided to switch our company, Wandsworth Sash Windows over to Certass a few years ago.  We officially became members of the Certass Competent Person Scheme (CPS) in August 2017.  This essentially means that Certass have inspected our team of installers and surveyors to ensure they are competent in their work and have certified that our team meet the high standards held by Certass.

Why did we choose Certass?

When it comes to finding the right tradesperson for a project, whether commercial or domestic, trust is king and being recognised by a well-known and respected trade body is a fantastic endorsement and privilege.  It helps us show our customers that our company and its products, services and standards are held in high regard.  Customers can also feel rest assured that the work we complete for them will be officially certified, a must-have requirement if they are planning to sell their property at some point in the future.

Window Installation By Door Installation By Wandsworth Sash Windows

We specifically chose to switch to Certass due to their efficiency in issuing customer certificates, something that the previous scheme we belonged to was not very quick at doing.  It is often the case that customers lose their original certificates and only realise they need it when they are selling their property, at which point they need it ASAP.  If certificates are slow at being issued it causes numerous calls from customers chasing them up that we waste precious time contending with.  Certass are also excellent at helping customers with queries after installation which in this day and age is priceless for businesses.

The Certass logo is on all of our letterheads, published materials and website which immediately puts customers at ease when they receive a quote from us through the post, read one of our brochures or browse our company online. It’s not just customers that are assured by the Certass brand either, architects and other trades that have dealt with Certass previously and found them helpful are assured by our certification and are therefore confident when recommending us to their clients.

Window Installation By Door Installation By Wandsworth Sash Windows Van

Wandsworth Sash Windows are now working towards becoming registered members of the Certass CQ-Assured Workmanship Scheme, as well as working towards being certified under the Certass Thermal Ratings Register (TRR) as a fabricator.

 

Author:  Nathan Smith, Director
Wandsworth Sash Windows, London

 

How to supercharge your business with Certass’ Competent Person Scheme

Certass Competent Person Scheme

Being a member of a Competent Person Scheme (CPS) is essential for every sensible installer. Self-certifying installations becomes part and parcel of everyday working life, and Competent Person Schemes help you to get the job done.

So, we want to ask you…

What do you get from your Competent Person Scheme?

For many, it serves its purpose. It’s a membership that is required to help you function as a quality, reliable installer. You pay the monthly fees for a simple, straightforward membership, and that’s where the service stops.

At Certass, we take a different approach to CPS. Ours is designed by tradespeople, for tradespeople, offering you more than just a simple membership.

With Certass you get…

A whole package of benefits for your installation company – all for free.

We make sure that you get more out of your Competent Person Scheme membership, so you receive the very best scheme, while receiving a whole host of extras.

These benefits include:

  • Free listing on our ‘Find an Installer’ search for homeowners
  • Free consumer ratings service
  • Free Certass Trade Association membership
  • Free unique company profile page
  • Free personalised Certass and Certass TA logos
  • Free Joblogic software package licence
  • Free legal, tax, HR and health & safety advice
  • Free technical and installation advice

We have the tools for installers

With a complete package of free benefits, our CPS gives you the tools you need to install with confidence and grow your business.

Membership to the Certass Trade Association

The Certass Trade Association acts as your voice in the industry and is there to provide you with added help, advice and guidance as an installer.

With your free membership, you will receive free access to legal, tax, HR and health & safety advice through the business support package, along with up-to-date industry information, training and technical support.

A digital toolkit

We have a toolkit of free, practical online services designed to help you create a professional online presence without any hassle. Together, these tools form part of our Digital Support Package and include a unique company profile page, option to receive customer ratings & reviews and personalised Certass and Certass TA logos.

We’ve also teamed up with Joblogic to help your business to operate digitally, with a free software package licence. It’s a full-service project management system that helps to make receiving payments from your customers even easier.

Member’s IT System

To make self-certifying your installations easier, you can register each job on our Member’s IT System when you’re out and about. It lets you see all your information at once as well as the option to bulk-upload your jobs from your own database.

Multi-trade certification

We know that for many installers, you need certification that covers more than just windows and doors.

Lots of installers cover installation work across multiple trades, such as fitting conservatories and roofline. For this, we have the CQ-Assured Scheme that’s designed to give your customers the confidence when choosing you to complete jobs in these areas.

This scheme includes added benefits including free TrustMark membership, low-cost public-liability & business insurance, and access to finance from one of the UK’s leading home improvement finance providers.

Power up your business with Certass now

We’re coming to the time of year when your Competent Person Scheme needs renewing. We know just how easy it is to let your CPS auto-renew, however you could be missing out on a load of extra benefits, along with a toolkit of support that could supercharge your business.

We can help you power up your business and transfer your existing CPS, fast. It’s super simple to switch to Certass.

The process begins with completing a simple online form, and once we receive the paperwork, you will be able to register your installations with us in as little as 48 hours. Then, completed jobs are certified as soon as your on-site audit is signed off.

Our Certass Competent Person Scheme membership costs just £24.95 plus VAT per month, with no joining fees, and our job registrations start from just £1.50 plus VAT too.

If you would like to supercharge your business and switch to our Competent Person Scheme, get in touch with us!

You can contact our friendly, helpful team for new business enquiries by calling 01292 292 095 or emailing [email protected].

Supercharge Your Business with Certass

More Payment Options For Homeowners With CERTASS Software

Common sense certification body, Certass, has launched an exclusive new software package for members so they can offer more payment options to homeowners.

The complete, easy quote, project management system can be used by Certass installers to price up jobs and send detailed quotations to homeowners. On this quote, customers will be shown options for payment that include a finance option for homeowners. It’s designed to make quoting and getting paid even easier for installation companies.

Jon Vanstone, Chair at Certass Ltd & Certass Trade Association explains: “From talking to our members, we knew that even though offering finance is a big benefit for many installers, there were a lot of barriers and red tape when they tried to provide finance options for homeowners.

“This system gives installers an easy, straightforward way for customers to be able to choose how they pay, whether that be by cash, card or finance.  It reduces regulatory burden as installers will not be acting as credit brokers. The finance offers are generated within the system once the appropriate criteria is met. Installers don’t need to get involved with paperwork or apply or pay for a consumer credit license; this is all covered within the software package.”

Through the platform, Certass members can present professional quotes, store and manage jobs and keep on top of paperwork – an extra free benefit which saves time and keeps everything organised. It also helps members to digitise their business and deliver a true end to end service for homeowners.

Jon adds: “To get paid, Certass members win the job, fit the products to the high standards that homeowners expect from our members and get consumer sign-off.”

More than 3,000 homeowners really rate Certass Installers

Expert certification body, Certass, has received outstanding feedback for members with its new online rating system. Since launching in November, there have been more than 3000 reviews, and the rate is increasing by the minute.

Designed to bring even more digital support to Certass members, the free ‘Rate Your Installer’ service provides consumers the chance to leave honest reviews about Certass members online.

The system acts as a platform where members can receive genuine feedback from their customers on the work that they have completed. Thousands of homeowners visit the Certass website searching for information on installers or leaving reviews.

Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass says: “Our online rating system is proving really popular amongst homeowners. Within hours of its launch, we had dozens of ratings from consumers who were leaving such positive feedback about our members.

“There are lots of popular online rating websites that allow anyone to leave feedback, which can often lead to unfair reviews. The Certass ‘Rate Your Installer’ service only permits reviews on jobs which have been finished and registered with Certass.”

All Certass members can add a company bio and have the option to opt-in to the free online rating system. Members are scored by their customers on a range of attributes, including their service, tidiness, reliability & timekeeping, workmanship standards and product suitability. Consumers can leave any additional comments too, which are great for members to use on their own website, social media profiles and marketing resources.

Jason adds: “It’s a valuable, free way for installers to show consumers what a great job that they do. The service builds on our free digital support package for members which helps them to build a professional online presence.”

Certass CQ-Scotland: the certification scheme designed for Scottish installers

Certass CQ-Scotland: the certification scheme designed for Scottish installers

Across the home improvement market, there has been a real shift towards quality. A revival of craftsmanship and authenticity has taken centre stage and homeowners place real value in skilled and trusted tradespeople who they know they can rely on to complete work on their homes.

This is matched with building work regulations and Codes of Practice that have been designed to set the standard for all workmanship, such as glazing, roofing, joinery and insulation.

Building Standards in Scotland

In Scotland, building work that you carry out must meet building standards, ensuring that the properties you work on are safe, structurally sound, energy efficient and sustainable – to name a few. These essentials should always be met for building repair, maintenance and improvement work across Scotland.

While these standards must be conformed to, there’s a real emphasis on competent workmanship too. Focusing on ensuring that you, as a tradesperson, have the right skills and quality products to do a great job. Homeowners look for people who are competent to complete work on their home. We know this because we have hundreds of homeowners each month who search our website looking for information on how to find a competent installer.

CQ-Scotland is a workmanship certification scheme that certifies your home improvements and building work. It is a scheme designed with installers and builders in mind. It helps to assure your customers that industry standards have been met and your skills have been assessed. Giving homeowners added peace of mind, along with the confidence that the job will be done right.

CQ-Assured, giving your customers the confidence in what you do

The CQ-Scotland Scheme is a quality mark for your windows, doors and home improvements work. It’s an all-encompassing certification scheme that can cover your workmanship for up to 13 different building trades, including window and door replacements, to constructing conservatories and extensions, tiling and solid roof replacements.

CQ-Scotland helps you to prove to homeowners in Scotland that your workmanship meets industry standards, and as a Certass CQ member, your work is backed by TrustMark’s 3 cornerstones of quality, representing good trading practices, customer service and technical competence.

We complete an initial contractor assessment, an assessment of supervisors and carry out ongoing on-site assessments, so that you can self-certify that your workmanship meets and exceeds building standards and codes of practice too.

The Certass Toolkit

CQ-Scotland is designed to be as accessible and affordable as possible. Membership costs start at £24.95 per month + VAT, with extra scopes costing £5 each, and there is access to a toolkit of advantages to help you show your competency to homeowners.

Digital Support Package

As a Certass member, you get free digital support. This includes your own member profile on our consumer online directory. This works as a truly effective way to help homeowners search for certified installers. The profile gives your company details, an online bio and the chance for your customers to leave you ratings and reviews. You will also receive a unique logo with your membership numbers displayed.

Common sense certification

The CQ-Scotland Scheme allows you to self-certify that your work meets workmanship standards, and you will be issued with a Certificate of Conformity (COC). This helps to set you apart from competition and adds real value to your home improvements work, offering extra peace of mind for your customers.

Workmanship warranty

With each installation you log under the scheme, and once your Certificate of Conformity has been issued, we pass the data over to your approved insurance provider, where you will receive a minimum 2-year insurance backed workmanship warranty. This gives your customer protection on the work you complete – a great benefit to offer homeowners.

Dispute resolution

We know that things sometimes do go wrong, even for the best contractors. That’s why we provide free access to an alternative dispute resolution service, to provide you with reassurance in the rare instances where you may need extra support.

Becoming a Certass CQ-Scotland member

It’s really simple to become a member of the CQ-Assured Scheme in Scotland. You can register on our website via our online registration form, or you can call Simon, our CQ-Assured whiz, on 07977 430 438.

Get online installer support with the Certass Digital Support Package

As a member of Certass, we pledge to offer you all the installer support and practical solutions to promote your business. That’s why we have created our Digital Support Package. A complete toolkit of free, practical online tools that will help make a real difference. And, if your business is not already online, we want to help you make the jump even easier.

The Digital Support Package is designed to help you create a professional online presence, easily. It comprises of an online bio, a customer ratings service and unique dynamic logos, all helping you to give your customers the confidence to choose you.

We’ve outlined the digital support you get as a Certass member below:

A unique online profile

Your free, online bio is a huge part of our online installer support and can generate more enquiries for you. As a Certass member, you will be given a profile on our consumer online directory. This allows consumers to search for their local Certass member, find your business and learn more about your company.

This is perfect if you don’t already have a website. It creates an online presence for you, that your customers can visit to get your contact information easily and see the details of your Certass membership. The profile contains:

✓ Address and contact details

✓ Company bio

✓ Links to website and social media

✓ Upload photos

✓ Member ratings

Your online profile also contains information on your Certass membership, including your unique Certass number and the status of your membership, so that homeowners can see that you are still registered with us.

If you’ve not seen our online consumer directory before, have a browse here.

Get leads

The Certass online directory is a great lead generation tool that’s promoted to homeowners across the country. It effectively helps you get leads from prospective customers by acting as a reliable and trusted directory with a simple-to-use search function.

Homeowners can easily find local installers by searching a postcode, or they can find out more information on your business by searching your company name or unique Certass number.

Dynamic Certass logos

To accompany our installer support, we provide you with unique, personalised dynamic logos that confirm your Certass and Certass Trade Association membership.

The logos display your membership details and unique Certass member number, proving your certifications while giving your customers an added layer of confidence when choosing you for their home improvements.

Your dynamic Certass logo is yours to use however you like. We suggest displaying it on your website, on your social media pages, your email footer and on your quotes.

Member ratings system

Our member ratings system acts as a platform where you can receive genuine, verified feedback from your customers on work that you have completed.

Lots of popular online rating websites allow anyone to leave feedback, which can lead to unfair and false reviews. They can also be costly for small businesses.

Our system works by allowing your customers to leave feedback upon completion and registration of an installation. All you need to do is provide your customer’s email address when you log any work with us under your Certass certification scheme.

Your customer will then be emailed a ratings form to complete prior to receiving their Certass Compliance Certificate. You will be scored by your customers on service, reliability & timekeeping, tidiness, workmanship standards and product suitability. If a customer email address is supplied, every job registered with us is eligible to leave feedback.

Your ratings will then be displayed on your online profile and you will receive a notification when you have new review, along with any additional comments, so that you can use your ratings across social media platforms, your website and any other marketing resources. We also share your rating comments with you on our social media pages.

To find out more information about our Digital Support Package, and the other great benefits of being a Certass member, get in touch with us via email at [email protected], or click here for our contact details.

Jon Vanstone to lead the debate at FIT Show

Jon Vanstone from Certass, speaking at the Everglade Conference

Jon Vanstone has been announced as the compère for the FIT Theatre on day two of FIT Show 2019, as well as delivering a seminar on competency in the glazing industry.

As Chair of Certass Ltd, Certass Trade Association, Competent Persons Forum (CPF), Trade Association Forum (TAF) and Delivery Director of RoofCERT, Jon is in a unique position and has an overview of the general construction industry, as well as the glazing sector.

Jon will be hosting the Fit Theatre for the entire day on Wednesday 22 May and his seminar session ‘Building Competence: What the glazing world can learn from other areas of construction will be delivered on Wednesday 22 May at 2.15pm, ahead of Skills Thursday.

Jon explains: “It’s a privilege to be asked to lead the debate for a day at FIT Show 2019, especially as the conversation around skills and competency is finally being noticed in the industry.

“At my seminar, I’ll be talking about the ways in which sectors such as roofing are developing a skilled workforce and a better relationship with consumers to enhance perception as a trusted trade. It’s a great talking point for the glazing industry, as we can learn a lot from the successes in other sectors.”

Jon will also feature on the seminar programme as part of a panel debate on how the industry works collaboratively to change perceptions on Thursday 21 May. When Jon isn’t on stage, visitors can find him on the Certass Stand D29 in Hall 20, near the FIT Theatre.

Certass Digital Support Package Helps Installers get Online

Delivering on its promise for tangible member benefits, Certass has launched its Digital Support Package for members to help them go digital, get ratings from their customers and prove their professionalism.

Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass explains: “Members have been asking us to help them promote their businesses and as we have pledged to support them with practical business tools, it made sense to create a package that could help make a real difference.

“More than 70 percent of local installers still don’t have a website, but Certass members can now create their free member profile on certass.co.uk. They can upload images, create a company bio and link to their social media pages from here, so when homeowners search for a glazing installer, it’s easy for them to find out more about them.

“It also shows the status of their Certass membership, so homeowners can check that they are still registered with us. For extra peace of mind, we’ve added a ratings section too. Installers can give their customers a link, so they can get genuine, helpful ratings.”

Through the new Certass member ratings system, installers are scored by their customers on service, reliability & timekeeping, tidiness, workmanship standards and product suitability. The ratings are then displayed on each member profile. Installers receive a notification when a review has been completed, along with any additional comments so they can be used on social media and marketing resources.

Jason adds: “As an extra, every Certass member now has a personalised, dynamic Certass and Certass Trade Association member logo featuring their member number, proving their membership to homeowners. They can display this on their website, social media pages or add it as a footer to their email quotes.”

Certass members can create their free profile through the members area online.

Introducing Dynamic Certass Logos

a sample of the Certass dynamic logo

Both Certass and the Certass Trade Association pledge to be the trusted ally of quality installer members. That’s why we have dynamic logos. Protecting members, the wider industry and homeowners alike.

So often we hear of rogue traders and companies misusing the Certass logo to endorse that their product or service is certified, when in fact they aren’t members of any certification body. This not only has consequences to end users and homeowners, but also for our industry, damaging the reputations of those who work so hard to establish trusted businesses.

We will provide you with a dynamic logo that confirms that you are a Certass member and displays your membership number.

What is a Dynamic Logo?

A dynamic logo is a new version of our traditional logo that is designed especially for our members.

It has your unique membership number and specifies whether you are a certified installer, supplier or trade association member. Dynamic logos are also available for our key partners, service providers and affiliates.

Key Partners

Key partners are companies who work closely with Certass to cross promote each other and may offer special rates to Certass members.

Service Providers

Service providers are companies that offer Certass endorsed services to our industry. We check these companies and they often offer special rates to our members.

Affiliates

Certass affiliates are companies that can offer services to our members that we deem of interest to  members and the industry. These are companies of good standing but aren’t directly endorsed.

Why it’s Important for Members to Have a Dynamic Logo

It’s so important for all our members to use their new dynamic logo to endorse their certifications and to verify membership to customers.

Your dynamic logo is personal to you, and helps your customers and homeowners ensure that you are fully certified, quality assured and have the workmanship to carry out the job.

Dynamic logos can be downloaded from your Certass members area and they are ready to use straight away across your websites, marketing materials, stationary and vans.

We recommend that all our members switch from using the old Certass logo to their new dynamic logo as soon as possible.

How Certass Members Become Quality Assured

We’re committed to providing help and support to our members, so that they can be the best trader they can be.

Each member who is registered to our CQ Assured scheme is audited by our team. This checks qualifications, records and compliance logs are up to date along with the quality of their workmanship.

The CQ Assured scheme helps to assure that members have the skills and knowledge to produce quality workmanship and give homeowners real confidence when it comes to finding a tradesperson.

We also provide a voice for our members with the Certass Trade Association (CTA). The CTA helps to champion installers and tradespeople with practical hands on support and guidance, so they can produce a skilled workforce to support their business.

As a member of Certass, you can already benefit from the trade association, and are  able to download a Certass Trade Association dynamic logo too.

How Can Homeowners Choose a Certified Tradesperson

It’s so important that homeowners can be certain that their chosen tradesperson is certified.

The Certass dynamic logo is a trusted method to ensure that each member has the correct certifications and skills to complete home improvements.

Homeowners can search our online directory using any Certass certified installer’s membership number to verify their credentials.

You can download your dynamic logo from your members area, or if you have any questions about dynamic logos, you can get in touch with us for more information.

Health and Safety on Site

Health and safety on site is so important. To get the best advice for our members, we asked Suzanne Dixon, a leading chartered Health and Safety practitioner to give us the low-down on what you need to know. Suzanne is the director of Derby-based Kedleston Safety Ltd and says installers must learn the law and stay safe at work.

Working safely and recognising proper Health and Safety procedures on any project, large or small, is paramount in today’s world.

To keep homeowners safe, installers need to be fully aware of current requirements, laws and training.

Working in the glazing industry can be full on and without the right knowledge, you could expose homeowners and yourself to endless risks if the correct safety methods of work are not followed.

Since the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 were introduced, homeowners are now responsible for taking up these duties – but YOUR safety as an installer must be considered at all times.

Risk

There are several risks you, as an installer, may encounter when working in people’s homes. Falls from height, climbing steps and working on platforms, and using equipment and tools could expose you to various risk.

Following the correct safety methods is vital on any project, and you may need training.

At work, your health, welfare and safety are protected by law – but you have legal duties too. As an installer, ensuring that homeowners are safe is something you must do every single day of your working life.

Top tips:

  1. Take care of your own health and safety.
  2. Make sure others, like the homeowner, are not affected by your work.
  3. ALWAYS adhere to instructions or control measures – like wearing hi-vis workwear or protective equipment like safety helmets and eye protection.

New rules

Three years ago, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulation 2015 came into force. One of the biggest changes was the abolition of the CDM co-ordinator (CDMC).

The updated regulations now place a responsibility on everyone involved in the construction industry – and that includes installers.

Today, all those who work in the construction industry – especially window fitters – have a part to play in looking after their own health and safety. Managing this and the welfare of your ‘construction site’ is now more important than ever before.

Guide

  1. Always inspect equipment that you’re working with.
  2. If you see any problems with ladders, scaffolding and mobile towers, deal with it.
  3. Only repair if you are authorised to.

Working at heights

The first thing to consider when working at heights is whether you can avoid it. If not, the next consideration for an installer is how to prevent a fall.

Falls from height is the main cause of death in construction so proper procedures should be followed.

Don’t take any chances when you’re considering working at height. Work platforms with suitable guards should always be installed.

The Working at Height Regulations reinforces the hierarchy of fall prevention, which means a ladder should only be used if it is not reasonably practical to use other safer forms of access.

In some cases, a proper risk assessment should be carried out by a Health and Safety Executive, like me. If you’re unsure, I can help. I’ve got more than 18 years of Health and Safety experience.

Slips and trips

As a Chartered Health and Safety practitioner, there are many health and safety risks to consider. One of the biggest risks to a workforce are slips and trips.

At every project, there are dangers. But to help keep homeowners safe while you’re working at their properties, you should follow these rules.

  1. Make sure work areas are clean.
  2. Wear suitable footwear.
  3. Ensure you have adequate lighting.
  4. Keep an eye out for visitors to your work area.
  5. Agree on a safe work route to the workplace.

Asbestos

More than 4,000 people die prematurely every year as a result of exposure to asbestos. Window installers are particularly at risk.

Installers could disturb carcinogenic substances if the building was constructed before the mid-  1980s.

Compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 means it’s common for installers to find themselves in a situation where asbestos has been disturbed.

TIP: It’s perfectly reasonable for glazing installers to ask a client for their asbestos register or the specialist asbestos survey before starting work.

And finally…

Keeping installers safe is why articles like this are so important. If you’re unsure about Health and Safety, you’re not on your own.

But this guide is all about educating people and increasing knowledge when it comes to Health and Safety.

The last thing you want to do, as an installer, is breach regulations and put yourself and others in danger.

Health and Safety is the law.

Get More from your Competent Person Scheme

For installers who are looking to get more from their Competent Person Scheme (CPS), Certass has a full value-added package to help them get more benefits for their business. Plus, Certass makes switching from an existing CPS really simple, with straightforward admin and friendly, helpful support on the end of the phone.

Certass CPS benefits include free membership of Certass Trade Association, the glazing industry’s largest trade body, which gives installers access to extra technical and business support. Low-cost public-liability & business insurance and access to finance is also included.  There is also the option to add on workmanship certification for other building fabric trades and free access to dispute resolution services. On top of all this, installers can get leads direct from homeowners through Certass’ online ‘Find an Installer’ service.

Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass says: “Competent Person Schemes are an essential part of any installer’s remit, so it makes sense to give them a whole package of extras that adds real value for their business. As well as cost-savings on things like insurance, members get access to exclusive member discounts and offers.

“Installers can also get leads from homeowners through our digital support initiatives. We know that most homeowners are checking out companies online before they buy, and our new Digital Support Package helps members get noticed and rated by previous customers.”

The Certass Digital Support Package gives members a unique business profile on the Certass website that homeowners can access through the ‘search for an installer’ function. There is also an online ratings section, where existing customers can score their installers’ service, workmanship and reliability. Plus, every Certass member receives their own unique Certass member logo, as added assurance for authentic membership.

Jason adds: “Whilst we are adding lots of extra benefits for installers, we also know that the priority should always be common-sense, low-cost certification. That’s why Certass schemes are designed by tradespeople for tradespeople, and membership starts at just £23.95 +VAT per month.”

How to Improve the Energy Efficiency in Homes

For many homeowners, saving money on heating bills and finding ways to become more energy efficient is high priority.

Lots of houses across the UK suffer from poor insulation and ventilation, which doesn’t help with regulating the temperature within the home properly.

Draughts, cold spots and dampness can create heat loss in homes, which contributes to increasing heating bills during the winter. A lack of proper ventilation can cause rooms to become too hot to use in the warmer months and also increases the risk of condensation.

By making home improvements and conserving energy, not only can homeowners reduce carbon footprints, but they can save money in the long run. There are lots of cost-effective solutions and strategies that are proven to improve the energy efficiency of a home.

Fabric First

When thinking about energy efficient homes, homeowners often look first at different ways of heating the property, such as a new boiler for example. This is important but it’s a good idea to look at the fabric of a property first!

This begins with assessing how air tight a home is and making all the necessary improvements and looking at the thermal performance and energy ratings of installations such as the windows and doors. Upgrading the heating systems should be the final step that’s taken for improving a home’s energy efficiency.

Upgrade the Insulation

Often, homes have old and inefficient insulation, which could be letting lots of heat escape during the cooler winter weather, and this not only has a bad impact on the environment, but it increases heating bills too.

That’s why making sure a home has effective insulation installed is key. There are lots of insulating methods to choose from, and they all depend on a property and the homeowner’s requirements, including external, internal and cavity wall insulation.

When installed correctly, energy efficient cavity wall insulation can be extremely effective. Cavity wall insulation consists of highly efficient, thermally effective material being blown in between the cavity wall.

Our CQ Assured scheme ensures that members have all the skills and knowledge to clear existing cavity wall insulation, ready for it to be replaced with brand-new efficient insulation, giving homeowners peace of mind that the job will be completed to the best standards.

Along with the walls in a home, a large percentage of heat loss can occur through the roof, so it’s a good idea to make sure that the loft is fully insulated too.

Refurbishing a Conservatory

With old, glazed conservatories, it’s more than likely that they are too hot during the summer and too cold and draughty through winter. If homeowners experience this, replacing the roof with a high-performance solid roof could be beneficial.

Solid conservatory roof systems have been designed and engineered to be lightweight with great thermal performance, making them ideal for replacing old and inefficient glazed or polycarbonate roofs.

They help to ventilate, insulate and reduce heat loss in the room, transforming an old conservatory that’s too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer into a space that can be used all year round.

Our CQ Assured scheme certifies installers who fit solid conservatory roof replacements, so by choosing a Certass certified installer, homeowners can have peace of mind that they have the right skills and knowledge to complete the job properly.

Replacing Windows

Old windows, along with windows that aren’t installed correctly, are another cause of heat loss and draughts in homes.

Some older windows aren’t efficient, even if they have double glazing. Since Window Energy Ratings (WERs) were introduced in 2002, all windows must meet minimum thermal performance ratings to pass Building Regulations.

Window Energy Ratings were developed to measure and rate the energy efficiency of windows, and it’s required that all windows must be rated as C or above on a scale from A to G or have a U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K or lower.

The energy ratings of windows are calculated by measuring the heat loss, solar heat gain and U-Values of a fully installed windows, considering elements such as the thermal performance of the window frame, glazing and spacer bar. Combining these together creates an overall rating of how energy efficient the replacement window is.

Our Thermal Rating Register measures the Window Energy Ratings of windows using an easy-to-recognise traffic light system, to show that a window is both Building Regulations compliant and installed by a fully certified, Certass installer.

Choose a Home Improvement Installer Who’s Certified

By taking the ‘fabric first’ approach to creating an energy efficient home, there are plenty of straight forward options that homeowners can follow. For a tradesperson to carry out home improvements, they will need to be registered with a UKAS accredited, government approved certification scheme.

Our certification schemes cover a wide range of building fabric refurbishments, from solid conservatory roofs to cavity wall clearance and replacement windows and doors. So, you know that any work completed by a Certass certified tradesperson will meet and exceed Building Regulations, with the right skills and knowledge to do a great job.

To talk to a Certass tradesperson about energy efficient measures in homes, homeowners can find their nearest installer through our online directory here.

CQ-Assured – The Key to Consumer Confidence

Certass, the common-sense installer certification provider, has relaunched its CQ-Assured Scheme which includes 13 different work scopes to help installers who fit more than just windows and doors. It gives contractors the ability to register work they complete for their customers and provide them with a Certificate of Conformity (COC).

Membership benefits include free TrustMark membership, free alternative dispute resolution and free Certass Trade Association membership, as well as access to home improvement finance.

Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass, explains: “We know that many double-glazing installers are moving away from fitting windows and doors alone and expanding what they offer to become home improvement companies.

“That’s why our CQ-Assured Scheme covers 13 different work scopes, including warm solid roof replacements, conservatory erection and roofline as well as new build windows & doors, joinery, roofing, plastering and rendering – it covers a full range of building fabric refurbishments.

“Not only does the scheme give installers third party back-up, it gives consumers real confidence when selecting a contractor to carry out work on their home, whether it’s a new front door or a home extension.

“Installation conformity is backed by TrustMark’s 3 cornerstones of quality – good trading practices, good customer service and technical competence. This third-party assurance gives consumers confidence that Certass members will deliver a great home improvement service.”

Certass schemes are designed to be simple and affordable whilst adding real value for contractors. Membership starts at just £23.95 per month and extra scopes can be added for just £5.

Certass says: “Let’s champion our local installers”

Expert certification body, Certass Ltd, wants glazing companies to get together and champion local installers who are the connection between the industry and the consumer.

Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass explains: “This year, there has been a lot of bad industry press where skills and competency are concerned. Whilst we do have issues with a growing skills gap and an ageing workforce, we need to champion the local installers. They have proven, competent installation skills and are using them to deliver impressive installations to consumers.

“At Certass, we believe in real, sensible certification to ensure these great standards are delivered to homeowners. That’s done through our installer certification schemes and the Certass Skills Card.

“The Certass Skills Card has a set of requirements and everyone who holds one has completed a knowledge assessment, had their work observed onsite by one of our assessors and had a professional discussion about their work too. It’s called Minimal Technical Competence, but really, we should be calling it Mandatory Technical Competence, because nothing in our scheme is optional.

“The numbers speak for themselves for Certass members. Over the last 12 months, 99.92 percent of our audited jobs passed Building Regulation standards first time, proving that our installer standards really are top-notch and well ahead of those reported in some other known market schemes.

“So, that’s why we’re calling on the industry to champion and celebrate local installers who are doing a great job of installing window and doors for UK homeowners.”

Energy Ratings Explained for your Windows

Energy ratings for homes graphic for Certass

Did you know, more than 25% of heat lost within your home typically escapes through old windows?

The windows installed in a home can make a huge difference on the overall warmth of a property, and with more and more households looking at ways to save money on their energy bills, a question we’re often asked is just how energy efficient are replacement windows?

When new energy efficient windows are installed properly, they help to reduce the overall heat loss from your home and your carbon footprint. However, old, inefficient windows can become a main source of heat loss and draughts, meaning you’ll probably be spending more on your heating bills.

That’s why, when replacing your existing windows, it is so important to make sure that they are energy efficient.

Replacement windows have to meet building regulation requirements for energy efficiency, measured either through a U-Value calculation or a Window Energy Rating (WER), with a rating scale of A-G, with A being the highest.

What are Window Energy Ratings?

Window Energy Ratings were introduced to help select the right windows for your home, by comparing the energy efficiency of the different window products.

Currently, under building regulations, replacement windows must either be window efficiency rated to a minimum of ‘C’ or have a U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K or lower (lower U-values are better as it relates to the rate of heat flow). A ‘replacement window’ means that both the frame and glass are replaced at the same time, as a complete installation.

WERs use a simple system to calculate the thermal efficiency of windows by taking into account U-Values, solar heat gain and air leakage of a window.

A window is made from several aspects, including the frame, glass and spacer bar between the panes of glass. All of these have different thermal values, so the WER is measured by combining all these aspects together and calculating a whole window energy rating.

Certass’ Thermal Rating Register

Building regulations were first changed in 2002 to incorporate thermal performance for replacing windows in homes. This prompted the development of Window Energy Ratings, and there are now thousands of window installers and products that are registered with a WERs scheme, making it easy for you to choose the most energy efficient windows for your home.

Window Energy Rating Schemes, such as our Thermal Rating Register, were established to create an easily recognisable tool that measures the Window Energy Ratings.

The Thermal Rating Register rates the energy efficiency and thermal performance of the window installation using an easily recognisable, traffic light style, A-G scale, like you find on fridges, freezers and washing machines.

The higher the rating, the better the overall thermal efficiency, helping to save money on energy bills and reducing the home’s carbon footprint.

Window manufacturers use the Thermal Rating Register to show homeowners how efficient their windows are. Each window that is rated using the Thermal Rating Register is given a unique label which shows the energy rating level, so you can easily compare and choose the most energy efficient windows for your home. These labels are usually displayed with the paperwork that comes with the window and can be viewed online too, for easy access.

Why Certass Members are Part of the Thermal Rating Register Scheme

Whilst your windows may have high window energy ratings, and a low U-Value, they need to be installed properly too.

Poorly installed windows massively contribute to heat loss, cold spots and draughts in a property, making it a key that energy efficient windows are installed correctly, by a skilled and certified tradesperson.

The Thermal Rating Register scheme is designed to show that your windows and the completed installation is compliant with building regulations, so you’ll receive energy efficient windows, and a quality installation.

Window installers that are registered with any of our glazing schemes can voluntarily join the Thermal Rating Register scheme, so that they can provide all of their window installations with WERs labels.

This means that by choosing a Certass certified window installer, you’ll get a product that has the right thermal performance features that meet building regulations, and a quality installation by a skilled tradesperson too.

Finding a Certified Installer that can Install your Energy Efficient Windows

We’ve made it easy to find a Certass certified installer that can supply and fit your energy efficient windows, with our online directory. Simply search your address and it will display a list of certified installers that are nearest to you.