Important information before reporting a breach to Certass
The Certass complaint remit is limited to installed work being to appropriate Building Regulations and Industry Codes of Practice by its members. We will not engage in issues relating to contractual or financial disputes. The member must be provided with the opportunity to return to site to put work right.
Please note that membership to any of our Certification Schemes is always on a voluntary basis and as such Certass has no legal authority to enforce compliance on the installer. However, noncompliant issues can result in additional monitoring of a contractor’s membership, or in extreme cases, can result in expulsion from our scheme.
Where we determine your complaint falls out with our remit, we will refer you back to the installer and/or our external Med/Arb service listed below.
Certass member breach procedure
Only when the contractor’s internal complaints procedure has been fully exhausted can any complaint be escalated to the Certass. The contractor will provide a copy of their complaints procedure to their customers upon request.
When seeking to resolve a breach, Certass will consider Building Regulations and industry best practice guidance.
All breaches will be dealt with impartially and in an even-handed manner. The decision resolving the complaint or appeal shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, person(s) not involved in the certification activities related to the complaint or appeal. To ensure that there is no conflict of interest, personnel (including those acting in a managerial capacity) who have provided consultancy for a client, or been employed by a client, shall not be used by the certification body to review or approve the resolution of a complaint or appeal for that client within two years following the end of the consultancy or employment.
Certass reserves the right to refuse to accept breach complaints with another ADR provider’s/or court involvement or complaints that are vexatious or trivial in nature.
Each party to the breach dispute shall submit a file to Certass, detailing all applicable issues and evidence, such as photos, witness statements etc., to enable Certass to review fully the issues raised. Complaint information provided by the complainant will be shared with the other party to ensure transparency and allow the other party to have an opportunity to investigate the issues.
All correspondence shall be submitted and conducted in English.
A summary of the breach complaint procedure is outlined below:
We will acknowledge all breach complaints received via the webform on this page in 10 working days, either verbally, or by email, with a determination if the complaint falls within our breach complaint remit and, where appropriate, request a case file be prepared and sent to Certass by both parties.
A Certass administrator will review the case files within 15 working days of receipt of a complete breach complaint file with information from both the parties, notifying the parties if Certass will refuse or refer the complaint to external mediation. On complaint closure or refusal, a full explanation will be provided to both parties to the complaint. If the complaint is referred to mediation, please see additional details in the section Legally Binding Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) below the webform.
Where we accept the breach complaint, then we may ask for additional information or arrange for an on-site inspection.
We will provide a summary of any breaches that we have determined and inform the Certass member to correct any breaches we have listed to maintain membership with us where the consumer allows the member back to correct the works.
Contractor breach complaint form
Complaints and issues that fall outside our breach procedure
Where complaints fall out with our breach complaint procedure then we will refer you back to the installer or to our independent ADR service.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a process used instead of the traditional court system. ADR is considered quicker and cheaper than the traditional court system; parties to the dispute do not need to employ legal representation (although they have the option to do so at their own cost). As a consumer, you may choose to use the court process instead of using our ADR service to pursue your complaint.
The Certass ADR service is via independent mediation. The mediation fee charged to the consumer is:
Free for 1 hour’s professional mediation where the contract value is less than £100
£35 for 1 hour’s professional mediation where the contract value is £100 or more
Where the parties agree on a resolution, the mediator will prepare an agreement which is legally binding on both parties.
If Certass mediation cannot find a resolution suitable to both parties within the allotted time, then our med/arb option is available, which is legally binding where the parties agree to the decision of the independent arbitrator.
Med/Arb starts the process as a mediator but where mediation fails, the arbitrator imposes a binding decision. The principle of med/arb is to firstly allow for a softer mediation process to occur, taking every opportunity to find a resolution to a dispute by:
facilitating a discussion between the parties
considering all information received during the mediation by both parties
encouraging both parties towards a settlement that they have agreed upon
If this process does not bring about a mutually agreed upon settlement, then the case switches to arbitration. The arbitrator deliberates the evidence submitted by both parties and decides. Where an arbitrated decision is made, costs may be awarded as part of the decision. An independent third-party company carries out mediation and each mediator is individually accredited with the Civil Mediation Council (CMC).
The Med/Arb option is only offered after mediation has taken place. The fee for Med/Arb is £199 for each party – All fees are inclusive of VAT.
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