Frequently Asked Questions - Building Trade Schemes, Acronyms and initialisms

What is TrustMark?

TrustMark is a Government endorsed not-for-profit quality mark for tradesmen. It is an independent scheme owned and operated under license from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

All TrustMark firms' technical skills have been independently checked through on-site inspections carried out by the BBA to ensure a high quality of workmanship and trading practices.

TrustMark firms work to Government endorsed standards and are able to offer insurance backed warranties and deposit protection, as well as operating a user-friendly complaints procedure.

Please note: The only way to become TrustMark registered, is to be inspected and approved by one of the TrustMark scheme operators such as FairTrades , NICEIC, ECA, BBA etc. IT is not possible to join TrustMark directly.

Modified on 01/02/2016

Tougher Health & Safety Sentencing Guidelines - 1 February 2016

New guidelines are now in place with the express purpose of punishing UK businesses who are deemed to have tried to save a few pounds on safety equipment, training, policies and or procedures. Firms believed to be cutting corners for profit or through willful neglect will now find that the courts will come down especially hard on them thanks to the new guidelines which took effect 1 February 2016.

Both companies and the directors can be targeted for prosecution so if you have disregarded your Health and Safety policies in the past, now is the time to get everything in order.

Large companies will now face fines which could top £10 million when being prosecuted for the very worst health and safety failures, rising to a staggering £20 million for corporate manslaughter convictions under new sentencing guidelines as of February 01 2016.

Not only will the businesses be open to these fines but individual company directors found guilty of "consent, connivance or neglect" in relation to the offence will also face potentially unlimited fines and prison sentences of up to 2 years.

Modified on 03/02/2016

What is Stroma?

Stroma are a Competent Persons Scheme - They offer
1- Certification for Assessors within the energy industry. Their assessor certification schemes cover energy assessment, Green Deal & ESOS (ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for organisations in the UK that meet the qualification criteria).
2- Certification for Installers form amny trades including electricians, plumbers, heating professionals, ventilation specialists and renewables installers – with schemes tied closely to the Green Deal, RHI and regulatory developments.
3- ISO 9001 Certification for existing Quality Management Systems (QMS) against ISO 9001:2008
4- Stroma Tech is a leading provider of accredited testing, assessment and consultancy services to facilitate the development, refurbishment or management of energy-efficient and sustainable buildings.
You can find out much more about Stroma on their website >> https://www.stroma.com/

Modified on 01/02/2016

What is FENSA?

FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment scheme. It has been set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and other industry bodies, in response to the Building Regulations. Glazing companies are provided with the ability to self certify installations through the FENSA Self Certification Scheme. FENSA are a registered CPS (Competent Person Scheme Operator). All FENSA registered tradesmen/companies are vetted to ensure they are qualified to carry out the replacement of windows and doors in accordance with the current building regulations and, once an installation is complete, FENSA provide the Building Regulation Compliance Certificate for the work carried out.

What is the BBA?

BBA stands for British Board of Agrément. The BBA is a UK authority offering approval and certification services to manufacturers and installers supplying the construction industry.

British Board of Agrément Approval is recognised by building control, government departments, architects, local authorities, specifiers, and industry insurers like HomePro Ltd.

Modified on 10/31/2012

What is BM Trada?

BM TRADA Certification is a leading multi-sector certification body accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Established for almost 40 years, BM TRADA today operates in many sectors, with a particular emphasis on construction. It offers a number of product and installation certification schemes under its Q Mark brand, most notably in the area of doors and windows, where it is able to offer certification to cover all aspects from the performance characteristics of the product, through to the quality of the installation of the finished window and its compliance with Building Regulations.

BM TRADA works closely with sister companies Chiltern International Fire and Chiltern Dynamics, to offer a wide range of testing services for doors and windows, including security, weather, durability, acoustics and fire. As a result it is able to offer a truly one stop shop service to its customers.

In addition to its Q-Mark product and personnel schemes, BM TRADA offers management systems certification covering quality, environmental, energy, health and safety, food safety and information security. Chain of custody includes certification to both FSC and PEFC, whilst other services offered include a range of Competent Persons schemes, CE marking and British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) window energy rating certification, as well as a wide range of training courses.

As part of the wider BM TRADA Group, the company has offices and representatives in more than 40 countries around the world and trades in over 70.

BM TRADA provides FairTrades Association glazing members with the ability to self-certify installations, via BM TRADA’s Competent Persons Scheme .

Modified on 05/01/2015

Where can I get a copy of the 2015 DECC SME Guide to Energy Efficiency?

If you are looking for the April 2015 guide which sets out low-cost measures and steps that small and medium sized business (SMEs) can take to start saving energy and money on their bills click on this link to download it >> SME energy efficiency guide

What Actually Changed For Glazing Installers in June 2014?

New regulatory changes have been introduced to ensure the mandatory provision of financial protection on all domestic glazing installations as of 6 June this year. The simplest way to provide this is through an Insurance Backed Guarantee. In addition to this, at least one installer, foreman or team leader will need to hold a Minimum Technical Competency (“MTC”) card and sign off every completed job.

FairTrades & BM Trada Glazing Members Self Certification Scheme

FairTrades/HomePro has now joined forces with BM TRADA, to provide its glazing members with the ability to self certify, via BM TRADA's Competent Persons Scheme for the Replacement of Windows and Doors.

This will provide benefits to their members from the assurance of working with a well established, independent and highly respected certification body, such as BM TRADA.

'No additional annual or monthly Certification charges as it's all part of the trade association membership'

As well as the benefit of making Self-Certification as straightforward as possible with an easy and streamlined application process. FairTrades/HomePro will collect new member's information for both schemes, and forward the relevant documentation to BM TRADA on the member's behalf, saving their members the need for double data entry.

'First 2 inspections required in BM TRADA's Competent Persons Scheme are free'

BM TRADA is a leading international certification body operating in more than 70 countries worldwide. Accredited by UKAS and with almost 40 years experience, it is recognised and respected around the world as a leading authority on management systems, chain of custody, product and personnel certification.

'Applications to BM TRADA competent person's scheme is included in the membership application to FairTrades making FairTrades a One Stop Shop with no duplication of capturing data and the whole process being handled by us'

Modified on 12/20/2012

The Renewable Heat Incentive Application Form

Most people will have heard of the renewable heat incentive by now. The idea is that you can install a technology that is capable of producing renewable heat at your home or business and reap the rewards offered by this new and forthcoming incentive as a result.

Anyone wanting to take advantage of the program has to complete an application to be considered for approval. The scheme is open only to businesses at present and is in the earliest stage of the process, but later on it will be open to individuals and homeowners as well.

However the early stages have not gone as planned, since Ofgem, the organisation that is taking in the applications, has had to return 95% of all applications made so far. This has obviously come as a surprise and it would seem as if the main reasons for the returned applications are common ones. Many businesses have neglected to fill the forms in properly. In other cases the amount of heat their systems have produced has not been metered properly.

This has led Ofgem to consider making changes to the application process so it can be completed more quickly and efficiently. However it does bring interesting information to the fore that homeowners would do well to take note of. Homeowners will after all have to go through the same application procedure later on if they want to take advantage of the program, why not learn from others' mistakes while we can.

"U.K. solar thermal industry still waiting on residential roll-out and will be the first ever feed-in tariff scheme for renewable heat. The first phase of the scheme has only been made available to industrial and commercial customers. The Department of Energy and Climate Change or DECC has stated that the next phase of the Renewable Heat Incentive program will include residential customers on its launch during 2013"

Modified on 12/4/2012

Does FairTrades Support a Competent Persons Scheme For Glazing Companies

Yes, FairTrades works closely with all the official glazing competent persons schemes.

There have been many changes of late and we strongly urge our members to contact their account manager if they have any questions.

Modified on 10/11/2014

Was all Asbestos banned in the 1980's?

NO, only the most dangerous forms of asbestos used in building materials were banned in 1985. These were crocidolite (blue asbestos) and amosite (brown asbestos). Unfortunately the UK Asbestos (Prohibition) Regulations ignored less toxic but still highly dangerous chrysotile (white asbestos) which the construction industry continued to use as a building material until the end of the 1990's and even past the year 2000!

Modified on 1/7/2013

What is CSCS?

CSCS stands for Construction Skills Certification Scheme. The scheme was set up to to improve site workers competence to reduce accidents on and around building and construction sites. Training must be booked via an approved channel, usually the employer. CSCS cards have become more important for working on building and construction sites to have as proof of their occupational competence. The Scheme keeps a database of those working in construction who are able to demonstrate they have already attained an agreed level of occupational competence. Applicants are issued with a card which can be used as a method of identification and proof of their successfully completing the CSCS course.

Modified on 10/8/2012

What is CITB?

CITB stands for The Construction Industry Training Board but is commonly referred to as CITB Construction Skills. They provide a raft of training and skills developments and informational services.

Modified on 10/8/2012

What is CERTASS?

CERTASS was licensed in 2006 and is a government approved Competent Person Scheme. Glazing firms registered with CERTASS are able to submit their own building notice or using an approved Local Authority inspector for certain home improvements and building works. All CERTASS registered contractors are vetted to ensure they are qualified to carry out the replacement of windows and doors in accordance with the current building regulations and, once an installation is complete, CERTASS provides you with the Building Regulation Compliance Certificate for the work carried out.

Modified on 05/01/2015

FairTrades TradePoint Cards Questions and Answers

FairTrades TradePoint Cards Questions and Answers Frequently Asked Questions - Building Trade Schemes, Acronyms and initialisms

  • What is my Trade Point account number?

    The 8 digits in the middle of their Trade Point 16 digit card number is the account number.
    For example “3434 5566 1212 7878”

  • Can I request more cards?

    Yes, using the contact details on the covering letter they receive with the card. If the client can call Trade Point or email a request (Admin.TradePointB2B@TradePoint.co.uk) with their account number, number of additional cards, Name of the new card holder(s), and any kind of proof they work at the company
    For example a photo of an ID card, payslip etc.

  • Is there a limit to the number of cards on the account?

    No, any company can have as many cards as they wish.

  • Why does it say “HomePro Ltd” above my company/cardholder name on my card?

    HomePro is effectively the distributing account for all HomePro/FairTrades Trade Point cards. This is what sets them apart from standard Trade Point cards. To benefit from pricing discount levels negotiated by HomePro, any of HomePro’s members wishing to benefit from the additional discounts have their cards marked like this, TradePoint have therefore labelled all cards as such on issuing them.

  • Can I change my name or address on the account?

    Yes, upon registering each your card online, it is possible to change the cardholder name (the detail below the HomePro label) and any other details such as the card holder address, if the new name is required on the card simply request a new card(s) as required. It is also possible to do this by calling TradePoint directly. Any questions or issues to do with the TradePoint card or TradePoint account should be dealt with directly via TradePoint and not via HomePro or FairTrades.


  • Modified on 05/01/2015

    What is the Gas Safe Register?

    Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body for the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey, appointed by the relevant Health and Safety Authority for each area. By law all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register.

    Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI as the gas registration body in Great Britain and Isle of Man on 1 April 2009 and Northern Ireland and Guernsey on 1 April 2010. www.gassaferegister.co.uk

    Modified on 05/01/2015

    Conservation of fuel and power L1A

    The main changes in this approved document are that: • A new requirement, regulation 26A, has been introduced that requires new dwellings to achieve or better a fabric energy efficiency target in addition to the carbon dioxide target.
    • The notional dwelling used to determine carbon dioxide and fabric energy efficiency targets is the same size and shape as the actual dwelling, constructed to a concurrent specification. The Part L 2013 specifications have been strengthened to deliver 6 per cent carbon dioxide savings across the new homes build mix relative to Part L 2010.
    • A summary of the Part L 2013 notional dwelling is published at Table 4 in the approved document with the full detail in SAP 2012 Appendix R. If the actual dwelling is constructed entirely to the notional dwelling specifications it will meet the carbon dioxide and fabric energy efficiency targets and the limiting values for individual fabric elements and buildings services. Developers are, however, free to vary the specification, provided the same overall level of carbon dioxide emissions and fabric energy efficiency performance is achieved or bettered.
    • The document consolidates the amendments made in December 2012 requiring the feasibility of high-efficiency alternative systems to be taken into account before construction commences.
    • The guidance for insulation of circulation pipes within communal spaces is given greater prominence.
    • The document is in a new style format and an index has been introduced
    Download the full official document from the planningportal click here

    Modified on 13/07/2015

    Conservation of fuel and power L2A

    The main changes in this approved document are that:

    • The notional building used to determine carbon dioxide targets is the same size and shape as the actual building, constructed to a concurrent specification. The Part L 2013 specifications have been strengthened to deliver 9 per cent carbon dioxide savings across the new non-domestic building mix relative to Part L 2010.
    • A wider set of notional buildings has now been defined for top-lit, side-lit (heated only) and side-lit (heated and cooled) buildings. The notional building air permeability has been further subdivided by size.
    • A summary of the Part L 2013 notional buildings is published at Table 5 in the approved document with the full detail in the National Calculation Methodology (NCM) modelling guide. If the actual building is constructed entirely to the notional building specifications it will meet the carbon dioxide targets and the limiting fabric and buildings services parameters. Developers are, however, free to vary the specification, provided the same overall level of carbon dioxide emissions is achieved or bettered.
    • The document consolidates the amendments made in December 2012 requiring the feasibility of high-efficiency alternative systems to be taken into account before construction commences.
    • The document is in a new style format and an index has been introduced.
    Download the full official document from the planningportal click here

    Modified on 13/07/2015



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