For the supply sector, independent certification can provide specifiers with the assurance that products meet the claims that are made about them, and disseminating details of appropriate accreditation is a vital part of the sales and marketing process.
The British Board of Agrément is an independent national body established to assess and test construction industry products which are either innovative and/or claim to exceed British Standard performance requirements. Approved products are issued with an ‘Agrément Certificate’ and the supplier is entitled to feature the ‘Agrément’ logo on appropriate marketing material. The use of the logo is carefully controlled and restricted to relevant applications and suppliers must conform to the instructions laid down by the BBA in its information sheet ‘Use of the BBA Symbol’. For details contact:
British Board of Agrément
Herts WD25 9BA
Tel: +44 (0) 1923 665300
Email: Via website
Additionally, the UK has over 50 accreditation bodies operating certification schemes for construction industry manufacturers/suppliers, covering product conformity, quality management and personnel. UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is the organisation that certifies each of these bodies and can supply a full list including specific advice on achieving appropriate accreditation for any given market, product or service. Contact:
21-47 High Street
Middlesex TW13 4UN
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8917 8400
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8917 8500
Now a legal requirement, CE marking indicates that a particular construction product can be placed on the market of member states of the European Economic Area (EEA), and is based on the principle that the product specification, and therefore the product, is "fit for purpose". The Construction Products Association (CPA) explain that, from 1 July 2013, under the Construction Products Regulation 2011 (CPR), it became mandatory for manufacturers to apply CE marking to any product which is covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) or European Technical Assessment (ETA).
A Guidance Note on the CPR and implications of CE marking for manufacturers, importers, distributors, specifiers, certification and test bodies, and regulatory/enforcement authorities was prepared by the CPA, the British Board of Agrément (BBA), British Standards Institution (BSI) and FBE Management Limited, in consultation with the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). It can be downloaded from the CPA website here.
Further information, including a comprehensive series of frequently asked questions, on the CPR and CE marking can be found elsewhere on the CPA website here.
Third Party Accreditation Schemes
There is a number of independent accreditation programmes operating in the construction industry. Principally, these third-party bodies validate a product or service and, by doing so, provide assurance to buyers and additional credibility to suppliers.
Achilles BuildingConfidence is an online registration and accreditation standard used by 17 buyer organisations and over 1,500 suppliers in the UK construction sector. Launched in 2007 in collaboration with Lend Lease, Achilles BuildingConfidence is designed to meet the increasingly demanding legislative and risk management needs of construction clients. Achilles BuildingConfidence community is managed by an industry steering group compromising members from across the sector to drive industry best practice. Details here.