Launched in 2006, the CompetentRoofer Scheme has grown to become one of the best regarded benchmarks of quality for the roofing profession. Here, Richard Kendrick, marketing manager at SIG Roofing, takes a closer look at the accreditation scheme, how contractors can get involved, and what it means from a customer’s perspective.
Since its launch nearly 15 years ago, the CompetentRoofer Scheme has been enabling reputable contractors to self-certify that their roof refurbishment work complies with the Building Regulations of England and Wales.
It goes without saying, but Building Regulations are a critically important consideration for most forms of construction work. They provide a minimum standard for design, construction, and alterations to almost every building, and are developed by the government.
From small scale and domestic work, to major industrial or commercial properties, the CompetentRoofer Scheme becomes applicable when 50% or more of the roof is being replaced – the point at which it becomes a legal requirement to notify the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) and upgrade the insulation.
This can be a time consuming and potentially costly process, with steps including submitting the details and extent of the proposed work to the LABC within the application to repair or renovate a property, and the payment of an associated fee. The LABC will also periodically inspect the work as it is carried out, ensuring compliance against the drawings and specification of the work submitted with the initial application.
Should the LABC become aware that unauthorised work is being carried out or that the correct process has not been followed, roofers could face fines of up to £5,000 and Buildings Regulations completion certification could be withheld – making it difficult for the building owner to sell the property later down the line.
Signing up to the CompetentRoofer Scheme can help alleviate some of these headaches. Serving as an accreditation of a contractor’s technical ability to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations, the fact contractors can self-certify their work is what makes the CompetentRoof scheme so distinct from other benchmarks.
Benefits of signing up
To become CompetentRoofer certified, contractors undergo an audit of their site, quality management procedures, technical competence and health and safety practices. There is also an on-site inspection of work in progress. Once admitted to the Scheme, members are inspected a minimum of two times per year, affording roofers a competitive edge and giving their clients extra assurance that they are working with a reliable and trustworthy contractor – one of the main benefits of signing up to the certification.
But there are other benefits too. First and foremost, the ‘all-in-one’ approach streamlines the build process, saving both the roofer and their customer time and money. Additional savings can also be made as neither contractor nor customer have to shell out for a Building Control officer, who would usually be paid to provide advice on Building Regulations during the design and development of a project.
Additionally, all work carried out under £50,000 is automatically backed by a 10-year insurance guarantee, affording additional peace of mind for roofers and their customers alike.
Membership of the Scheme can also prove to be a valuable tool for acquiring new business. Upon being successfully certified, roofers are able to use the CompetentRoofer logo – a trusted mark of quality – on all sales collateral, with a company profile also being uploaded to the CompetentRoofer website. Furthermore, Scheme members are listed by Local Authorities, lending the roofer further credence, and opening them up to a much wider audience than they may otherwise have access to.
These are undoubtedly challenging times for the roofing sector, but there are still significant opportunities to be had. Schemes such as CompetentRoofer, alongside industry guarantees including SIG Roofing’s own One Warranty offering, not to mention trade bodies like the NFRC, are valuable additions to a roofer’s toolkit, and can really help them stand-out in a crowded and often competitive marketplace.
For more information about the CompetentRoofer Scheme, visit: https://www.sigroofing.co.uk/info-hub/trade-associations/about-competentroofer/ or https://competentroofer.co.uk.