FENSA vs Certass: What’s The Difference?

FENSA vs Certass: What’s The Difference?

FENSA and Certass, two of the double glazing industry’s biggest self certification bodies. But what exactly is the difference between the two?

Lets start off with what we know so far. FENSA currently has a membership of 8713 and Certass can lay claim to 1850 members. Certass is up on previous numbers and FENSA is slightly down. Together they both represent over two thirds of the double glazing industry, which on the face of it makes for a powerful statement. One of the easiest ways to try and figure out the differences is how they describe themselves:

FENSA Says:

FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme. Following Government encouragement, FENSA has been set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and other industry bodies in response to Building Regulations for double glazing companies in England and Wales.

Certass Says:

Certass Limited is a UKAS approved certification body for the operation of a Competent Person Scheme under a Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) license and a Green Deal Certification Body under licence from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

So both have been set up in response to Government legislation, no real differences there then. But if you are in the market to have new windows and doors installed, which do you choose: a FENSA registered company or a Certass registered company?

You could look at what is available. Certass and FENSA are both UKAS accredited, and both have partnerships with various other bodies. But if you’re a homeowner that is looking into getting into Green Deal work, then the fact the Certass is a Green Deal Approved Certification body might boost your interest. Certass also has TrustMark accreditation, which is logo that is highly respected and easy to recognise. Both schemes ensure that registered installers offer deposit protection as well as insurance policies on top of standard company guarantees.

Certass do seems to provide more when it comes to installer support. They provide services such as bespoke van signage and mediation support should there be a dispute between the customer and an installer.

If badges aren’t your thing, then numbers might be. FENSA has close to 9000 members. They must be doing something right if they can command such a large proportion of the industry. Certass has less than 2000 members. But it is important to look at age here too. FENSA was established in 2002 in response to new Part L changes, whilst Certass became licensed in 2006. If you are a believer in age and history, FENSA has the upper hand here.

As with most things in life, money plays a big factor. From 2014 FENSA’s annual registration fee goes up to £120. Certass however are a not-for-profit scheme and are widely thought to be cheaper than FENSA in the long run.

The current state of play at the moment is FENSA’s membership is on the decline, while Certass membership is on the way up. This could possibly signify a change in loyalties within the industry.

So to address the question of this post, what’s the difference, well, not that much when it comes to the main points. Both are self-certification schemes, both were set up in response to Government legislation, both are UKAS approved with both being able to boast about half a dozen other logos and accreditations each. One thing I would point out is that despite a lot of hype around FENSA and some possibly biased support out there in the industry, Certass are doing a very good job themselves. If you were to ask me if there were any real differences, I would say to you no, there aren’t and that choosing a Certass registered company is just as likely to do a high quality job on your property.

On a final note I would say that both are doing their very best to make sure the industry works to all the laws and regulations that govern this industry. Without them, our sector would be in more difficult waters than we find right now.

You can visit the FENSA website here: http://www.fensa.co.uk/

You can visit the Certass website here: http://www.certass.co.uk/

This post was written for Value Doors UK who posed the question: FENSA vs Certass – What’s The Difference? Value Doors UK is a nationwide External Door company based in Yorkshire, manufacturing and installing high quality products. You can visit them at their website: www.valuedoors.co.uk, catch them on Twitter: @ValueDoorsUK or call them on 0800 955 0898.


By |2016-10-24T20:24:12+00:00December 12th, 2013|Categories: Value Doors UK|

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FENSA
Guest

Hi Thanks for the post. However, we just wanted to correct some errors in the post which should hopefully be useful for your readers and subscribers. You state that CERTASS is a Green Deal Approved certification body and a Trustmark scheme operator – without mentioning that FENSA is both of these as well. You say that CERTASS is a not-for-profit scheme. FENSA operates under exactly the same rules and 21 Conditions of Authorisation as CERTASS. You mention that CERTASS offers some extra benefits for installers – including ‘bespoke van signage’ and ‘mediation support. FENSA also offers a raft of installer… Read more »

Windowwig
Guest
Windowwig

FENSA was created by the GGF to get the Government out of a hole. The System and Fabrication sectors also had to spend a great deal of time and money to make the system work. No money came from the Government at all. CERTASS was a welcome addition and have kept FENSA honest. The value for money options that they both offer are excellent as well as the additional support that they offer. It is a testament to both that they have kept their costs and prices as low as they have over the years. Let us not forget that… Read more »

Kevin Ahern
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Kevin Ahern

I have no issue with FENSA , I am a member and generally they are very good at what they do , if a touch beligerent with some of the rules and the way they are applied , I have had a couple of issues where building control are happy to approve an installation that FENSA rules stippolate a failure is the only option , but still, their rules are their rules . The BFRC however absolutely need a sustained battering , what sort of organisation can introduce a corrupt scheme like the WER and make the ridiculous claims it… Read more »

ray ellison
Guest
ray ellison

My dauter had two doors and window fitted last November time we have never received the certass certificates for this work . I have phoned certass over three times and three times they say they will send them again . my daughter who is selling her house as never got them . certass says they don’t send them out its another company which thy send the information . my daughter is now desperate as she can’t exchange contracts until she gets them. My daughter as again today requested certificates they say they will send them out. Certass is supposed to… Read more »

Chris
Guest

Can anyone advise how much sealant / pointing should be applied around upvc Windows when fitted in a stone built house. Any official references / guidelines would be appreciated…

Mr_chaps
Guest
Mr_chaps

And what is Halo approved? Just had that on a quote, but no fensa

Diana
Guest
Diana

We used a CERTASS member to install Windows and doors CERTASS issued a certificate dispute being very aware of the serious issues with the job, they inspected the installation in part ( the person inspecting didn’t look at all the installation) and it was clear it wasn’t compliant, toughed glass was not in all areas it should be and many similar serious non compliant issues, including a gap so large in our French doors that you could see the patio, yet CERTASS did not revoke the certificate and the fitter is dtill a fully active member it took almost a… Read more »

Brian Green
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Brian Green

I have NVQ level two fenastration and have worked in the glazing industry 30. Years. Do I gualify to self certificate

Garry Monk
Guest
Garry Monk

In reply to Brian, your NVQ card would still need to be in date (most were issued for only 5 years) and will need to me registered with a CPS like Assure, BSI. CERTASS, FENSA, Veka etc. When your NVQ expires you will need to take a MTC test, this varies between CPS bodies.

As the big rush for CPS NVQs was in 2013 a lot of installers will have to look at MTC tests to be complaint in 2018 !

Hope that helps

Matt
Guest
Matt

Hi,
I am looking to self certify and only do about 20 installs a year.
Based on this, who will be the cheapest to go with?
Certass, FENSA, or BMTrada?

Thanks,
Matt

florin
Guest

hi Mat
Current competent person schemes are listed alphabetically in the table below:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/competent-person-scheme-current-schemes-and-how-schemes-are-authorised

Sean
Guest

They are similar in costs but Certass can be cheaper

William
Guest
William

I am only doing about 10 – 20 installs a year ( My other work is repairs etc.) would it not be better for me to carry on registering with Building Control, or more cost effective with FENSA or CERTASS? Thank you.

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