I asked FENSA and Certass recently on Twitter how many members each of them had. Certass didn’t have the numbers to hand, but FENSA did tweet me this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/competent-person-self-certification-schemes-statistics

It then led me to a spreadsheet showing exactly how many members each organisation has, up to September 30th 2012. I have it on PDF if you want to see every Competent Persons Self Certification stat. Click here: competent_person_stats (hint: the latest stats are near the bottom – scroll down!)

But to go straight to the nitty gritty, these are the main numbers you want to know:

FENSA: 8713

Certass: 1850

Network Veka: 87

So according to these figures, there are 10650 window and door companies registered with self-cert organisations. A decent amount. But when you consider Insight Data’s last estimates of around 14,300 window and door companies, with 12,000 installers within the UK, that means there are still quite a few out there unregistered. It does then raise the question: what happens to all those unregistered installations?

Of course, it is NOT law to be part of one of the above self-cert organisations. But I shall get on to that in a moment. In theory, all non-self-cert companies SHOULD register a new installation with their local authority. This of course is not free and will cost the company every time. So is it worth bearing that in mind? We know how many cowboys out there still exist. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that a lot of unregistered companies will in fact not notify their local authorities of the new installation, leaving the homeowner in a spot of bother should they wish to move properties.

This then does lead to the argument that the Government should make it law that every double glazing company, whether a OMB or a team of thousands, should be registered with one of the industry’s self-cert organisations. In the long run for the company it would be cheaper than registering jobs with their council. And for the greater good of the industry, it might force out a few cowboys who continue to resist doing their jobs correctly. If our industry could unite and say to the general public that ALL the sectors installers are part of a fully self-certified network, it might help improve our image a little.

What would also help, would be for the self-cert organisations to have a proper complaints system whereby companies can report illegal or non-compliant practices to the relevant organisation. Whereupon meaningful punishments can be handed down. At the moment, something like this doesn’t exist. Even local councils aren’t that bothered. But what I do believe is that FENSA, Certass and Network Veka all have the money, man power and brains to be able to come up with something like the above.

So there we go. We have accurate numbers. Please feel free to use the PDF above. I shall try and do something like this on a regular basis.