BAFE Campaign - Don't Just Specify, Verify Third-Party Certification

BAFE Campaign - Don't Just Specify, Verify

The BAFE campaign - Don’t just Specify, Verify - points out the crucial second, and sometimes overlooked, verification stage when specifying evidentially competent, third-party certificated fire safety organisations to help comply with fire safety responsibilities.

Specifying a competent, third-party certificated fire safety organisation is a responsible action to help meet your fire safety obligations. Before awarding any contract however, it is just as important to verify their third-party certification is appropriate and valid for the work you require. This verification is extremely important, as BAFE registration or any third-party certification does not determine evidence of competency for all fire safety services. End users (e.g. premises management/Responsible People/Duty Holders) must be vigilant to ensure they exercise due diligence and perform this verification task prior to awarding contracts.

Why is this so important?

UKAS accredited third-party certification (commonly referred to as third-party certification) is always for specific works, this in most instances will never cover all services an organisation may offer. Organisations may hold valid third-party certification for multiple services, but each service offered will have had to undergo independent assessment to provide evidence of their competency for that specific work.

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In the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: final report, Dame Judith Hackitt discussed the “golden thread” of responsibility. This will affect positive change in the provision of fire safety action and recording of this throughout the entire lifecycle of a building. It states, “The [new Building Safety] Regulator will hold dutyholders [responsible people/premises management] to account, ensure that the standards are met and take action against those who fail to meet the requirements." In other words, it has never been more important to exercise full due diligence in the interest of life safety. Remember, don’t just specify, verify third-party certification.

Please Note: Other third-party certification registers are available. BAFE registered organisations may hold third-party certification from other UKAS accredited certification bodies for additional services not listed on the BAFE Fire Safety Register. Check when sourcing an organisation for specific life/fire safety requirements to confirm this.

What is UKAS Accredited Third-Party Certification?
UKAS accredited third-party certification is when an independent Certification Body, which is accredited by UKAS (the national accreditation body for the UK appointed by Government), sends checked assessors (trained in the specific skills required and working to appropriate standards) to assess the organisation. They check and verify the required competencies and management systems to deliver a specific service (e.g. fire risk assessment). This establishes quality independent evidence (third-party certification) that the organisation is deemed competent for a specific service – and are checked regularly (usually on an annual basis).