BAFE FAQs

About BAFE and Third Party Certification
  • What is BAFE?

    BAFE is the independent registration body for Third Party Certificated fire safety service providers across the UK.

    A national independent register of quality fire safety companies. All BAFE Registered Companies have been independently assessed to determine their competency to confidently deliver specific fire safety services such as fire risk assessment, fire detection and fire alarm system works and/or fire extinguisher servicing/maintenance to name a few.

    BAFE develops schemes based on defined quality standards and industry best practice for fire safety service providers to achieve and become Third Party Certificated. This provides independent evidence of their competency to offer specific fire safety services. BAFE has dedicated monitoring groups for each scheme which meet regularly to ensure they continue to represent the highest levels of competency and best practice within the industry.

    Company assessments are performed exclusively by UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies (licensed by BAFE). Companies are only permitted to become BAFE Registered and appear on the national BAFE Fire Safety Register whilst they hold the appropriate and valid Third Party Certification and continue to meet the criteria of the relevant BAFE Scheme (checked via regular assessments). This establishes quality evidence of their competency to fulfil specific work.

    BAFE is completely independent and therefore is a totally unbiased party to help premises managers source and verify evidentially competent providers for required fire safety work. BAFE Registered Companies nationwide, from both large nationals to smaller regional businesses and sole providers, have achieved the same high quality competency criteria of one or more of the specific schemes that BAFE offer.

    If you require fire safety services for your premises, then you need to specify BAFE to be sure that the companies that provide them work to best industry practice, meet all the appropriate standards and are independently assessed regularly by a UKAS Accredited Certification Body.

  • What does the BAFE acronym stand for?

    BAFE is registered with Companies House as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (Company Number 02001503).

    BAFE however has evolved over its decades of operation to now determine competency for a multitude of specific fire safety services. Therefore, British Approvals for Fire Equipment is exclusively denoted and recognised as BAFE (and BAFE Fire Safety Register) holding appropriate trademarks for these. BAFE also holds the trademark for the tagline BAFE – British Approvals for Fire Excellence which is used for marketing purposes.

  • Is BAFE Registration a legal requirement?

    Do I have to be BAFE Registered?

    Registering your organisation with BAFE is voluntary. It does however have benefits of demonstrating quality evidence of competency having chosen to be independently assessed and gaining Third-Party Certification. Whilst it is not a legal requirement, Third-Party Certification is highlighted in guidance issued by Government and the Fire and Rescue Service.

    For example, GOV.UK fire safety in the workplace guidance documents note the importance of quality assurance:

    “Third-party certification schemes for fire protection products and related services are an effective means of providing the fullest possible assurances, offering a level of quality, reliability and safety that non-certificated products may lack... Third-party quality assurance can offer comfort both as a means of satisfying you that goods and services you have purchased are fit for purpose, and as a means of demonstrating that you have complied with the law.”

    - HM Government Fire Safety Risk Assessment Guidance Documents: Section 8 Quality assurance of fire protection equipment and installation (https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-risk-assessments).

  • Is BAFE an independent body?

    Yes – BAFE is a fully independent body.

    BAFE was first established in 1984 within FETA - Fire Extinguishing Trades Association and BFPSA - the British Fire Protection Systems Association (BAFE was registered with Companies House in 1986). Since 2009 however BAFE has been completely independent and has evolved into developing and monitoring schemes to determine competency for multiple specific fire safety services. BAFE is based in its own offices as a tenant of the Fire Service College, Moreton in Marsh.

  • How is BAFE Governed?

    BAFE is governed via a Board of Directors and a Council who represent all major stakeholder interests, including consumer interests, enforcement authorities, insurers, certification bodies, the trade and other interested parties.

  • What is UKAS?

    The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the sole National Accreditation Body for the United Kingdom. UKAS is recognised by government, to assess against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.

    Accreditation by UKAS demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of these evaluators. In short, UKAS ‘checks the checkers’. UKAS is a non-profit-distributing private company, limited by guarantee. UKAS is independent of Government....

    UKAS accreditation provides an assurance of the competence, impartiality and integrity of conformity assessment bodies [such as the Third Party Certification Bodies who deliver BAFE Scheme assessments].

    https://www.ukas.com/about-us/about-ukas/

    Information correct as of 30/03/2021

  • 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 company. 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 provider is deemed competent for a specific service – and are checked regularly (usually on an annual basis).

    How does UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification differ to other types of referral and certification?

  • How does UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification differ to other types of referral and certification?

    Certification has dramatically different levels of substance behind them and you should be aware of these to ensure you remain attentive to your fire safety obligations when employing external contractors to help fulfil your duties.

    First party referral or ‘self-certification’
    First party referral or ‘self-certification’ is when the provider or contractor tells their potential customer that they are competent for the work, with no evidence of this.
    Second party referral
    Second party referral involves someone else, such as a customer referral or trade association membership (that has no competency entry requirements but can imply they are competent).

    Then you get into the levels of Certification. For this, people should be looking for UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification. Whilst this is commonly referred to as Third Party Certification it is important to know the difference between UKAS Accredited and non-UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification.

    Non-UKAS Accredited Certification
    Non-UKAS Accredited Certification involves an independent body who either issue certification themselves or via a body not accredited by UKAS but through their own competency criteria. If someone were to use a company certificated in this way, they should be highly thorough and check the competency requirements required to achieve this.
    UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification
    UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification, commonly referred to as Third Party Certification, takes this to another level. This is when an independent UKAS Accredited Certification Body will send assessors out to inspect companies and check they are working competently under a quality management system to the appropriate standards and best working practice for a specific service (e.g. Fire Risk Assessment). This assessment process provides quality independent evidence that the provider can do what they say.

    Third Party Certification is always for a specific service, this in most instances will never cover all services a provider may offer. Providers may have achieved UKAS Accredited 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 area.

    Further Reading:

    UKAS - Accreditation Vs Certification

    https://www.ukas.com/accreditation/about/accreditation-vs-certification

  • What areas of fire safety does BAFE cover?

    BAFE offer distinct competency schemes for the following services:

    • Fire extinguisher servicing/maintenance (BAFE Scheme no. SP101)
    • Fire Risk Assessment (BAFE Scheme no. SP205)
    • Kitchen fire protection systems (BAFE Scheme no. SP206)
    • Dry and Wet Riser/Falling Installations servicing/maintenance (BAFE Scheme no. SP105)

    The SP203 suite of schemes (listed below) consists of three separate schemes. These are all modular using the SP203 format, meaning a company can achieve Third Party Certification and BAFE Registration in one or more of these skills. Both the SP207 and SP203 suite of schemes offer competency criteria for the design, installation, commissioning and/or maintenance of:

    • Fire detection and fire alarms systems (BAFE Scheme no. SP203-1)
    • Fixed gaseous fire extinguishing systems (BAFE Scheme no. SP203-3)
    • Emergency lighting systems (BAFE Scheme no. SP203-4)
    • Evacuation Alert Systems (BAFE Scheme no. SP207)
    Additional Information

    BAFE also acknowledge the following two BRE/LPCB Third Party Certification schemes to allow BAFE Registration:

    • LPS 1014 Fire Detection and Alarm Systems (BAFE Scheme no. SP201)*
    • LPS 1204 Fixed Extinguishing Systems (BAFE Scheme no. SP202)

    *The BAFE SP201 Scheme acknowledges providers who hold LPS 1014 Fire Detection and Alarm Systems Third Party Certification (this covers all four modules).

    Consumer Information
    Companies can become Third Party Certificated and BAFE Registered to one or more of the BAFE Schemes listed above. It is important to verify your chosen provider is appropriately Third Party Certificated and BAFE Registered for the service you require.
  • Does BAFE directly supply fire safety services?

    No - BAFE does not directly supply fire safety services. BAFE is a comprehensive register of independently assessed Third Party Certificated companies that you can use to source a competent fire safety service provider to fulfil specific requirements.

    All the companies that feature on the BAFE Register are Third Party Certificated for one or more services that the BAFE suite of competency schemes cover.

    It is important your chosen provider is Third Party Certificated/BAFE Registered for the specific service you require.

  • Is BAFE a Certification Body?

    BAFE is not a Certification Body. BAFE develop scheme criteria which licensed UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies then use to assess fire safety service providers. This is to determine competency to deliver a specific fire safety service. A company must hold Third Party Certification to a BAFE scheme to become BAFE Registered. If a company loses their Third Party Certification to a BAFE scheme, they also lose their BAFE Registration with immediate effect for that scheme.

  • Is BAFE a Trade Association?

    BAFE is not a trade association. The major difference between BAFE and trade associations is that a company is not paying to become a member of an industry group. Instead a company is establishing evidence of their competence by being independently assessed and Third Party Certificated. Only then are companies allowed to become BAFE Registered.

    BAFE do not have "members", the BAFE Register is a publicly accessible database of fire safety companies who are Third Party Certificated via UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification Bodies to specific BAFE Scheme criteria.

  • Is BAFE a fire safety training provider?

    No - BAFE is not a fire safety training provider.

    BAFE do offer invigilation services for the BS 5306 exam, but this training is performed by external providers.

  • How can I use the BAFE logo?

    The BAFE and BAFE Fire Safety Register logos are registered trademarks owned by BAFE. Only BAFE and BAFE Licensed Certification Bodies are permitted to use the logo without the scheme description box underneath without prior permission.

    Only organsations that have gained BAFE Registration can use the BAFE logo (and this must display the appropriate scheme description box).

    For example, organisations looking to use the BAFE logo for work performed with emergency lighting systems must have been successfully assessed by a Certification Body to the scope of BAFE SP203-4, then Registered with BAFE. Only then can they display the BAFE logo with the BAFE SP203-4 Scheme description box to clearly state this is for emergency lighting system works.

    The BAFE logo is a nationally recognised marque of approval showing that a company has been independently assessed/Third Party Certificated and has been awarded BAFE Registration for a specific fire safety service.

    The BAFE logo displayed should always show what scheme the company is registered to. This will be indicated underneath the main BAFE logo in a description box explaining what specific service they are BAFE Registered to provide.

  • How can I report misuse or trademark violation of the BAFE brand?

    Complaints/reports of BAFE logo misuse must be made in line with our Complaint Resolution Process document available using the link below. Please review this prior to contacting the appropriate body.

    Please note
    Reporting any issues regarding a BAFE registered organisation or Certification Body licensed by BAFE must be able to evidence avenues documented in the complaints resolution process have been fully exhausted to rectify the issue prior to contacting BAFE (depending on the nature of complaint). If this is not evidenced, this may result in the complaint being rejected.
  • How can I make a complaint?

    Complaints must be made in line with our information available using the link below. Please review this prior to contacting the appropriate body.

  • Why should I use a BAFE Registered Organisation?
    10 reasons to choose a BAFE Registered Organisation to help meet your fire safety obligations.
    1. Independent and unbiased assessment of competency
    All BAFE Registered Organisations nationwide have been independently and regularly assessed by a UKAS accredited certification body to ensure they have achieved quality evidence of competency to deliver specific work.
    2. Quality professionals providing confidence of service excellence
    This independent assessment is completely voluntary, meaning an organisation's own time and money is used to demonstrate their commitment to quality, showing they are skilled professionals to help meet your requirements.
    3. What reason do you have for not choosing a third-party certificated provider?
    Reduce the risk - There is now such a wide range of third-party certificated organisations that you can refine your choices without loss of competition. There are plenty of organisations available who claim third-party certification is not necessary, but who is assessing their competency?
    4. Evidential Competency
    As the person responsible for fire safety, you can see certificated evidence of your chosen organisation's competency. Your insurers will be interested in seeing this evidence, especially if you have to make a claim. Don't just specify, verify third-party certification. Request to see and check your chosen organisation's third-party certification/BAFE scheme registration certificate to check these are appropriate for the work required prior to work commencing on-site.
    5. Confidence you have acted with due diligence
    This certificated evidence demonstrates due diligence in sourcing a competent organisation to help meet your fire safety obligations.
    6. Regular assessments to ensure ongoing competency
    BAFE registered organisations are assessed annually, meaning ongoing assessment of their competency with up to date relevant standards and best working practice.
    7. Best representation of quality and service excellence
    BAFE scheme criteria for third-party certification are monitored and reviewed regularly by BAFE scheme Monitoring Groups using industry experts to provide confidence that they are always at the leading edge of the fire safety industry. This means the BAFE schemes remain the most up to date representation of quality and competency for specific fire safety work.
    8. Monitored compliance
    BAFE monitor registered organisations to ensure they continue to work to the required scheme criteria. If for any reason an organisation's competency falls into disrepute, this will be investigated and if confirmed, their BAFE registration will be suspended until rectified or terminated.
    9. Simple to source or verify competent organisations near you or nationwide
    The BAFE Fire Safety Register is free to access, meaning no additional cost to public or procurement specialists to find or verify evidentially competent organisations for your fire safety requirements. Don't just specify, verify third-party certification, what is your excuse not to check?
    10. Recommended by Government and Fire and Rescue Services across the UK
    It is recommended by Government, from both GOV.UK and GOV.SCOT fire safety guidance, to use third-party certificated organisations for fire safety services as "an effective means of providing the fullest possible assurances, offering a level of quality, reliability and safety that non-certificated products [and services] may lack" (GOV.UK Fire Safety Guidance Documents). Multiple Fire and Rescue Services across England and Wales recommend this and is strongly encouraged by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also stress that a competent person should be used "to enable them to implement the appropriate fire safety measures".
    Please Note
    It is important your chosen fire safety organisation is third-party certificated and BAFE registered for the specific work you require. In the instance that you require specific work that the BAFE schemes do not cover, it is still strongly advised to check if your chosen organisation is appropriately third-party certificated for these via another body.

    If you are ever unsure on anything you are looking for, please contact BAFE Head Office. We will be more than happy to assist you in finding quality, third-party certificated, BAFE registered organisations to help meet your fire safety requirements.

    In the instance that you require specific services that the BAFE schemes do not cover, it is still strongly advised to check if your chosen organisation is appropriately third-party certificated via another body.

  • Where do I find information regarding a specific BAFE Scheme?

    Please visit the appropriate BAFE Scheme page in the Become BAFE Registered section for information. These pages contain an overview of the process and provide appropriate Scheme Documentation.

    https://www.bafe.org.uk/become-bafe-registered

  • Where can I find the BAFE Scheme Documents?

    All BAFE Scheme Documents (and supporting documentation) can be found in the Become BAFE Registered section of the website. Please select the appropriate BAFE Scheme you are looking for in this section to source the correct Scheme Documentation.

    https://www.bafe.org.uk/become-bafe-registered