Building Regulations and competent person self-certification schemes

Building Regulations are set legal standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health of people in or about those buildings and to help conserve fuel and power. These standards include specific aspects of building work and the notification procedures that must be followed by law when starting, carrying out, and completing this work.

To help people to comply with them the government produces Approved Documents, which offer guidance and show ways of achieving compliance.

These documents form the basis of the mandatory independent inspections that are required to be completed in law by a Building Control Body, or BCB. These may be one of the following:

      • The building control department of the Local Authority
      • An approved inspector

If any of the above considers that the building work doesn’t comply with Building Regulations, they won’t issue a compliance certificate. Unless the work is rectified, this can present serious problems to homeowners when selling their property in the future, as any violations will appear in local land searches.

Competent Person Schemes were introduced to the plumbing and heating industry by the government to allow individuals and businesses to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations without the need for independent verification by the BCB.

Examples of projects that fall into this category include:

      • Oil fired heating appliance installation
      • Gas fired heating appliances and installation (through Gas Safe Register)
      • Solid fuel heating appliance installation
      • Defined plumbing and sanitary appliance installation
      • Defined heating and hot water system installation (including unvented hot water systems)
      • Defined low carbon technology installation

Competent Person Schemes can make the certification of work under the regulations faster and cheaper, as there are no fees or necessary building regulations inspections.

To ensure standards are consistent, there are rules that scheme operators must follow, and installers must meet specific training and qualification requirements.

APHC Certification Ltd is a government-approved Competent Persons Scheme operator that can legally accredit installers to self-certify their work under the Building Regulations.

If you’d like to discuss the benefits that self-certification of plumbing and heating work can bring to your business, then please call the APHC Certification Ltd. membership sales team on 0121 711 5030.