By Tanya Cooper, Managing Director of the NFRC CPS.
I took over as the Managing Director of NFRC Competent Person Scheme (NFRC CPS) in March 2021, having worked alongside the team during my time as Chief Operating Officer for NFRC.
Since joining, I have been focused on guaranteeing the best service to both contractors and clients.
NFRC CPS – formerly known as Competent Roofer – was established almost ten years ago in 2012. At the time of writing, we are still the only active Competent Person Scheme for the roofing industry in the country.
Competent Person Schemes play an important role in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector, allowing contractors to self-certify that works comply with certain elements of the building regulations without having to go through Building Control. They also provide a robust mechanism for guaranteeing the workmanship of the registered contractor, providing peace of mind to clients and stakeholders alike.
For roofing, this means roofers can self-certify that work meets energy efficiency standards under Approved Document L1B of the Building Regulations, where 50 per cent or more of a roof is being refurbished.
We have hundreds of contractors using our scheme every week, and over a year we will issue thousands of Building Regulation Compliance Certificates (BRCCs), on a wide range of jobs from domestic, to commercial, to social housing. However, we believe there are many more roofing contractors out there who could be benefitting from the scheme but are missing out. If you think this may be you, I would love to hear from you.
I started with NFRC CPS soon after it became an entirely independently run business. Prior to that, we co-managed it with a third-party provider. We managed the technical side of the programme, such as standards, inspections and reporting to UKAS, and our partners handled the administration, the customer relationship management (CRM) system and the insurance protection part of the scheme. This relationship worked well, but since we became fully independent at the end of last year, we have been able to take the scheme in a new direction.
Since then, we have designed and created a brand new bespoke CRM system, introduced a new interactive Contractor’s Portal to make it much easier to manage registered works, and have given contractors a much greater choice over which insurance provider to choose from. Of course, as with any new system, there are always hiccups in the beginning, but since I took over, I have been laser-focused on driving efficiencies and making improvements to our customer service. I hope contractors who use the scheme have noticed the difference and would welcome any feedback on how the Contractor’s Portal can be further developed to suit your needs.
Now our new systems and processes are bedding in, we are able to start looking to the future. I hope to grow the scheme, ensuring a wider number of contractors and clients know about and can benefit from the scheme. We will be at Housing 2021 in Manchester in September, speaking to local authorities, housing associations, and developers from across the country, promoting the scheme, and educating them on the benefits of using a NFRC CPS contractor. If you will be there, come and find us at Stand F45.
Widening the scope of the scheme
We also plan to soon be able to widen the scope of the scheme to include PAS2030:2019 accreditation. This will be known to many readers due to the infamous Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme. Whilst that particular scheme is now for the history books, there are still several government schemes available that require PAS2030, notably work done through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme, or the Social Housing Decarbonisation Scheme (SHDS). Further to this, it is likely that any replacement programme to the Green Homes Grant will also require this. Our application is still being processed by UKAS, but if successful, we hope to be able to certify contractors to do both flat and pitched roof insulation to this standard in the very near future.
Over the last few months, I have laid the foundations for a more improved, robust and reliable Competent Person Scheme for the roofing industry and have ambitious plans for the future. If you operate in the roofing refurbishment market and are not currently benefitting from the scheme, you should be asking yourself, why not?