What is a Competent Person Scheme?


What is a Competent Person Scheme?

A Competent Person Scheme is a crucial aspect when buying replacement windows and doors. These schemes, regulated by the government for over two decades, aim to raise industry standards in building refurbishment and eliminate unqualified contractors, providing homeowners with peace of mind.

Competent Person Schemes have existed for more than 20 years and are regulated by the government to try to drive up standards in the building refurbishment industry and drive out the ‘cowboys’. They also make life much easier for homeowners!

The vast majority of tradespeople operating in people’s homes (from gas engineers to electricians) are ‘certified competent’ but it’s a question that’s always worth asking and checking their credentials before you choose a company to start working on your property.

The two schemes that matter in the window and door replacement market are FENSA and Certass – they’re separate organisations (FENSA is allied to the Glass & Glazing Federation of which AluK is a member), but they basically do the same thing.

Installers who are members of either FENSA or Certass are audited and assessed for competency, and they are then allowed to self-certify that any window and door replacement work they are carrying out complies with Building Regs. That covers everything from Building Regs Part L for thermal efficiency, Part F for adequate ventilation, Part Q for security and  Part M for disabled access.

It’s worth pointing out that AluK has a clever FENSA approved calculator available which our customers can use to confirm the thermal efficiency of all our Part L compliant products (77IW, 77IWE, F82Plus, C70s and 77ID systems and HI versions of the BSF70 bifold, 58BW window system and 58BD door system) based on the dimensions and the glass being fitted.

Before companies can join either FENSA or Certass, they have to show evidence that their fitters have the right skills and training, that they have adequate management systems in place and that they offer some kind of warranty and consumer financial protection. They are then subject to regular, ongoing spot checks on installations to confirm that they still comply.

So, if you choose a member of either scheme, you get peace of mind that your installation is up to standard, and you don’t have to worry about the hassle or cost of submitting a building notice to your local Building Control office and having the work inspected.

Even though planning permission isn’t required for the vast majority of window and door replacement, the law does require a certificate to confirm that the installation complies with Building Regs. FENSA and Certass members will provide the certificate for you, and you will need to provide that when you come to sell your property.

Both FENSA and Certass have useful ‘Find an Installer’ tools on their websites



Of course, you can choose to submit the building notice yourself if you prefer and there are some projects where FENSA or Certass members can’t self-certify (such as extensions and new builds). For more help and advice, feel free to get in touch with us via info.uk@aluk.com.