FENSA versus Certass - What you need to know.

Posted by | June 1, 2021

If you are planning on upgrading your properties windows you may be aware that the new windows and their installation will have to be certified at completion to show that they comply with the relevant UK building regulations.

Since 2002 it has been a legal requirement that the installation of new or replacement windows or doors must be completed in compliance with UK Building regulations. Completed works can be signed off by an approved inspector or by having your contractor use one of the two self-certification bodies for the double glazing industry - FENSA or CERTASS.

So if you are going to get your windows signed off you are likely to encounter one or another of these organisations as their combined membership covers almost 70% of the double glazing industry. In this short article, we will explain everything a customer needs to know about FENSA and Certass and the key differences between them.

What is FENSA?

The Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme is an organisation that was set up with government support by several trade bodies to provide self-certification.

What is CERTASS?

CERTASS is a limited company that is approved to certify tradespersons as part of a Government licensed Competent Person Scheme.

So what are the key differences between FENSA and CERTASS?

FENSA is an older organization than CERTASS and has a larger membership so you are more likely to encounter double glazing companies that are using them for their certification.

However, CERTASS is rapidly growing its membership base and being accredited by TrustMark and being Green Deal approved make it increasingly sought out by homeland property owners.

Both FENSA and CERTASS accredited double glazing firms provide key reassurances for the work they provide.

Using companies with either the CERTASS or FENSA accreditation provides the reassurance that by working with a registered installer, they will not only benefit from deposit protection but also key insurance policies in addition to any guarantees the company itself provides. This is because both bodies have exacting standards for training and competence that their members must meet. In addition, if things go wrong these organisations will step in and provide mediation for any disputes that may arise.

If you are using a FENSA contractor you must always ask them to provide a FENSA certificate for their completed work.

You must have a FENSA certificate for the new windows and doors that are installed as it is a legal requirement that demonstrates compliance with building regulations that you need. After 2014, a FENSA certificate also verifies that any installer warranty is insured, meaning you can have peace of mind that the workmanship on your new windows is fully covered.

CERTASS will also issue a certification that their works meet building compliance.

Once a CERTASS contractor completes your windows, they will send a notification to CERTASS that your work is complete. CERTASS should issue your certificate within 7 days, as well as notifying the local authority of the completed work. In addition, CERTASS is well known for carrying on its own inspections on its contractors’ work.