RoofCERT – Free Accreditation for the First Five Thousand Roofers!
A few weeks ago we brought you some exciting news about a new initiative to register and accredit roofing contractors here in the UK in much the same was as Gas Safe registers heating engineers and plumbers. It’s a four year accreditation programme that’s aimed at transforming the UK roofing sector by launching an industry recognised accreditation standard for roofing installers that will be recognised by homeowners and the construction sector supply chain. We promised our readers that we would be bringing you news of any developments as they happen, so here’s some more information that could benefit your career in the roofing industry.
According to Roofing Today, the publication for the roofing sector, the first 5,000 roofers to become accredited will face no charge. Although the cost to contractors has not yet been decided, this is a great opportunity for early adopters. The plan is for the accreditation process to be implemented in a sustainable manner that is affordable for both contractors and buyers.
After the registration process, contractors will be required to attend some short courses provided by roofing training groups, which will include courses as follows:
- First aid
- Abrasive wheels (Stihl saws, grinders, etc.)
- Fire safety
- Working and height
- Manual handling
The RoofCERT scheme is expected to “professionalise” the roofing industry, help increase recruitment, staff retention and lead to higher standards overall. This is a great way of improving the reputation of roofing with customers, an important consideration, especially in light of so many negative news reports on charlatans who con home owners into expensive and unnecessary roofing repairs. The minimum entry standard of an accredited roofer will have to meet the requirements of the RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) domestic sector in order to act as a standard of competence and other values. Accreditation is also expected to cover some non-technical skills, such as communication with customers, a key issue. On site communication is also an important factor in delivering projects on time and within budget.
It’s hoped that RoofCERT will benefit the industry as a whole – roofing is currently viewed by home owners as the least trusted of all the buildings trades so improving the public perception of our industry is vital for success in the future. The recognition of a consumer scheme like RoofCERT has a wide-reaching effect on projects of all kinds. There’s a basic need for roofing contractors and operatives to understand the context of their work and their ability to challenge low standards. Operatives need to understand what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, how to do it safely and how to dispose of any waste in a safe manner.
Whilst working at height regulations are stringent and fit for purpose, there is a need to raise awareness of this with both contractors and clients, particularly when it comes to short term jobs like maintenance and refurbishment.
The roofing industry is facing challenges in the form of new methods of construction (such as off-site manufacture – OSM) and new materials and technologies. Keeping up with these new developments will play an essential role when it comes to meeting the requirements of the government’s Construction Deal.