Understanding Third-Party Accreditation
Fire Safety Services is a third-party accredited Company. Third-party certification involves an independent assessment declaring that specified requirements pertaining to a product, person, process or management system have been met. Fire Safety Services is accredited by UKAS.
What is UKAS?
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the national accreditation body for the United Kingdom. UKAS is recognised by government, to assess the certification bodies that provide certification against internationally agreed standards for testing, inspection and calibration services.
An organisation accredited by UKAS can demonstrate competence, impartiality and reliability in its ability to deliver results. Accreditation ensures that everyone from specifiers, purchasers, and suppliers to consumers can have confidence in the quality of goods and in the provision of services throughout the supply chain.
UKAS Quality Management logo
When choosing a supplier you should always ensure they are UKAS accredited, the UKAS logo is generally incorporated in the Certification Body logo and shown on any certificate of registration.
UKAS accredited certification, testing and calibration and inspection reduces the need for suppliers to be assessed by each of their customers.
Accreditation, with its many potential benefits for the quality of goods and in the provision of services will help the Responsible Person ensure compliance under the Fire Safety Order, this will also ensure the selection of Competent Persons for the provision of maintenance under the order.
Need some help?
If you would like to find out more about third-party accreditation and how Fire Safety Services can help you and your business, call our sales team on 08000 234114 or complete the form for a call back:
Understanding Third-Party Accreditation Enquiry
Scope of Registration:
Just checking the accreditations of a supplier is not enough; you must ensure they are; accredited for the provision of service(s) or product(s) you require. For example, a Security Alarm company who are Third Party Accredited for security systems offer you Fire Alarm System maintenance; which is not included in their certification, it is very common for organisations to assume their certification covers everything they do because they have seen a UKAS certification body logo on the suppliers letterhead. Always read the scope of activities covered; you will find this on the certificate of registration, it will detail what their certification covers.
By choosing service and / or product suppliers who are certified by a UKAS accredited certification body you will reduce the chances of facing prosecution under the Fire Safety Order. A prosecution by Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service in December 2015 is clear evidence of the risk you take when appointing suppliers in the fire safety sector, see full story here.
Fire Safety Services are certified and qualified for all services and products supplied. For evidence of our third-party certification which displays our logos and certificates visit our Accreditation page.
Why is choosing a third-party accredited company vital to your business?
Fire safety is all about protecting life and property. It is a legal requirement for the purchaser of fire safety services to ensure that the person or organisation carrying out the work is ‘competent’.
Third-Party Certification is evidence that a service or product adheres to certain standards. An independent expert, the third party, has assessed the service or product and certified that it complies with those standards.
How does third-party accreditation work?
A third-party certification body assesses the qualities of a supplier organisation by comparing them with the requirements of a particular scheme. If the supplier organisation meets these standards, then it is issued with a certificate detailing the scope of its certification. This process is called an audit and is carried out when the organisation is first certificated and then periodically (typically every six months) to maintain the certificate.
The certificated organisation (the supplier) is permitted to claim compliance with the scheme, display copies of their certificate and, in most cases, display the logos of the scheme and the certification body.
Depending on the scheme, the certificated organisation will also issue certificates of conformity for the product/service they provide, such as a complete fire alarm system or extinguisher service.
In the UK, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) validates the authority of the certification body. It is an internationally recognised organisation appointed by the government to accredit certification bodies and the schemes they deliver.
Most schemes have a provision for the supplier to issue a Certificate of Conformity for each new system. It is this certificate that you, as the end customer, should be looking for. The Certificate of Conformity should provide Building Control, your local Fire & Rescue Service and your insurance company with convincing evidence that the system is of good quality and fit for purpose.
How do you identify and select third-party certified suppliers?
When purchasing fire safety services, you should make sure that you have done your homework so that you are aware of the relevant scheme or schemes. Once you’ve identified this you can visit that scheme owner or certification body website and draw down a list of potential suppliers.
In whichever way you select your supplier, don’t be afraid to ask to see their certificate; if they have one they will be very pleased to show you. When your supplier produces a certificate examine it closely. Look at the ‘scope’. Does it describe the service you are purchasing? If not, reject it. Verify the validity by checking with the certification body – this can often be done online in seconds. It is worth remembering that certificates do have a limited life span and might be forged by a less reputable company. This simple check will give you added peace of mind.
Ensuring you use competent suppliers is both a legal requirement and a practical necessity. With such a range of schemes available, you can make sure your specific needs are met. Getting it wrong can be very costly through fines, legal costs, loss of property and loss of business. By seeking out suppliers with third-party certification, the risk is substantially reduced.
Are you responsible for fire safety in your premises?
Do you know what you need to have in place to comply with the law?
Watch this very informative video produced by the Fire Industry Association (FIA) to help you understand the steps you need to take.
The video includes a short explanation of third-party certification and how it benefits you and your business.
Did you know you could be prosecuted if you don’t have the right fire safety strategy in place for your premises?
Download and read our information sheet on third-party certification.
Depending on how your website browser is set to function the file will either download directly to your computer or open as a pdf in a new window where you'll be able to save and open in any Adobe Acrobat compatible software.
More about Third-Party Accreditation on our blog
Our blog is designed to give you a greater understanding about fire safety and how our services can help you. All of our blog posts are written by members of our team who have vast experience in specific aspects of fire safety, so you can be sure that the information you are reading comes from a qualified source.
For posts specifically about third-party accreditation – click here
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