The top business accreditations to choose for your trade
In the UK, we have a whole range of common business accreditations and trade associations that cover trades – from builders, electricians and plumbers to double glaziers, roofers and painters and decorators.
This guide covers the business accreditations the some of the most popular trades in the UK have gained.
Which trade associations to join in the UK
For many trades in the UK, there are multiple trade associations you can join that will offer accreditations and specialist services for their members – such as training, bespoke insurance, and trade-related advice.
If you’re considering joining a trade association, it’s worth checking out the options and deciding which one(s) might be the best option for your trade business.
Below we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular trade associations in the UK, but there may be others out there worth considering for your business.
Which accreditations to choose for a builder
For the building trade, you might want to look into the following:
- Federation of Master Builders – It’s the largest construction trade association in the UK. The FMB is there to protect the interests of small and medium-sized building companies both locally and nationally.
- Guild of Builders and Contractors – The GBC aims to bring together reputable and experienced construction tradespeople and businesses who are actively involved in the industry.
- Guild of Master Craftsmen – As part of the GMC, you’ll be joining skilled tradespeople and artisans who display professional integrity and work hard to maintain standards in their chosen industries.
- Stone Federation Great Britain – If you work with stone, the Stone Federation should be on your research list as it’s the official trade association for the natural stone industry in Great Britain.
Which accreditations to choose for a plumber
Here are some of the most popular plumbing trade associations:
- The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors – APHC offer support and guidance for plumbing and heating businesses that are looking for professional success.
- Building Engineering Services Competence Assessment Limited – BESCA acts as a certification body and aims to help businesses and individual tradespeople to meet industry standards, ensure compliance and promote best practice within the construction industry.
- Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers – The CIPHE is a professional body for the UK plumbing and heating industry that currently has over 7,500 members.
Which accreditations to choose for an electrician
When considering accreditations as an electrician or electrical businesses, here are some of the accreditations and trade associations to consider:
- Blue Flame Certification – BFC offers UKAS-accredited certification services for the energy industry, including gas, oil, electrical and renewable technologies.
- NAPIT – With over 16,000 registered members, NAPIT is one of the leading Government-approved and UKAS-accredited membership scheme operators in the UK. They cover electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, and building fabric trades for
domestic, commercial and industrial markets.
- NICEIC (formerly ELECSA) – NICEIC is the largest voluntary register of electrical businesses in the UK. They work to ensure that all electrical installations are carried out safely and offer inspection, assessment and certification services to contractors working across the building services sectors.
Which accreditations to choose for a roofer
As a roofer or roofing business, two of the biggest trade associations to consider for their business accreditations are:
- National Federation of Roofing Contractors – The NFRC is the UK’s largest roofing trade association. They promote quality contractors and products within the roofing industry, and actively ensure that all their members offer high standards of workmanship and reliable business practice.
- National Access & Scaffolding Confederation – If you’re in the scaffolding business, you’ll want to look into the NASC as it’s the go-to trade body for access and scaffolding businesses in the UK.
Which accreditations to choose for windows, doors and conservatories
As one of the most popular trades in the UK, there are a number of popular trade associations that offer accreditations for window, door and conservatory businesses. They include:
- Assure Certification – If you’re offering a replacement service for windows, roof windows, roof lights and doors in England and Wales then Assure might be for you. It’s an official, UKAS-accredited Competent Persons Scheme that’s authorised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
- CERTASS – As part of CERTASS accreditation, you’ll be assessed to ensure that you’re meeting specific industry standards. They offer a Competent Persons Scheme, a CQ Assured Workmanship Scheme, and PAS 2030 Certification.
- Exova BM TRADA Competent Persons Scheme – This scheme is designed to ensure that all window or door replacement work legally complies with the Building Regulations and is notified to Local Authority Building Control.
- FENSA – FENSA is a government-authorised scheme that monitors building regulation compliance specifically for the replacement of windows and doors. Each FENSA Approved Installer is assessed regularly to ensure that they comply with current Building Regulations in England and Wales.
- Glass and Glazing Federation – The GGF is the main representative organisation for companies involved in all aspects of the manufacture of glass and products and services for all types of glazing in the UK.
Which accreditations to choose for a central heating engineer
As a central heating engineer, you’ll need to consider the Gas Safe Register and you might also want to look into becoming HETAS-registered:
- Gas Safe Register – It’s a legal requirement for all gas engineers in the UK to be on the Gas Safe Register. It’s the official list of registered gas businesses who are recognised to work safely and legally on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances.
- HETAS – Being a HETAS-registered installer shows that your biomass and solid fuel heating installation work complies with the relevant Building Regulations in England and Wales.
Which accreditations to choose for a painter and decorator
For painters and decorators in the UK, there’s one leading trade association:
- Painting and Decorating Association – The PDA offers tailored support to painters and decorators across both domestic and commercial markets in the UK.
Which accreditations to choose for renewable energy
With the rise in popularity in renewable energy and green homes, you might want to look into becoming accredited by a trade association that focuses on green trades:
- MCS –The MCS is a standards organisation that creates and maintain standards that allows for the certification of low carbon products, installers and their installations. MCS membership shows quality, competency and compliance to recognised industry standards.
- Oil Firing Technical Association Limited – OFTEC leads the way in the off-gas grid heating sector in the UK. They operate UKAS-accredited registration schemes for heating technicians who work in liquid fuels, heat pumps, solar thermal, biomass and solid fuel.
- Solar Trade Association – The STA works to promote the benefits of solar energy and to make its adoption easy and profitable for domestic and commercial users.
Wondering what qualifications you might need to start working in a trade?
Here’s a handy read for you:
Why ISO certification is important
ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) is an independent body that develops standards for ensuring the quality, safety, and efficiency of the products or services provided by your businesses.
The benefits of ISO certification include:
- It allows you to identify risks and opportunities through standardised quality management
- It helps you avoid recurring problems by requiring you to maintain useful records
- It gives you a marketing boost as you can promote your business as being ISO-certified
- It improves your control over the business because you’re forced to monitor, measure, analyse and evaluate the quality of your product and service delivery
Become a Checkatrade-approved tradesperson
By joining Checkatrade and gaining our seal of approval, you’ll get the tick that…
- Gives you the platform to build your online reputation
- Increases your business’s trust with homeowners
- Gives you our seal of approval
- Helps you to win more business
- Gives you exclusive access to trade deals
Not only that, but we trust our members enough to guarantee their work for up to 12 months (T&Cs apply). That’s right, once you’re Checkatrade approved and guaranteed, you’ll know we’ve got your back.
Whether you’re thinking about starting a new business or you’re already up and running and want to grow your business, accreditations are a brilliant way to show customers that you’re dedicated to professional standards in your industry.
Just remember to do your homework, research the trade associations we’ve listed above – or see which other recognised bodies offer accreditations for your trade business.
Do I need UKAS accreditation?
It’s often a good idea to check that the accreditation schemes you’re looking at are UKAS-accredited. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the UK’s only national accreditation body and the UK government policy is that it only recognises accreditation schemes of UK-based bodies that have been accredited by UKAS.
What is the difference between ISO and UKAS?
The ISO is the international organisation that writes, reviews and updates standards for many different industry sectors – so it sits at the top of the standards tree. UKAS, as the UK’s national accreditation body, makes sure that any UK certification bodies are performing to the relevant standards.
If you’re looking to be certified in an ISO standard, then we’d recommend choosing a UKAS-accredited certification body to ensure that you can be confident that you’re certified to the right standard.
Is accreditation important in the UK?
We believe that business accreditations are extremely important, if you want to show customers that your trade business is dedicated to upholding standards within your industry. For some businesses, such as gas engineers, they’re also a legal requirement to operate in the UK.
Having national standards and accreditations helps to ensure that both businesses and customers can be confident that the products and services they purchase meet certain regulatory requirements.