New IBG requirement

26 Jun

This month it became a Government requirement for Competent Person Schemes within the replacement glazing industry in England and Wales to ensure that their Registered Businesses provide all replacing windows/doors domestic customers with an Insurance Back Guarantee (IBG), rather than just offer one.

This change applies to all Competent Person Schemes not just FENSA.

To help its Registered Businesses FENSA has compiled a list of Approved IBG Providers (Insurance companies) to fit the new IBG. All insurance companies listed have been the subject of due diligence by FENSA that has involved checking the cover provided in the policies that will be sold to homeowners.

FENSA Approved Insurance Providers
(In alphabetical order)

GGFi Limited
T: 0870 850 8281

Home Improvement Protection (HIP)
T: 01359 252202

HomePro Insurance
T: 08707 344344

T: 01268 779782

Independent Warranty (IWA)
T: 01604 604511

Installations Assured
T: 01234 841110

Insured Windows Guarantees Ltd (IWG)
T: 01924 783650 or 08000 730506

IPWFI Insurance
T: 0844 800 4125

Plastic Window Federation (PWF)
T: 01582 456147

Quality Assured National Warranties (QANW)
T: 01292 292701

The Consumer Protection Association (CPA)
T: 01462 850062

The Underwritten Warranty Company
Trading As The Insurance Backed Guarantee Company
T: 08450538975 or 08456343771


Due to the new requirements some IBG providers will no longer fulfil the necessary criteria to sell these policies. FENSA is continually working with insurance companies to enable them to become part of FENSA’s Approved IBG Provider list.

If your insurance company is not on FENSA’s Approved IBG Provider list, you will need to make arrangements to switch supplier to one of FENSA’s approved companies as soon as possible.

All FENSA registered businesses have been supplied with the updated list directly.

If FENSA Registered Businesses have any questions about IBGs please telephone 020 7397 7208 or email


FENSA at The FIT Show 2014

19 Jun

The Fabricator Installer Trade Show saw its second year at the International Centre in Telford and FENSA was part of the three-day event.

The number of installers visiting the show seemed to be down slightly on last year but the number of visitors wanting to speak to the FENSA team was high and we dealt with a large number of enquiries.

The level of enquiries was to be expected given the number of changes for installers this month. Transition to Certified Installers, Minimum Technical Competence (MTC) compliance and changes to IBGs all came into effect just prior to The FIT Show on 6 June.


To give you all a summary of the types of questions the FENSA team were asked here are a few below:

Transition to Certified Installer

Q: My FENSA account has been frozen because I have not passed a Transition inspection. What do I do?

A: You need to book a Transition inspection between now and 1st September 2014 and your FENSA account will be unfrozen. Ring or email the Transition Helpdesk – Tel 020 7397 7208 or

Q: But you checked my documentation when I joined!

A: If you joined FENSA after July 2013, then you do not need to undergo the Transition Inspection, this is only applicable to companies who have joined FENSA prior to Jul 2013. Once you have passed it, you do not need to have them checked again for another 3 years.

Q: I have my Transition Inspection documents ready but am waiting for my MTC card before I book the inspection.

A: Please do not delay and wait to get your MTC done first. Both the Transition Inspection and the MTC need to be done at the earliest opportunity. They are two different things – Transitions assess the technical competence at the company level, MTCs are at the individual level.


Q: What do I need to do to sort out MTCs?

A: One solution is to register for the FENSA MTC Card – either through experience or qualifications. At FIT we took installers next door where GGF Training could sign people up there and then. If you’d like to book in then please contact GGF Training today (tel/0844 848 2855 or

Q: I’ve been doing this for 40 years why do I need one?

A: You don’t need one if your work is approved by Local Authority Building Control. If your employer is self-certifying with a scheme like FENSA, you are required to comply with the industry’s MTC requirements. Your industry experience still counts – a minimum of two years is required which is self-declared and verified by taking a Knowledge Test and an Onsite Assessment.


Q: Is FENSA making money out of all these IBG policies now required?

A: FENSA does not earn a penny from the sales of IBGs – either now or in the past.

Q: My insurance company is not on FENSA’s Approved IBG Provider List. Do I have to change my IBG provider?

A: Yes. You will need to immediately contact your insurance company and advise them of the requirement. You may find that they are in the process of approval and then you need not take any action. If your supplier is not prepared to apply to become approved by FENSA then you will need to change your supplier.

If you need any further information on any of these topics please call:

Transitions and IBG – FENSA on 020 7397 7208

MTCs – GGF Training on 0844 848 2855


Master Fitter Challenge


In addition to meeting our registered businesses and offering guidance on the topics above the main highlight of the show was the Master Fitter Challenge. FENSA sponsored the event as part of its commitment to promoting best practice among fitters.

The eight finalists were David Pulford and Jack Elm from Everest, David Keats and Jonathon Mountford from DK Windows, Steven Price and Terry Griffin from Conwy Valley Windows and Conservatories, Karl Kinsey and Paul Casbolt from Yes Glazing Solutions, Scott Higgs and colleague from Walkers Windows, Dave Eagles and colleague from Xavier Windows, Craig Hanson from Pennine Trade and Retail and last year’s winner Arron Clegg working with his father Andy from Eco-Sash.

Spectators looked on as the finalists competed against one another over the first two days of the show. An individual GQA inspector was assigned to each team who were each tasked with replacing a bay window, installing a residential composite door and fault-finding a second resi-door.

Taking this year’s title were Karl Kinsey and Paul Casbolt from Yes Glazing Solutions with runners ups prizes going to Conwy Valley and Eco-Sash.

YesGlazing Winner

We would like to congratulate all the winners on their success!

FENSA announces sanctions for non-compliance

4 Jun

FENSA has received confirmation from UKAS* that it has met the Conditions of Authorisation required by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – the rules under which FENSA operates. This means that it has been accepted that a successfully transitioned FENSA Certified installation company will have met all the competency requirements of Transition – including for staff competence.

The FENSA certification approach requires the introduction of a sanctions policy that will be levelled at those registered businesses that do not complete a Transition Inspection by the deadline of 6 June 2014.

These are the details:

A non-transitioned registered business will find its FENSA account frozen from 9 June (and will be informed of this at the point of notification on the FENSA website). To unfreeze the account, the installer will need to contact FENSA via the dedicated Transition Helpline or Email (020 7397 7208 /

These businesses will be required to make a commitment to undertake a Transition Inspection before the 1st September 2014. Immediately they make that commitment the FENSA account will be unfrozen. The FENSA inspections body (the BBA) will then be in contact to arrange this Transition Inspection.

Registered Businesses with ‘frozen’ FENSA accounts will be prevented from registering notifiable installations and will no longer have the company listing publicly available on the FENSA website.

From the 1st September 2014, where Non-Transitioned registered businesses fail to follow these procedures and fail to inform FENSA of a notifiable installation for a Transition Inspection, the following additional sanctions will apply. The FENSA account will be frozen until a Transition Inspection has been successfully undertaken and failure to complete a Transition Inspection by the 31st December 2014 may result in the registration being suspended and the issuing of a 28-day notice of registration removal.


The position regarding Minimum Technical Competencies (MTCs) is clarified as follows.

Up to 31 May 2015 a FENSA registered company is required to employ operatives (installers and surveyors) who are deemed competent, or are adequately supervised by competent colleagues, to ensure that a job complies with Building Regulations and is safely completed. Demonstration of competence during this period could be by the holding of an industry recognised competency card and/or qualification.

The FENSA registered business will need to record that its staff comply by maintaining a register of approved surveyors and installers. This Staff Competency Register will be available on the FENSA website.

After 31 May 2015 all relevant installers, surveyors and installer/surveyors will need to prove competency – by holding a recognised card or relevant qualification.

Chris Mayne, FENSA managing director commented: “FENSA, and the other glazing CPSs, operate under 21 Conditions of Authorisation set down by the government (DCLG). FENSA is assessed against these Conditions by UKAS. Condition 9, which all CPSs have to meet, requires us to assess registered businesses on technical competency against national occupational standards under MTC.” Mayne adds: “This means that our registered businesses that have transitioned to Certified Installer will be deemed compliant.”

“To help the industry achieve this FENSA will be launching a Staff Competency Register in the summer (available online to companies that have Transitioned) for companies to record the status of their employees and sub-contractors. Compliance will be assessed by BBA during its usual inspections.”

“However, the competency requirements move forward, post 31 May 2015, to focus on the individual installers and surveyors. All operatives who work for self-certifying installation companies will need to hold a competency card (like the FENSA MTC Card) or relevant qualifications. They will need to demonstrate that this is the case.”

There will be sanctions in place that will apply to companies that do not follow this procedure – and they will include inspections, re-inspections, suspensions and potential cancellation of FENSA registration.

The employment of competent operatives by self-certifying installation businesses is a requirement of all glazing Competence Person Schemes. If a company wishes to continue self-certifying it will need to state that it has a competent workforce. The easiest route to achieve this is by getting its operatives registered for the FENSA MTC Card – and selecting either the industry experience or qualifications route –

*UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) – is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess against agreed standards for organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection & calibration services.

Trickle vent windows advice for homeowners

1 May

A recent question and answer session posed in the Daily Telegraph about the use of trickle vents has been the source of much debate on Twitter by members of the installation community.

Jeff Howell’s advice to a reader on whether he or she needed to replace windows with trickle vents with like has served to highlight the complexities facing many a homeowner and installer.

Our parent company The Glass and Glazing Federation outlines the current correct guidance on using trickle vent windows.

All buildings have to be ventilated in order to maintain the health and well being of everyone using them. There are two kinds of ventilation: background and rapid. Background ventilation can be provided by trickle ventilators. Rapid ventilation by opening the window.

The need for background ventilation depends upon the building and how it is currently being ventilated. When it comes to replacing windows an installer will need to determine if background ventilation would be required.

If a window is not well ventilated then it can lead to condensation build up which, if left, can lead to the proliferation of potentially harmful mold spores.

Current building regulations* state that it is only mandatory to install trickle ventilators within a replacement window if there was a trickle ventilator within the existing window. This is so buildings that were originally designed to have background ventilation continue to do so. Removing such vents could lead to serious problems with condensation at any point of the room where it loses heat (a thermal bridge) and not just on the windows themselves.

The above answers the reader’s question posed in the Daily Telegraph but it was not the same advice given in the article itself which referred to a period in 2010 when originally trickle ventilation was going to be installed in all replacement windows. This recommendation was changed following discussions between the fenestration industry and the Government department responsible for buildings regulations, which agreed this would not be required.

If you have any comments or questions then please do share them below.

*Source: Approved Document F Clause 7.3: Where the original windows were fitted with trickle ventilators the replacement windows should include them.

New webinar series announced

4 Apr

FENSA has launched another round of its popular free webinar series on the Government-backed Minimum Technical Competency and Transition to Certified Installer schemes.

The 6 June 2014 deadline for compliance with both is fast approaching and FENSA expects the webinars to be very popular. As well as finding out more about each topic, you will also have the opportunity to ask your own questions.

The dates are:

Pass your Transition Inspection

Thursday 17 April 1-2pm

Book your free place now


Pass your MTC Assessment

Thursday 24 April  1-2pm

Book your free place now


Pass your Transition Inspection

Wednesday 7 May, 1-2pm

Book your free place now


Pass your MTC Assessment

Wednesday 14 May 7-8pm

Book your free place now


Pass your Transition Inspection

Thursday 22 May, 7-8pm

Book your free place now


There is no limit to the numbers of attendees – so hurry and book your place today!

Waste not Want not!

28 Mar

When you decide to have new replacement energy efficient double glazing in your home, you may quite understandably be worried as to what happens to your old windows. Many questions spring to mind such as can the materials used in the manufacture of the old windows be recycled, does your local council allow building waste at their recycling site, will it cost for the disposal? Lots of things to consider.

However there is good news as many double glazing companies now collect the frames and glass from your old windows to be sent to specialist recycling companies. These recycling companies work with window companies and installers, to ensure that the old window frames do not end up in landfill. If you chose a company that offers this service, you don’t have to worry about this happening as the materials from your windows will be recycled and be made in to new PVC products or even to produce new windows.  If you are replacing wooden doors and frames, you may be able to pass them on to a company that can restore them and sell them on, once again preventing them being wasted.


International Recycling Symbol

International Recycling Symbol


It is good to know that the recycling of your old windows prevents the valuable materials being lost to landfill sites and also reduces the amount of raw materials being used up. So, not only are you being green by having energy efficient windows fitted, you are being green by protecting the environment.

An organisation called Recovinyl was set up in 2003 as part of the original Vinyl 2010 Voluntary Commitment to advance the sustainable development of the PVC industry by improving production processes, minimise emissions, develop recycling technology and boost the collection and recycling of waste.  You can read more about its objectives by clicking the link.




If you are feeling particularly adventurous you can recycle your old windows and frames within your own home, turning them in to interesting decorative objects or even making new useful products. You might also find in your local area an organisation that can make use of your old windows.

We would love to hear about your ideas on recycling double glazing, please share them in the comments below.

BFRC Launches Homeowner Energy Rating Certificates

21 Mar

BFRC has responded to requests from its registered businesses to launch a homeowner’s window and door energy rating certificate.  The certificate will be specific to the property and the products installed and will feature the installers name and date of installation as well as the well-known ‘rainbow’ colour label.  It is the only such certificate available in the UK glazing sector.


If an installer uses BFRC energy ratings as the route to compliance for ADL (rather than U-values) then this Homeowner Certificate can be issued for the client.  At the point of notification on the FENSA website installers will now be asked if they would like this BFRC Homeowner Certificate issued and dispatched with the FENSA certificate.

This new certificate will give homeowners proof of the level of energy efficiency their new windows and doors have achieved as verified by the premier, independent authority on window and door energy ratings.  It can be kept by the homeowner and presented to an Energy Performance Certificate surveyor and any prospective purchasers when it comes to selling the property.

This certificate is a valuable new marketing tool for installers.  Issuing of the certificate can be promoted by the installer to the homeowner as a value added benefit of using that company.  It will also link the new windows and doors supplied with the installation company and could facilitate ‘word of mouth’ recommendation.  It is issued at the same time as the FENSA certificate and can be supplied with no extra administration for the installer.

This new BFRC Homeowner Energy Rating Certificate will cost the installer just £1.50 (ex VAT).  As it is not mandatory homeowners will also be able to purchase this certificate direct in the event that the installer does not provide it.  In that case the cost will be £10 (ex VAT) and will be charged to the homeowner.  Replacement certificates can be purchased in the event of loss.

“BFRC recently surveyed its registered businesses about a number of issues ranging from technical support to marketing,” commented BFRC Operations Director Chris Mayne,  “80% requested a BFRC Homeowner Certificate that clearly sets out the energy rating of the products installed.  We have quickly responded to that demand and launched this new certificate.”

The certificate will feature the energy efficiency label that recent research found was recognised by 82% of homeowners.

The BFRC Homeowner Certificate is just the first of several marketing support initiatives that will be launched by BFRC


For further information, please contact: Lis Clarke, BFRC, tel:  0207 939 9120, email:


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