Checking that your Fire Protection provider has Third Party Certification or Accreditation is the best way to ensure you are working with a competent, experienced expert.
And know that you can rely on them to protect your premises, your staff and your liability as the Responsible Person.
A certification or accreditation from a recognised third party organisation is independent verification that your provider is working to the appropriate standards and best practice for the service you require.
But what is third party certification?
Well, it helps if you know what 1st and 2nd party certification is.
First party certification
A first party certification is when the company says they are good enough – on their website or in person – but provides no evidence of their competency to fulfil your requirements.
Second party certification
A second party referral is a recommendation from someone else that a provider can fulfil your requirements. This could be:
- a trade association which doesn’t insist on third party certification as a joining criteria
- a contractor register
- another customer
But you are given no evidence of why they are referring this provider. Or that they are competent to judge the expertise of the provider. This is particularly dangerous if the referral comes from another customer.
Their criteria for what is required may be very different to yours. Especially if they are in a different industry. Being a ‘nice bloke’ is not the best standard to judge the quality of their ability to protect your premises and staff.
What is third party certification
Here is a great video from BAFE with more information about their third party certification and accreditation schemes here.
Why third party certification or accreditation?
Companies that are accredited by recognised bodies will be inspected at least annually. If they don’t meet the standards required, they will get a warning. If they still don’t make the grade, they will be struck off.
This ensures that any business using an accredited, certified company can be sure they are getting someone competent.
Always insist on a Fire or Security provider who has third party certification from a recognised body.