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Understanding Certifications and Guarantees

28th May 2024 - By Danelle Vanstone

When undertaking home improvements or renovations, the choice of tradesperson is pivotal not just for the quality of work but also for the peace of mind it brings. Understanding the various certifications and what they mean can help you make an informed decision. This guide will explain several key badges and an important guarantee – the insurance-backed guarantee – to look for when choosing a tradesperson.


Overview: TrustMark is a government-endorsed quality scheme, that assures homeowners of the quality and reliability of tradespeople. It signifies adherence to rigorous standards of craftsmanship and customer service.

Vetting Process: Tradespeople must undergo checks including technical competence, customer service, and business practices, with regular inspections ensuring ongoing compliance.

Competent Person Schemes (CPS)

Overview: These schemes allow tradespeople to self-certify their installation complies with Building Regulations, streamlining the process of registering with building control for a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate (BRCC). This assures homeowners of lawful and competent work.

Vetting Process: Tradespeople are assessed on their technical knowledge and skills, with regular evaluations to maintain their registration with the scheme.

Certass Ltd

Overview: Certass is a UKAS-approved certification body that assures homeowners of the compliance and quality standards of registered installers in the glazing industry.

Vetting Process: Contractors undergo regular audits and inspections to ensure their workmanship continuously meets Building Regulations.

Federation of Master Builders (FMB)

Overview: The FMB badge indicates that a builder has been independently checked and verified, offering confidence in their workmanship and business practices.

Vetting Process: This includes an inspection of the tradesperson’s work, verification of their trading history, credit status, and customer satisfaction.

Which? Trusted Trader

Overview: Which? Trusted Trader endorsement helps homeowners choose traders who have been rigorously assessed and verified as reputable and trustworthy.

Vetting Process: Includes credit checks, customer feedback reviews, and thorough assessments of business procedures.


Overview: Checkatrade provides a directory where tradespeople are vetted for their integrity and reliability. Helping homeowners choose based on verified reviews and ratings.

Vetting Process: Background checks, qualifications and insurance verifications, alongside regular collection of customer feedback.

Insurance Backed Guarantee

What It Means to Homeowners: An insurance-backed guarantee (IBG) offers additional peace of mind, providing coverage that the guarantee from the installer who completed work will be upheld even if the installer ceases trading.

Vetting Process: Tradespoeple offering IBGs are typically vetted to ensure they meet specific standards of financial stability and business practice before they can offer these guarantees.

Overview: An IBG ensures that your investment is protected, covering you against unforeseen circumstances that might otherwise leave work incomplete or substandard.

Making Your Decision

Understanding these certifications and the importance of an insurance-backed guarantee helps homeowners make educated choices about whom to hire. When a tradesperson has one or more of these badges and offers an IBG, it indicates a level of professionalism and reliability that can significantly reduce the risks associated with home improvement projects.

By choosing wisely, you ensure that your home improvements are carried out by skilled professionals who are committed to upholding the highest standards in their work and business practice. For further details on each certification and to find certified tradespeople, use the Certified Competent search function to find competent traders in your area.

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