FAQs — NFRC RoofCERT Roofing Accreditation
 

FAQs


Questions asked by roofers

What is RoofCERT?

Passing the RoofCERT programme proves to everyone you have the up-to-date skills and knowledge needed for your type of roof work. That could be roof slating and tiling, roof sheeting and cladding, Single Ply, Mastic Asphalt, or Reinforced Bitumen Membranes (RBM).

Why do I need it?

Poor workmanship by cowboy roofers is bad for the image of the roofing trade. The RoofCERT accreditation sets you apart, and proves that you are a skilled roofer who takes pride in your work and cares about doing a good job.

Why is this different from getting an NVQ or SVQ?

You may have done your N/SVQ many years ago and industry standards will change over time. By holding RoofCERT accreditation, you can prove that you are up to date with technical skills and knowledge in the roofing discipline you were originally trained and qualified to do.

Why do I need to do RoofCERT now?

There is an industry drive for re-checking skills and knowledge over time. The government is also developing building safety legislation that will require many operatives across the construction industry to demonstrate that their skills meet building regulations and industry standards.

What do I need to do to become accredited?

There are three simple steps to accreditation:

  • Pass an online knowledge test of 35 multiple choice questions in your chosen discipline
  • Prove that you hold a relevant NVQ/SVQ Level 2 (SCQF Level 5 or above in Scotland) or above in your chosen discipline, or pass a RoofCERT assessment
  • Provide the relevant CPD (Continuous Professional Development) certification or complete a declaration to confirm you have met the requirements of the CPD element.

A competent assessor will then check what you’ve provided.

Do I need to pay to become accredited?

We currently have funding to allow you to take your RoofCERT knowledge test and go through the assessor check free of charge.

This funding is limited, so don’t wait until you have to pay.

Can I get funding to do my NVQ/SVQ and Continuous Professional Development (CPD)?

Funding is available through CITB (Construction Industry Training Board). Speak to your employer or main contractor about how they may be able to obtain funding and grants to support your ongoing development.

There are also alternative routes for doing it yourself. Find out more at nfrc.co.uk/careers or contact careers@nfrc.co.uk.

Will the accreditation be held by me or my employer?

It will be held by you: RoofCERT accreditation is for individuals. Employers will benefit from using accredited roofers as this shows commitment to quality and training.

How long will my certificate be valid for?

Your certificate is valid for three years.

When you need to renew it, you will need to make sure you have kept up to date with any changes to industry standards. Completing regular CPD will help you remain up to date. RoofCERT can provide visual learning tools to help.

Will it cost me to renew my certificate?

There will be a cost to renew your certificate, which will cover the costs of providing CPD and running RoofCERT.

Your employer may be willing to help with these costs and funding, or grants may also be available. 


Questions asked by roofing contractor companies

Why should I put my operatives through RoofCERT? Do I have to?

RoofCERT shows employers, clients and suppliers that a roofer is competent and up to date with industry standards. To achieve this, they should be repeatedly showing their competence by updating their:

  • Technical Knowledge—pass a knowledge test of 35 multiple choice questions in their roofing discipline. The test can be taken online or in-person, and can be done outside of normal working hours. The knowledge test will compare a roofer’s knowledge with the minimum technical requirements
  • Practical Skills—prove they hold a relevant NVQ/SVQ Level 2 (SCQF Level 5 in Scotland) or above in their chosen roofing discipline, or pass a RoofCERT Experienced Worker Route practical assessment
  • Industry technical and safety knowledge—show their documentation to prove up-to-date technical and health and safety knowledge through Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This can be done through uploading the certificates or completing a declaration on the roofers behalf.

 

The aim is to have one standard for individual roofers that repeatedly proves their competence, whilst recognising previous achievements, and helps to demonstrate commitment to quality workmanship.

RoofCERT is the only national accreditation scheme for roofing operatives in the UK.

What is RoofCERT?

RoofCERT is an accreditation scheme for roofers. Operatives can demonstrate their technical knowledge and essential skills, proving their competence to employers and clients.

Businesses whose operatives have their RoofCERT accreditation can expect to benefit from improved quality of installation, fewer snags and increased customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, showing that roofing is a professional career will help attract new entrants, helping to tackle skills shortages.

Why do my operatives need this accreditation?

The poor workmanship of cowboy roofers makes the whole industry look bad. RoofCERT separates operatives from the rest and proves that you use skilled roofers who take pride in the job they do and care about quality. It also demonstrates that your business is committed to upskilling and placing quality first.

Why do I need to do RoofCERT now?

There is an industry drive for re-checking skills and knowledge over time. The government is also developing building safety legislation that will require many operatives across the construction industry to demonstrate that their skills meet building regulations and industry standards.

RoofCERT also supports proof of competence for NFRC Competent Persons Scheme in line with Mandatory Technical Competencies (MTCs).

For more information see:

Minimum Technical Competencies (MTCs)

Construction Leadership Council (CLC): report by Working Group 2

What is the evidence that the industry needs accreditation?

In 2016, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) commissioned research to better understand the state of skills and training among roofing contractors. The report found that roofers were on average less qualified compared to many roles in other parts of the industry. It also noted the shortage of local training provision and assessors to provide on-site training and competency assessment. It can be hard for the smallest businesses and the self-employed to take time out for training. Snagging rates are therefore high and costly, which impacts productivity.

What disciplines are covered in the scheme?

RoofCERT covers slating, tiling, Reinforced Bituminous Membranes (RBM), Single Ply, Mastic Asphalt, and roof sheeting and cladding. More routes will become available in the future, for example in liquids, lead and hard metals, and green roofing.

What if I’m working on multiple disciplines?

You can get accredited in multiple disciplines. You will need to take the technical knowledge test to show proof of competency in each discipline, but most of the other evidence can be cross-referenced against your existing accreditation.

Will RoofCERT accreditation be for a company or an individual?

RoofCERT is for individuals. It shows that they are keeping up their competency. The accreditation will remain with the individual throughout their career as long as the scheme criteria is maintained.

RoofCERT can help businesses wanting to register their operatives for accreditation by providing support and advice throughout the process.

Why has NFRC developed RoofCERT?

RoofCERT is a CITB-funded programme managed by NFRC CPS, with support from across the roofing industry. NFRC believes that an accreditation scheme will improve trust in roofers, as it has done for other sectors, helping to drive out unskilled and unsafe cowboys who undercut responsible roofing contractors. The aim is that accreditation will help to professionalise the industry, making it more attractive to new entrants.

What do I need to do to get my operatives accredited?

The process is simple, and registration starts here.

If you need help getting started, please email hello@roofcert.co.uk or call 020 3940 0053.

Following registration, each operative must:

  • Pass a knowledge test of 35 multiple choice questions in your discipline.
  • Show that you hold a relevant N/SVQ Level 2 (SCQF Level 5 or above in Scotland) or above in your chosen discipline, or pass a RoofCERT practical assessment
  • Provide the relevant CPD (Continuous Professional Development) certification or provide evidence of CPD through a declaration provided by their employer/main contractor.

 

This is then followed by evaluation of all the certification by a competent assessor.

Full accreditation is given to operatives that do the above.

Operatives will need to renew their accreditation every three years by re-taking up to date knowledge tests and some CPD training.

I have all the required certificates for my operatives, what do I do next?

When your operative has passed the knowledge test, they will have been allocated a file on RoofCERT’s portal Track My Risks. Contractors will also have access to the account if registration is initiated via your company.

Once logged into their own file, they will need to upload the certificates. They can do this through taking a picture of the certificate and uploading the photo or uploading a file already saved on their device.

We will be notified when all the certificates have been uploaded but you can also let us know by sending us an email.

If your operative is struggling with this step, then please encourage them to get in touch with us.

What if my operatives do not hold a formal roofing qualification?

RoofCERT captures an installer’s existing qualifications, but also recognises experience gained on site following an assessment by a trained and experienced Skills Evaluator. Please email hello@roofcert.co.uk to find out more about starting your operatives on the Experienced Worker Route (EWR). This can be delivered on site or at a local training centre.

Do I have to be a member of NFRC or another trade federation?

No. It’s open to all experienced roofing operatives in the industry. RoofCERT has been designed to suit everyone from large firms to microbusinesses.

How much will RoofCERT cost?

CITB have committed funding to support the accreditation of up to 2,000 contractors for a single discipline until 2023.

After that, installers who want to be accredited or re-accredited will be charged a fee.

Is RoofCERT accreditation available to new entrants?

RoofCERT accreditation is only open to those with a minimum three years’ roofing experience, although new entrants to the industry can register their interest.

It is essential that the accreditation scheme targets those entering roofing and supports their development into an experienced roofer. Demonstrating a career pathway will encourage new entrants into the roofing trade.

What will happen at the end of the funded programme?

The intention is that RoofCERT becomes the industry standard for roofing operatives. It will be self-sustaining with responsibility for the continued development and management of the accreditation scheme, satisfying the upskilling needs of the industry to support increased productivity.

How long does accreditation take to complete?

Accreditation can take as little as two weeks, but your operatives can complete it at their own pace.

Any certification provided as evidence must remain in date.

How do I register?

Simply go to roofcert.co.uk/register and enter your details.

You will receive a confirmation email and a unique ID that will stay with you.


Questions asked by clients seeking a roofing contractor

How do I make sure that the roofing contractors I use have competent workers?

You want the most competent and skilled roofers to help deliver your projects on time and to budget. This is where RoofCERT comes in. It is the UK’s only national roofing accreditation scheme, giving clients and property owners the confidence that the people working on their roofs can do the job properly, through continuous re-validation.

What exactly is RoofCERT?

RoofCERT is the only national accreditation scheme for roofing operatives in the UK.

The aim of RoofCERT is to demonstrate to clients, contractors, and suppliers that a roofer can demonstrate up to date knowledge, skills and behaviours.

To re-validate competence every three years, a roofing installer will demonstrate successful completion of the following:

  • Technical Knowledge—by passing a knowledge test of 35 multiple choice questions in their chosen specialist roofing discipline, aligned to industry standards
  • Practical Skills—by proving they hold a relevant N/SVQ Level 2 (SCQF Level 5 in Scotland) or above in their chosen roofing discipline or by passing a RoofCERT Experienced Worker Route practical assessment.
  • Updated Industry technical and safety knowledge—by evidencing up-to-date technical and health and safety knowledge through Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

The aim is to have one consistent quality standard for individual roofers that validates competence on an ongoing basis, whilst recognising previous achievements, and helps to demonstrate commitment to quality workmanship.

Why is it important for me to use accredited roofers?

Businesses who use contractors with accredited roofers can expect to benefit from increase in quality installation, reductions in snagging and higher levels of customer satisfaction. Using contractors with the RoofCERT accreditation elevates your projects from the rest and proves that you use skilled roofers who take pride in the job they do and care about quality. Accredited operatives are expected to comply with the scheme’s Code of Conduct with a clear commitment to maintain skills and knowledge whilst demonstrating correct behaviours.

Do I legally have to use accredited roofers?

There is an industry drive for re-checking skills and knowledge over time. The government is also developing building safety legislation that will require many operatives across the construction industry to demonstrate that their skills meet building regulations and industry standards. This change has not yet been formalised, however as demand for the accreditation increases, you may find it increasingly difficult to secure the competent contractors and individuals needed to complete your projects on time and to budget.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) have welcomed the publication from Working Group 2 on how the industry needs to meet the requirements, set out in the ‘Setting the Bar’ report around installer competence.

According to the CLC:

In 2020, Setting the Bar outlined how industry must improve the competence of those procuring, designing, constructing, inspecting, assessing, managing, installing and maintaining higher risk residential buildings.

See the full Setting the Bar report.

What is the evidence that the industry needed accreditation?

In 2016, CITB commissioned research to better understand the state of skills and training among roofing contractors. The report found that roofing installers were less qualified and competent than many other construction roles, with a shortage of local training provision and assessors to provide on-site training and competency assessment. Snagging rates are therefore high and costly, which impacts on project productivity and delivery.

What disciplines are covered in the scheme?

RoofCERT covers slating, tiling, Reinforced Bituminous Membranes (RBM), Single Ply, Mastic Asphalt, and roof sheeting and cladding. More routes will become available in the future, for example in liquids, lead and hard metals, and green roofing.

What does the accreditation scheme look like?

To achieve RoofCERT accreditation, each operative is required to demonstrate the following:

There are three simple steps to accreditation:

  • Pass an online knowledge test of 35 multiple choice questions in your chosen discipline
  • Prove that you hold a relevant N/SVQ Level 2 (SCQF Level 5 or above in Scotland) or above in your chosen discipline, or pass a RoofCERT assessment
  • Provide the relevant CPD (Continuous Professional Development) certification.


A competent assessor will then check what you’ve provided.

Full accreditation is given to operatives that complete the above and accreditation is required to be renewed through re-validation of skills and knowledge every three years.

What is the Technical Knowledge Test?

This is a 40-minute online multiple choice test, which consists of 35 questions. These are based on current standards and codes of practice and cover the entire range of tasks involved in installing a roof covering in a particular discipline.

Is RoofCERT accreditation available to less experienced roofers?

RoofCERT accreditation is only open to those with a minimum three years’ roofing experience so you can have confidence that the roofers on the scheme are appropriately experienced. We do encourage new entrants to the industry to register their interest in the scheme for when they have completed their apprenticeship and have gained at least three years in the industry.

Questions asked by homeowners

How do I make sure that the roofer I use can do the job properly, and is competent?

You want competent and skilled roofers to help deliver your home improvements on time and to budget. This is where RoofCERT comes in. Managed by NFRC CPS, it is the UK’s only national individual roofer accreditation scheme, giving homeowners the confidence that the people working on their roofs can do the job properly.

What exactly is RoofCERT?

The aim of RoofCERT is to demonstrate to anyone hiring a roofing contractor that the installers they employ are competent for the job.

To become RoofCERT accredited, the roofer must demonstrate the following:

  • Technical Knowledge—they must pass a knowledge test in their chosen specialist roofing discipline. This helps to ensure roofers have up to date knowledge and that they are aware of any changes in standards
  • Practical Skill—they must prove they hold a relevant qualification or competency certification by passing a RoofCERT practical assessment
  • Industry technical and safety knowledge—they must evidence up-to-date technical and health and safety knowledge through Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

 

The aim is to have one consistent quality standard for individual roofers, which validates competence again and again, whilst recognising previous achievements, and helps to demonstrate commitment to quality workmanship.

Why can’t I just use a roofer I’ve seen on Facebook or someone who I’ve found myself?

In 2016, NFRC and CITB commissioned research to better understand the state of skills and training among roofing contractors. The report found that roofing installers were less qualified and competent than many other construction roles, with a shortage of local training provision and assessors to provide on-site training and competency assessment.

Snagging rates can therefore be high and costly for the homeowner to have to fix after the work should have been completed. A snag is a small defect or problem that remains in your property after the building work has been completed. It is typically something that is damaged or broken, not fitted properly or looks unfinished which can cause further issues later, costing more time and money to fix. Using an accredited roofer helps prevent snags from happening because the roofer does the job correctly first time. Operatives with RoofCERT accreditation are expected to abide by the scheme’s Code of Practice.

Even if you use a roofer who recently worked on a friend’s or neighbour’s home, any defects in their workmanship may not appear immediately, so the person recommending the roofer may not be aware of any issues.

Do I have to use a contractor member of NFRC or another trade federation?

We would always recommend that you only allow qualified and competent roofers to complete roofing work on your home. Further advice on choosing a roofing contractor can be found on the NFRC website.