Certificates 101: Your Guide to BBA Certification Pt.2

Part 2.

In the first of our 2-part series looking at BBA Certification, what it is and what it means, we discussed some of the many construction product certificates that the BBA offers; from our BBA Agrément Certificate to our Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS) Certificate.

In the concluding part of the series, we will be examining the rest of the BBA Certification schemes that we have on offer, and how they best apply to your product and/or system.

Ramona Donnelly

Certificate of Conformity (CoC) or Certificate of Constancy of Performance (CoP)

This certificate is one that people either get mixed up or ignore because they are not always sure about how it applies and whether or not they need it. For clarity, these are two separate certificates. However, both relate to CE marking – a very important factor if a product or system is intended to be placed within the European and UK markets.

The CE Mark (sometimes called CE marking) is actually “Conformité Européene” which literally means “European Conformity”. The term initially used was “EC Mark” and it was officially replaced by “CE Marking” in the Directive 93/68/EEC in 1993. “CE Marking” is now used in all EU official documents.

Products that bear the CE-Mark must be assessed against the EU Standards that define the minimum requirements for all products or systems.

For products defined under a Harmonised European Standard (hEN), depending on the level of Attestation and Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP), a Notified Body is required to undertake the evaluation of the product or system’s performance. This confirms that the manufacturer has and maintains a Factory Production Control, in line with the requirements of the standard.

The difference between Certificate of Conformity (CoC) and Certificate of Constancy of Performance (CoP)

The difference between a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) and a Certificate of Constancy of Performance (CoP) is the type of standard against which the products or systems are assessed. For a CoC, the product is assessed against a non-harmonised standard; while for a CoP, the product is assessed against a Harmonised European Standard.

Both certification schemes demonstrate that the product meets a minimum set of criteria which is defined in the specific standard. More information on this can be found on our website.

In addition to this, both are generally accompanied by a Factory Production Control (FPC) scheme which covers continuous annual surveillance of the manufacturing process. However, depending on the AVCP, the surveillance may be carried out by the same Certification Body that issued the original certification.

European Technical Assessment (ETA)

A European Technical Assessment (or ETAs as referred to in the industry) is a third-party certification scheme that allows products and systems to be placed on the European market bearing the CE-Mark.

Unlike products certified against a Harmonised European Standard (hEN), such as a Certificate of Conformity, the ETAs is granted for products and systems that do not fully match any existing current standard.

The process of obtaining an ETAs requires the product or system to be assessed against a European Assessment Document (EAD). Once an ETAs is granted, the manufacturer can place the CE marking on their product, opening up the market and allowing manufacturers to be more competitive, not only within the UK but across Europe too.

The ETAs alongside the standardised CE marking process demonstrates that the products or systems meet a minimum set of performance criteria, and any product of the same type from within the EU can be comparable by applying the exact same assessment method.

Micro-Generation Certification (MCS)

The Micro-Generation Certification assessment is carried out against the requirements of BS EN 45011 and relates to zero or low-carbon heat and power technologies, certifying renewable energy technologies, micro-generation products and installers.

This certification is also accompanied by Factory Production Control audits that verify the continuous manufacturing processes.

Other types of certification

There are a multitude of other certificates available with the BBA, and we have only delved into some of the most highly requested ones in detail. Other certificates we offer include:

Environmental Profile Certification – defines the cradle to grave stages of a specific product or component over a period of life, typically 60 years.
Factory Production Control (FPC) – a certificate that demonstrates that the manufacturer complies, and their manufacturing process meets the requirements of a prescribed standard for a specific product type or range.
ISO 9001 (QMS) – the Quality Management Systems (QMS) certification demonstrates that the manufacturer has in place a quality control system for the management of the day to day activities. This involves manufacturing, control checks, authorised personnel, training, complaints processes etc that define the operational activities of that manufacturer.
ISO 14001 (EMS) – Environmental Management System (EMS) is an assessment of the system in practice or that of the manufacturer’s demonstration of the system in accordance with the requirements of the BS EN 14001.
ISO 18001 (OHSAS) – this certification assesses the manufacturer’s compliance with the requirements of BS EN 18001 and is directed at verifying the Health and Safety systems in place.

Certification is a vital element for any product or service launching within the construction product industry, and at the BBA we are committed to providing the right type of certification for you and your business.