Search for an Expert....


Trade Associations and Trade Accreditations

Throughout the listings in OurLocalExpert, you will often see businesses claiming to be ‘FENSA accredited’ or ‘on the GasSAFE register’, or similar.

Where accreditations are required, we have tried to highlight this in the listings.

This page tries to help you understand some of the more common accreditations and trade associations for your builder, electrician, plumber, and glazier – providing links to their websites for your convenience.

As a general guide, accreditations are usually won by a particular business. They prove competence, and that systems and processes are being followed. There is often a training aspect which ensures members are up to date with the latest regulations.

Trade associations tend to be membership groups which lobby on behalf of a particular trade – for example they may be the expert body discussing issues concerning a specific trade with the government. Trade associations provide specialist services for their members such as bespoke insurance, legal services, shared training, and specialist advice.

Other bodies listed here include independent and government regulated bodies set up to protect the customer.

Trade Associations and Accreditations by Industry / Trade

Trade Associations and Accreditations by Acronym

All Trades

Public Quality Assurance Groups

Central Heating Engineers

Chimney Sweeps


Double Glazing
Garden Services

Tree Surgeons


ACS Training

Buy with Confidence
City and Guilds
Construction Skills
Consumer Direct
Customer First
Dulux Select Decorators
GAS safe

Guild of Builders and Contractors
Guild of Master Craftsmen

Marshalls Register
Part P
Trading Standards


All Trades:


City and Guilds

City and Guilds are academic and vocational qualifications – proving that a tradesperson has been properly taught in their trade. They are not specific to any one area – covering over 500 qualifications in 28 industry areas.
These areas include Gardening (Alan Titchmarsh is C+G qualified), Catering (Jamie Oliver has C+G qualifications), construction and building. See the City and Guilds website at

The Guild of Master Craftsmen

The Guild of Master Craftsmen represents members in over 400 trades, including builders, plumbers, glaziers and electricians, as well as more specialist trades such as wrought iron, stained glass and thatching. See the Guild of Master Craftsmen website at
By representing such a wide body of tradespeople, this membership organisation is able to offer favourable products and policies (e.g. insurance) to its members, and to encourage good practice throughout its membership.

Return to list

Builders, Construction (general)

Construction Skills

Construction Skills (previously known as CITB - Construction Industry Training Board), is the (Government) Skills Council for the construction industry – including the industry training board. They exist to ensure a safe, professional, fully qualified UK construction workforce, and are involved in schemes such as apprenticeships and other pre-City and Guilds training.
As well as providing training courses, they also provide card schemes for employers in the construction industry which help ensure that migrant workers are legal and suitably qualified to work. See the website for Construction Skills at:

For more information about specifically the card scheme, see: CSCS was set up to help the construction industry to improve quality and reduce accidents. CSCS cards are increasingly demanded as proof of occupational competence by contractors, public and private clients and others. They cover hundreds of occupations so whatever you do in construction there will be a card that is suitable for that role.

Return to list

FMB - Federation of Master Builders, MasterBond Warranty

FMB - Federation of Master Builders is a trade association for Builders.
We particularly approve of their MasterBond Warranty - an insurance-backed guarantee that offers a safeguard should your builder cease trading, part of the Government’s ‘TrustMark’ scheme.

Amongst other checks, Masterbond members must have provided 6 different references, and have a minimum three year-trading history. Their work is inspected by an independent assessor every three years. We understand that this scheme includes the National Register of Warranted Builders. For more information about the Federation of Master Builders, see their website at:

Return to list

The National Federation of Builders

The National Federation of Builders is a membership organisation which aims to make running a building business as simple and stress free as possible. Particularly relevant for ‘non-volume housebuilders’ (e.g self-build and new-build builders – representing their interests to the Government on such issues as Home Information Packs).
Membership requires businesses to:
• Provide business and financial references.
• Be VAT registered (if applicable).
• Be CITB registered.
• Provide Public Liability Insurance details
• Have traded for at least 2 years.
• Adhere to a code of conduct in regards to clients relationships.
Members then need to demonstrate their company’s technical competence, health & safety standards and financial probity.
See the website for the National Federation of Builders at:

Return to list

NHBC - National House-Building Council

Typically the NHBC acts as a warranty and insurance for new builds and owners of newly built homes, although they also input to work on new regulations and standards, including Building Regulations and British Standards.
Only builders and developers who can demonstrate financial security and technical competence can be registered with the National House-Building Council. They must follow the NHBC Rules and build homes to agreed standards of construction. See the website for the National House-Building Council at

Return to list

Guild of Builders and Contractors

Membership of the Guild of Builders and Contractors appears more member-focussed than consumer-focused, although the consumer obviously benefits by employing well-informed contractors. See the website for the Guild of Builders and Contractors at

Return to list


Central Heating Engineers, Plumbers


It is a legal requirement that all gas installers are on the GASsafe register: See for details.
(Prior to April 2009, this was known as CORGI - which still exists as a quality-based trade association, although it is now open to most trades). For more information about CORGI see:

 Return to list

APHC – Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors

APHC – the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors is a trade association for the Plumbing and Heating industry in England and Wales. All members of the association undertake an annual assessment to ensure they are meeting criteria based on customer service and competency. This assessment also checks that customer complaint processes are in place, and that Public Liability insurance is held. See the website for the APHC at:

 Return to list

CIPHE – the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering

All IPHE members have had to prove their qualifications and/or experience to join and have to adhere to a five-point Code of Professional Standards.

See the website for the CIPHE at ,, or see their code of standards by clicking here.

Return to list

Water Regulations Advisory Scheme, WRAS

The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme, WRAS, is for water Industry approved plumbers (and components). This scheme is accessed by your local water authority to prevent spread of problems such as legionnaires disease etc. For a plumber or fitter to be Water Authority approved, means they would need a professional qualification in plumbing along with a recognised qualification in the new water fittings regulations or byelaws. Members also need up to date Public Liability insurance. For more information about the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme, see the WRAS website at:

Return to list

HVCA – the Heating and Ventilation Contractors Association

HVCA, the Heating and Ventilation Contractors Association, is a membership organisation providing services and promoting excellence throughout the Heating and Ventilation industry. Members are subject to regular third-party inspection and assessment to ensure technical and commercial competence. See the website for the HVCA at:

Return to list


OFTEC are the experts for Oil Heating and oil-fired heating. OFTEC offer a wide range of courses for oil firing technicians and oil-fired central heating engineers. OFTEC training and registration are recognised as professional standards throughout the industry. OFTEC also test and approve equipment for oil-fired heating. To learn more, visit the OFTEC website at:

Return to list

For work on a gas boiler, note that building regulations will apply if you want to install or move a gas boiler unless you use a GASsafe registered installer who can self-certify.


HETAS is the official body recognised by government to approve solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services. They approve products including boilers, cookers, open fires and stoves, and room heaters. They also provide specialist advice on factory made chimneys and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms suitable for use with solid fuel.
All HETAS registered installers are trained and assessed as competent, and they run the only competent persons scheme specialising in solid fuels and wood biomass. In the event of a complaint they try to work with all sides to promote a fair and equitable outcome. To learn more about HETAS visit their website at

Return to list

ACS Training

ACS Training is the formal training required before engineers can claim to be GasSafe. This needs to be refreshed every 5 years.

 Return to list

Chimney Sweeps:


HETAS is the official body recognised by government to approve solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services. They approve products including boilers, cookers, open fires and stoves, and room heaters. They also provide specialist advice on factory made chimneys and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms suitable for use with solid fuel.
All HETAS registered installers are trained and assessed as competent, and they run the only competent persons scheme specialising in solid fuels and wood biomass. In the event of a complaint they try to work with all sides to promote a fair and equitable outcome. See the HETAS website at:

Return to list

National Association of Chimney Sweeps

The National Association of Chimney Sweeps offer insurance, certificates for all customers, training, and shared advertising to members through their web-site:

Return to list

The Association of Professional and Independent Chimney Sweeps (APICS) Ltd

It is a Trade Association to set standards for, and improve the knowledge and safety of its members, thereby giving customers a better service.  APICS members adhere to the APICS code of conduct which includes holding adequate Public Liability Insurance, and to fully inform the customer of any problem that has been found in writing.  Click here to visit the APCS website.
Return to list


Dulux Select Decorators

To be a member of Dulux Select Decorators, painting decorators must have worked in the trade for at least 5 years, and be able to provide 4 recent references on request. Spot checks are carried out to ensure that decorators jobs are performed using quality materials, to a good standard. See the web pages for Dulux Select Decorators by clicking here.

Return to list


Double Glazing:

FENSA - the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme

FENSA is the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme. Installing replacement windows and doors to your property requires an application to Building regulations unless your installer is registered with FENSA. This is because the replacements must comply with current thermal performance standards. [Note that FENSA does not apply to new-build].
FENSA also operate the TrustMark scheme for the Government on behalf of the Double Glazing industry – to help drive out the cowboys, rogue traders and builders from hell.

Learn more about FENSA from their website at:

 Return to list


The Marshalls Register

A contractor on the Marshalls Register is an independent contractor who is regularly assessed, and agrees to follow Marshalls' own code of practice and installation specification (Marshalls have an excellent reputation for supplying hard landscaping products nationwide, as well as design services where required). Whoever you choose should be able to advise on the best products for the job, taking into account drainage. For more information about the Marshalls Register, click here.

Return to list


(includes information about fitting lights, socket wiring, and regulations Part P):

Part P

Part P is the section of the Building Regulations for England and Wales concerning electrical installations in domestic buildings. It requires that most domestic electrical work to be carried out by government-registered electricians, or to be inspected by Building Control officers.

Or put another way, an electrician registered for Part P will be able to self-certify electrical work without the need for a Building Control application.
When adding to or extending a current installation that does not require a new circuit, ensure that you are issued with a Minor Works Certificate by your electrician. This could be the addition of socket outlets or lighting points to existing circuits. The replacement of accessories such as socket outlets, switches and ceiling roses in any location is also classed as minor work, as is fitting lights and socket wiring. You should keep this certificate as it will be essential information during any future sale of your house
For official government advice about regulations Part P, use this link to the Government's Planning portal.

 Return to list

ECA – Electrical Contractor’s Association

ECA – The Electrical Contractor’s Association - is the UK's largest and leading trade association representing electrical, electronic, installation engineering and building services companies (including security systems). ECA operate the excellent ‘TrustMark’ Government Endorsed standards scheme within the electrical industry. TrustMark promises consumers that members will:
Have their technical competence checked
Have the quality of their work regularly monitored
Sign up to a code of good practice covering insurance cover, customer care, and health and safety procedures.

Learn more at the ECA website, at:

Return to list


NICEIC is a trade association that exists to protect anyone who uses electricity from unsafe electrical installations in their homes. They keep a register of electrical contractors who are assessed as complying with the Council's rules. The assessment covers a representative sample of the electrician’s technical work, their premises and documentation, and the competence of their key supervisory staff.
Once electrical contractors become NICEIC Approved Electrical Contractors, they are re-assessed every year to confirm that their business and the technical standard of their electrical work continue to comply with the Council's rules. Visit the website for NICEIC at:

Return to list


ELECSA provides Part P inspection, assessment and certification services to electricians serving the domestic market. See the ELECSA website at:

Return to list


NAPIT: National Association for Professional Inspectors and Testers

NAPIT is the National Association for Professional Inspectors and Testers. They are an organisation committed to consumer safety (domestic and commercial in not just electrical, also plumbing, heating and ventilation (including air conditioning). NAPIT members are able to offer customers an insurance backed Work Quality Guarantee scheme to give you peace of mind.
NAPIT members are also able to offer you a certificate of compliance for the work carried out, and they also update your local authority's records. This will help you with future house sale issues and may be required by future extensions of the home information pack.
NAPIT are also able to offer membership of the excellent TRUSTMARK scheme to their members – protecting consumers from cowboys and rogue traders. See the NAPIT website at:

Return to list

Garden Services and Tree Surgeons


NPTC is part of the City and Guilds group, providing training and assessment services for land-based and related industries.  It aims to promote competence and professionalism in the workforce by the encouragement of continuous learning and the recognition of skill.

 Return to list


Roofing and Roofers:


NFRC - the National Federation of Roofing Contractors

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors, NFRC, represents over 60% of the roofing industry. Using an NFRC registered contractor offers guaranteed protection and quality. They work with the Government endorsed Trustmark scheme to drive cowboys out of the roofing trade. See the website for the NFRC at

Return to list


The Confederation of Roofing Contractors (CRC)

The CRC was established to protect the public from unscrupulous roofing contractors – roofing being once notorious for ‘rogue traders’ as it can be so difficult for the customer to inspect the work performed.
They recommend that you obtain 3 quotes for any piece of work, and offer you the service of going through each quotation in order to secure the most cost effective quote.

Follow this link to see the website of the Confederation of Roofing Contractors.

 Return to list




Public Quality Assurance Groups

As well as the above trade associations, there are several quality assurance groups who are of key help to consumers:


TrustMark isthe Government-endorsed kite mark to help consumers find reputable and trustworthy tradespeople. Offered across all trades, usually implemented with the help of trade associations. See the Trustmark website at:

 Return to list

Trading Standards, Consumer Direct

Trading Standards, the well-known local and independent advice channel, is now only available through ‘Consumer Direct’. Their regionally based advisors are specially trained to give practical advice on all kinds of consumer issues - from problems with cars to faulty household appliances. Call them for any questions about your consumer rights, product or service issues - 08454 04 05 06 or see the Consumer Direct website at:

Trading standards also have a web presence at:

Return to list

Buy With Confidence, Customer First

Buy With Confidence has now joined forces with Customer First to offer a Trading standards approved list of traders.
Not just tradespeople, but also shops and restaurants, the scheme enables members to share the costs of customer service courses to ensure a better quality of customer care. The aim of the Buy with Confidence scheme is to help consumers to avoid rip-offs and cowboys by providing a list of companies who have been independently checked by staff from the local authority Trading Standards Service. Learn more at the Buy With Confidence website:

Return to list

Please note that the information above is for guidance only – and is only contained to the best understanding of the author. For the latest advice and information on individual trades, we recommending going to the trade experts themselves – i.e. the trade associations.

We try to keep this list up to date, so if you do not find information about a particular trade association, please do CONTACT US.