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FENSA is a Competent Person Scheme that is trusted by the industry.

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020 7645 3700
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FENSA FAQs

  • What is FENSA?:
    • What is FENSA?
      FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment scheme. It has been set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and other industry bodies, with government encouragement www.communities.gov.uk, in response to the Building Regulations.

  • What are the new Regulations?
    • What are the new Regulations?
      The Government's Approved Document L1B (Conservation of Fuel and Power in Existing Dwellings) complementing the energy efficiency regulations, was issued in 2010 and revised in 2013. It extended the Building Regulations to cover replacement window and door installations from April 2002, from when all installers and buyers of replacement windows and doors are required to comply with improved energy efficiency requirements. One of the main drivers is the need to reduce heat loss in order to conform to more stringent energy efficiency targets. Glass products will be expected to have lower heat loss, measured by their "U" value.

  • How will the Regulations affect installers?
    • How will the Regulations affect installers?
      They involve more stringent specifications for the products used and installed. In addition, all installations are subject to approval by Local Authority Building Control prior to undertaking an installation, unless arrangements for self-certification by registering with a Competent Persons Scheme such as FENSA have been made. With the annual rate of replacement installations running into the millions, the inspection of every installation would cause a major bottleneck if all were channelled through the Building Control route. When self-certifying, installation companies are vetted prior to their registration and throughout the year to ensure standards are consistently maintained.

  • What has to be certified?
    • What has to be certified?
      Where a window or windows is/are completely replaced (as opposed to repaired) in existing dwellings, they must comply with Approved Documents Parts L1B and K4 (England) or N (Wales) (safety in relation to impact). In addition, the building should not end up with a worse level of compliance with respect to other applicable parts of the Building Regulations, which includes Parts A (Structure), B (means of escape in case of fire), C (Moisture Penetration, F (ventilation), J (combustion appliances and fuel storage systems), M (access for the disabled) and Regulation 7 (Workmanship and Materials).

      The Building Regulations for replacement windows state that "The situation must be made no worse than the outgoing windows". For example if the outgoing windows contained trickle vents the new placement windows must include them.

      Windows and doors in critical locations ie windows below 800mm from floor level and doors where the glass comes within 1500mm of the floor level to the start of the glass must contain safety glass (toughened or laminated) and must include the relevant safety mark clearly visible to comply with Approved Document N.

      Compliance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 is also essential.

      FENSA does not apply to conservatories, porches, commercial premises or new build properties or extensions. In all of these instances you are required to go through the Local Authority Building Control process. If your property is a flat then planning permission may be required before replacing your windows, therefore it is advisable to check this with the Planning Department of your Local Authority. If planning permission is required a FENSA registered company can register the installation for certification purposes. If you live in a property that is a Listed Building and wish to replace your windows this would fall under the jurisdiction of the relevant Local Authority therefore planning permission would be required and the installation cannot be registered with FENSA.

      Doors with less than 50% glazing do not require registration.

      FENSA also does not apply to caravans or holiday chalets.

  • How can FENSA help?
    • How can FENSA help?
      When customers use a double glazing company who is FENSA registered, they will be using a company that will be inspected and checked at various stages to enable them to self certify compliance with the Building Regulations. A sample of the company’s installations will be inspected by independent inspectors to ensure standards are being maintained. FENSA will also inform local authorities of all completed notifiable FENSA installations, and issue certificates to householders confirming that the installer has self-certified compliance to the Building Regulations. Click here for more information on planning permission and notifiable works

  • How are FENSA Registered Businesses vetted?
    • How are FENSA Registered Businesses vetted?
      FENSA Registered Businesses are vetted at the start of their registration which includes checking the following:

      • Pre-Approval Inspection
      • Part of the pre-approval checks includes checking the company’s surveyor and installer competencies
      • Employer's Liability for at least £10M
      • Public Liability for at least £2M
      • Customer Contract Documents with Terms & Conditions, to include a 7 day cooling off period. (MANDATORY)
      • Any guarantees and warranties must be clearly written

      To ensure the Building Regulations and thermal performance standards are consistently maintained, the installation work of every FENSA Registered Business is continually inspected. Inspections are carried out on behalf of FENSA the British Board of Agrément (BBA).

  • I have a complaint about my replacement window/door installation
    • I have a complaint about my replacement window/door installation
      We are very sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems and have a complaint to make. Please know that FENSA can only deal with complaints regarding non compliance with the Building Regulations and providing the installation company is FENSA registered. Any other complaints should be referred to your local Trading Standards office, any Trade Association that the company may belong to or The Glazing Ombudsman, providing that they are members. However, all complaints must first be notified to the company and the company's own complaints procedure must be exhausted before the complaint is referred on.

      How do I make a complaint?

      • Firstly, please check that the company is FENSA registered by clicking here
      • If the company is FENSA registered, please click hereto read the Complaints Procedure.

      • Complaints – If you have a complaint about the FENSA scheme please contact enquiries@fensa.org.uk or tel 020 7645 3700.

  • Why is insurance required for customers?
    • Why is insurance required for customers?
      For all replacement window and door installations that are notifiable to FENSA (click here to find out which types of installations fall under FENSA's remit), FENSA Registered Businesses are required to have in place for their customers the categories of insurance stated below. It is a government requirement that companies must have certain insurance policies in place where applicable.

      Deposit Protection : If FENSA Registered Businesses take deposits in advance of installations, they must give some form of deposit indemnity. Deposits may be guaranteed by, for example, trade association Deposit Indemnity schemes, or credit card protection.

      Guarantee or Warranty : FENSA Registered Businesses must provide the customer with a guarantee or warranty to cover the cost of completing rectification work in respect of defect.

      Insurance-Backed Guarantee (IBG) : FENSA Registered Businesses must also offer an extension of his own guarantee/warranty using an independent insurance policy provider, in the event of ceasing to trade. This is called an Insurance-Backed Guarantee (IBG).

      Deposit Protection and IBG (Insurance Backed Guarantee) can be provided by a range of insurance providers. FENSA provides an 'approved' list of already vetted insurers that FENSA Registered Businesses can use but this list is not exclusive.

      Other Deposit Protection and IBG providers who are not on FENSA's approved list but who are FSA (Financial Services Authority) accredited and regulated are accepted but FENSA will vet these other insurance providers.

  • How will the scheme work?
    • How will the scheme work?
      Once registered, companies will be required to certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations, and inform a central FENSA database whenever they carry out a notifiable installation. The database will then be used as the source for certification to Local Authorities that installations have taken place, producing certificates for homeowners, and for subsequent reference, by solicitors doing search activities prior to house purchases.

  • How do the inspections work?
    • How do the inspections work?
      FENSA Registered Businesses undergo a Pre-Approval Inspection at the start of their registration with FENSA. To ensure the Building Regulations and thermal performance standards are consistently maintained, the installation work of every FENSA Registered Business is continually inspected by the UKAS accredited independent inspections body, the British Board of Agrément (BBA).

      Inspections will normally be carried out on 1% of each business's installations, subject to a minimum of two per annum and a maximum of 100. In the event of failed inspections, businesses will be responsible for the costs of re-inspection and the frequency of inspections will increase.

  • What are the benefits?
    • What are the benefits?
      For companies, registration with FENSA confirms their commitment to meeting the Building Regulations.

      For customers, the FENSA scheme will provide a certificate confirming that their replacement windows or doors comply with the Building Regulations.

      There are a wide range of benefits for companies to register with FENSA and for customers to use a FENSA Registered Businesses:

      Benefits for companies click here
      Benefits for consumers click here

  • I have lost my FENSA Building Regulations certificate
    • I have lost my FENSA Building Regulations certificate
      FENSA certificates act as documentary evidence that the installation work has been self certified as complying with the Building Regulations. Click here to re-order your FENSA certificate.