Frequently Asked Questions

What is Certification?
What can I do if my product or service is not certified?
What is accreditation?
What is approval?
What is meant by the term 'Testing' or 'Tested'?
How to get listed?
What is meant by a Competent Person?
Do I need to be qualified?
What sort of products and services can be listed on GreenBookLive?

What is Certification?

Certification is confirmation that products and systems have met and continue to meet the appropriate standards. It differs from simple testing in that it involves ongoing checks to confirm that the product or system continues to meet the relevant standard. There are three types of scheme that can rightly be called certification schemes: first party, second party and third party. To be listed in GreenBookLive products and services will generally have to be third party certified.

  • First Party Certification or 'self certification', is where a manufacturer or supplier provides its own certificate that claims compliance with a standard. The certificate provides little assurance because the assessment has not been carried out independently by a certification organisation recognised by a national accreditation body such as the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Such accreditation demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of the organisation.

  • Second Party Certification is where a trade body or membership organisation issues a certificate. The second party cannot claim true independence from a manufacturer or supplier, because it represents its interests in the market place.

  • Third Party Certification (or 'approval and listing' as it is sometimes known) is Third Party confirmation that products, systems or persons have met and continue to meet appropriate standards (through regular audits, which usually include repeat testing). It is therefore the best and most trustworthy form of certification. The use of a Third Party is a reasonable guarantee of independence from vested interests, such as the manufacturer or supplier.

What can I do if my product or service is not certified?

Firstly you should check whether your product or service qualifies for certification under one of the GreenBookLive listing schemes. Assuming this is the case, follow the link to the particular scheme to find out how you can get listed and the costs involved.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a formal procedure by which an organisation demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability to provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services against internationally agreed standards. UKAS (the United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is the only UK national accreditation body recognised by Government for the issuing of accreditation to organisations. UKAS lists accredited certification bodies and the products and services that they can certify on its website, www.ukas.com

To be listed in GreenBookLive products and services must generally have been tested, certified or approved by an organisation that has an appropriate accreditation from UKAS or by another member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF)

What is Approval?

Third Party certification is sometimes referred to as 'Approval and listing'. When used correctly, the term 'Approval' should mean that certification or testing is undertaken by an independent Third Party who should have an appropriate accreditation for the activity.

What is meant by the term 'Testing' or 'Tested'?

Testing is the method by which a product or system is evaluated against a defined set of criteria in a defined way in order to establish a result. The result may be a  which may be pass/fail, a ranking (A, B C..... Type I, II, III etc.) or a value for a particular property or set of properties. A single test only provides a snapshot of the performance of a product or system, indicating whether or not the product passed the test on a specific day. It does not indicate whether or not the samples are representative of the product or system over a period of time.

How to get listed?

Each Scheme included in GreenBookLive has its own specific requirements which must be met for an entry to be included under that Scheme. Details of these specific requirements, fees and how to apply to be listed can be found on the relevant pages for the scheme of interest.

What is meant by Competent Person?

A competent person is someone who has been trained and successfully met the specific requirements of a personnel scheme or service.

Do I need to be qualified?

The qualifications required by an individual seeking to participate in a specific Scheme are included in requirements of the Scheme. Details of the requirements, fees and how to apply to be listed can be found on the relevant pages for the Scheme of interest.

What sort of products and services can be listed on GreenBookLive?

GreenBookLive brings together listings and other information from a number of organisations with the objective of providing information on products and services related to buildings and construction. The information included may be approved to requirements/standards set by BRE Global or it may be subject to approvals (either certified or accredited) by other recognised bodies. Other information provided by manufacturers and suppliers can also be included. These are some of the Schemes currently listed in GreenBookLive: microgeneration products and installers, construction products that have been subject to environmental profiling, BREEAM Assessors and BREEAM Accredited Professionals, Energy Assessors and Carbon Footprint Assessors.