A new approach to BREEAM Quality Assurance- July 2021 update

Background

In April 2021 we implemented the first step towards introducing a new system for auditing first submissions of BREEAM assessments. For additional details on this new process, please refer to the original communication (Email sent on 25 March 2021 and the March 2021 Process Note).

We would like to thank assessors for their co-operation in helping us to providing a better service.

What are the next steps?

We have now reviewed the data from this initial launch. Since 1 April 2021, 25% of first submissions have been halted, compared to our predicted halt rate of 30% – this is a reflection of the hard work of assessors to accommodate the changes made to BREEAM QA.

To continue to drive improvements in timescales and efficiency, we are now extending this approach to assessment resubmissions.

From 1 July 2021 resubmissions which receive high numbers of QA non-conformances (NCs) will be subject to additional outcomes, aligned with the set of trigger points detailed in the following table:

First QA submissions, as they have since 1 April 2021, will be halted and returned to the assessor for action if 12 or more non-conformances are encountered during the audit. (This does not apply to an assessor’s first ever submission on a given BREEAM scheme).

First resubmissions, (second submissions) will be subject to additional fees and potential mandatory training if 12 or more non-conformances are encountered, as detailed in the above table. Second resubmissions will receive no additional fees regardless of non-conformance numbers. Third resubmissions will incur additional fees and potential mandatory training should 4 or more non-conformances be encountered during an audit. As in the case of second resubmissions, fourth resubmissions and onwards will receive no additional fees, regardless of non-conformance numbers. This can be visualised in the following flow diagram:

 

When

The above fees are included in the latest Fee Sheet update which was announced to our network on the 20 May 2021. You can view the specific changes to the fees for each scheme, as well as updated fee sheets (FS036, revision 29 and FS021, revision 26) on BREEAM Projects.

This new system (i.e. possible additional fees and/or mandatory training) will affect BREEAM assessments which meet the following criteria:

  1. The assessment is under any BREEAM scheme.
  2. The Assessor has already completed at least one assessment under the BREEAM scheme.
  3. The first QA submission for the assessment is received by BRE on or after the 1 July 2021.
  4. At least one assessment resubmission meets one of the trigger points detailed in the above table and flow diagram. (Multiple resubmissions of one assessment can incur additional outcomes)
How we will support you on this

We will soon be introducing an assessor competency training course, which aims to support our assessors with multiple aspects of QA including referencing, presentation of evidence and clarification of the role of the assessor, the auditor and the Quality Assurance process. We wish to offer as much support on this as possible: please see our updated FAQs, available on BREEAM Projects (BREEAM Assessor Guidance Folder), and our Assessor Awareness Module, delivered by the BRE Academy.