BREEAM In-Use QA and Certification explained

The BREEAM In-Use (BiU) certification scheme was introduced in 2009. Since then we have certified many assessments by a large international network of dedicated and professional assessors. As the success of BREEAM In-Use grows it is appropriate that we review and, where necessary, update the scheme’s quality assurance and certification procedures. This ensures we can collectively maintain and enhance its robustness, improve quality and align with evolving international standards to which we seek accreditation.

To support this aim we introduced the following changes to the quality assurance and certification process from February 2015:

  • Audit prior to certification: Assessments selected for technical audit are only certified after successfully passing the quality assurance process. This reduces the risk to assessors, their clients and BRE Global of a certificate withdrawal shortly after certification, where the assessment fails a quality assurance audit.
  • Audit selection: Technical audit selection is linked to assessor performance on previous assessments, ensuring that assessors who consistently demonstrate competent and robust performance have fewer assessments selected for audit (subject to a minimum level of selection for risk management purposes).
  • Audit feedback: There is a formal quality assurance form to ensure clarity and consistency of audit feedback, allowing assessors to easily understand where corrective action is required prior to certification.

If one of your assessments is selected for technical audit, you will be informed of this immediately after submission for certification. At this point you will be requested to send in supporting evidence at your earliest convenience. Assessments that have not been selected for a technical audit will undergo administrative checks only, which BRE Global will undertake within two working days and certification will follow thereafter. The audit programme is designed in such a way that an assessor performing to the required standard can expect a significant majority of their BiU assessments to be selected for administrative checks only, and therefore typically certification will occur within two days for most submissions.

Certification of those assessments selected for a technical audit will occur after the assessment has passed the audit process, so the timescale for this will depend on both BRE Global and the assessor. We will inform assessors of the timescale in which they can expect audit feedback for a specific assessment upon acknowledgement of receipt of their submission. We will also publish a service level that we will work to in this respect, so that assessors and their client have a degree of certainty over when they can expect such feedback and, subject to passing the audit, certification.

We believe this process for the scheme assists BRE Global and assessors in promoting the independence, robustness and integrity of the scheme to their clients, who will have greater confidence that the certified rating of their asset is an accurate and verified representation of its performance. In turn, this helps us to further differentiate the BiU product in the international market place and increase uptake of the scheme.