If the assessor believes there is or may be potential for a conflict of interest then the first step to managing it is to declare it to BRE Global, along with any measures proposed or taken to manage the potential conflict. BRE Global can then confirm or advise steps that need to be taken by the relevant parties (including ourselves) to maintain the objectivity of the assessment and its outcome.
The assessor should inform BRE Global of any potential conflict at the registration stage of assessment; or at the appropriate time thereafter when the potential conflict becomes apparent and before the assessment is submitted for a certification decision
Licensed assessors can and often will need to advise clients, project teams and asset owners/managers on whether one or more proposed solutions comply and how to interpret assessment criteria for the purpose of determining, designing or proposing compliant solutions. This type of advice does not necessarily constitute a conflict of interest, but assessors should be mindful in doing so that it does not lead to one.
When submitting the assessment to the BREEAM QA Team the assessor must submit a signed statement confirming the roles undertaken by the assessor/assessor organisation and how any potential conflicts of interest have been managed. A statement confirming that there was no conflict of interest is not sufficient.
In such circumstances the assessment and evidence submitted may be subject to closer scrutiny. Where BRE Global has unresolved concerns relating to the potential conflicts of interest, additional measure may be imposed to verify the integrity of the submitted assessment.