New Guidance from BREEAM
In advance of a 3 year strategy to be announced in early 2020, BREEAM has written to all its assessors to inform them of a new Customer Service Charter and Code of Practice. The message is that there have been improvements in timescales and services but clients should be assured of their ongoing commitment to enhancement, with a particular focus on improving turnaround times for resubmitted assessments as well as assessments requiring translation. Included within the Charter is a set of newly defined Quality Assurance Principles, which describe the themes and behaviours by which their auditors will be guided when conducting technical reviews of assessments. There are three areas:
Communication: To work in partnership with assessors to deliver effectively for them and their client
Trust in Assessors: To recognise the professional competence, reputation and quality of assessors and their work
Confidence in QA: To inspire assessor and end-client confidence in BREEAM, their schemes and certification
Furthermore, the Charter commits BREEAM to delivering outstanding customer service through the motivation of their people to serve customers’ needs in a professional manner. They recognise that their role is to support assessors and their clients via transparent, quality-assured standards, procedures and outcomes that provide value and confidence.
To that end, they have published service level standards for QA audits and new guidance for certification application requests that provide a transparent timeline for audit, feedback and certification. At the assessor’s request, this information can be sent directly to a client. New guidance for registration and licence applications is also in the Charter, with attendant timescales. Guidance for Green Specification ratings is included, with a Green Guide Calculator to enable assessors to quickly and efficiently generate Green Guide ratings.
The Code of Practice aims to promote:
- the best standards of practice and professional behaviour by Assessors
- confidence in the integrity of the Scheme, Assessors, Assessment Services and Certification
Assessors must ensure that they understand and comply with this Code and any accompanying guidance. They must adhere to the Code of Practice and meet its requirements in the following areas:
- Personal and professional standards
- Skills and ability
- Conflicts of interest
- Information for the client
The Code of Practice will be rolled-out as part of assessors’ annual licence renewal over the next 12 months (or as part of any new licence application from 2nd January 2020).