Author: Chris Sumner-Smith, Marketing Manager (UKCA)
We recently sat down with Dave Conway (IMS & Road Safety Manager) and Mark Flint (Head of Technical, Aggregates & Asphalt) from FM Conway to discuss all things UKCA Marking; their drivers behind it, how they found the experience and what advice they would give to other organizations considering UKCA.
For the full video interview (5m, 30s), please click here.
Q: What were the main drivers behind FM Conway going for the UKCA mark?
Mark: The transition from what we’ve currently got at the UKCA is important for part of the industry. We’re obliged to do it, and we’ve embraced that.
Dave: Essentially, it is important to us that we have recognition for the quality of our products. There’s also a legal requirement for selling some construction products into the market that requires us to have certification.
Q: Did FM Conway find it important to achieve certification well in advance of the deadline?
Mark: I think so, yes. I think it was important to get it done, understand what the process was, get it up and running, get the certification in good time, because we can then present that to our clients that we’re well into it.
Q: Does achieving the UKCA mark provide reassurance to stakeholders and customers?
Dave: Oh, yes, without a shadow of a doubt, the marking guarantees to our customers and to the world at large that the products being used for construction meet all the required standards.
Mark: 100%. Our customers rely on us being certified previously, and I don’t see any reason why that would change moving forward.
Q: What were your expectations going into the UKCA marking process?
Dave: We expected it to be very similar to the processes we were used to, working with BSI. We’ve worked with BSI now for in excess of 30 years. We have a very good idea of the sort of auditors we’re going to get, and the team that come in will always be helpful and assist us and give us drivers to assist us to improve.
Mark: Expectations were that we would be working with yourselves, the BSI, who are professional in what they do, and we sought the advice, we set up everything up – myself and Dave – and the process for me was a very straightforward process. It was presenting what we do – not what we want to do- what we’re actually doing.
Q: How did you find the process? Was there anything different to previous CE Marking processes?
Mark: I found it very straightforward. It was evidence-based, it was stuff that we were already doing. We presented that and the process, for me, went quite well.
Dave: Essentially, for us, the process was something we were used to. We already had CE marking for us that it was a fairly straightforward transfer across from one marking scheme to another, and was primarily documentary-based.
Q: What would your advice be to other manufacturers who are thinking about or have currently not applied for the UKCA mark?
Mark: Get started. It’s a requirement. Why would you even think about whether you would do it or not when you’ve already embraced the CE marking? This is a natural transition post-Brexit.
Dave: I think the best advice I could give people is to talk to BSI and listen to what they say. BSI are the experts, they know what is required and what is needed, and they will guide you through every step of the way. They’re not there to criticise, they’re not there to find fault – they’re there to help you get through an essential process.
Q: Why does FM Conway use BSI for its product testing and certification?
Dave: BSI is the brand that matters. Everybody recognises BSI as the standard. It is a British institution, so if you want to be certified, you go to the British Standards Institution. We always have and we always will.
Mark: Simply World leaders. You wouldn’t go to anybody else to do that. It’s a brand name. It’s recognised everywhere.