THE FEDERATION of Piling Specialists last month launched its new membership registration system.
The scheme, which covers existing and new members, aims to 'maintain and promote the highest standards for the UK's piling and ground engineering industry'.
'The rigorous, auditable registration qualification, will serve as a substantive reference for potential clients and a benchmark for continuous improvement, 'said the FPS.
Quality management, health and safety, technical ability, training and environmental issues are covered in the audit. Although not part of the assessment, regular checks will also be made to ensure member companies are financially stable.
Members have already been audited by an independent auditor with extensive experience in the piling industry and re-assessments will be held at least every three years.
The pass level in each section will be set at 5% below the average achieved by the existing membership, although FPS said this may change (with the agreement ofmembers) 'in the interests of continuous improvement'.
If a member fails to pass any section, an 'improvement notice'will be served and the company will have one or two years, depending on the category, to make the improvements.
It will then be re-audited and if it does not meet the pass mark, membership will be withdrawn. The scheme will also provide the basis for assessing prospective members.
The system also covers procedures for complaints, disciplinary matters and appeals.
It will be administered by a registration board, consisting of the chairman, vice-chairman and deputy vice-chairman of the FPS.
The FPS website is at: www.fps.org.uk