Underpinning Credentials and Upholding Credibility

The Structural Timber Association (STA) was initially established to support the overall objectives of the sector and associated supply chains by creating greater awareness of the performance, productivity and sustainability benefits of using offsite manufactured structural timber systems.

The STA has more recently widened their remit to put more emphasis on providing technical insight and access to unique training schemes and industry recognised assessments. 
Back in 2016 Cogent Consulting started working with the STA to develop a Membership and Quality Standards Scheme. STA Assure was launched early the next year and the initial accreditation scheme was based on an online self-assessment declaration process – in 2018 this was advanced to an independently audited assessment.
Darren Richards Managing Director of the STA Assure auditors, Cogent Consulting said: “The process of independent audits further underpins the credentials and standing of the STA’s members. It is fair to say that the STA has experienced some low-levels of resistance to the change in the audit procedure. However, these audits have been developed to assist STA members adopt ‘best practise principles’ and once they meet and get involved with the audit team – members find the process extremely beneficial to their business, whilst providing a baseline benchmark on competency and ensuring an industrywide approach to methods of assuring performance.”

STA Assure
STA Assure offers reassurances to the construction community and self-builders, that STA manufacturing members meet or even exceed current legislation, regulatory
requirements and quality standards in respect of the various structural timber systems on offer. Focusing on the levels of in-house quality procedures, management
systems and product performance standards, as well as external accreditations – the STA Assure assessment includes a bespoke Site Safe audit – validating CDM compliance and Health & Safety Executive requirements for the protection and registration of timber structures during construction. This audit ensures that design
and production processes and quality controls are in line with the customer’s expectations for consistent, high levels of quality with continuous improvement at the heart of the manufacturer’s culture. 

STA Assure has received formal recognition from six of the industry’s leading structural warranty and building control bodies – LABC Warranty, Premier Guarantee, Protek
Warranty, Build-Zone Warranty, Self-Build Zone Warranty and CRL. Due to the quality, training and technical excellence initiatives - some businesses have publicly stated
that they will only work with STA members. By providing transparency, credibility and accountability, the STA will safeguard the interests of end users, enabling them to
partner with reputable member companies that will harness the multitude of inherent benefits that structural timber offers. STA Assure creates a clear distinction in
the expected performance levels of STA members and non-members within the structural timber arena.

Benefits of Membership
Membership of the STA brings genuine commercial benefits through technical insights, client referrals and access to unique training and industry credibility. By providing networking opportunities and technical guidance, the STA supports innovation and product development to increase growth in market share. It is also about being part of an organisation that directly engages with the government and industry bodies on behalf of the timber sector – promoting the capacity within the industry and the role timber systems can play in the current drive to meet the need to develop quality homes at a rapid rate to meet the shortfall in housing stock.

Full details of STA Assure and the benefits of joining the Structural Timber Association can be found at: www.structuraltimber.co.uk

Original Link: Structural Timber Magazine

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