Filter Results

Showing 31 FAQs

Are cookies used on this website? +

As with most websites we use cookies to keep track of traffic to our site, please see our cookies section (available at the bottom of this page) for further details.

Are there any differences between old and new certificates? +

There is now only 1 type of certificate rather than the previous 3. Where conversion work is included in the work certified this will be recorded on the certificate. The description of works should detail the new build, alteration/extension, and conversion elements of the project.

When creating a certificate Certifiers will be asked to identify the Risk Group of the building being certified and this will be recorded on the certificate. Risk Groups RG2A, RG2B and RG3 correspond to Risk Classifications RC2A, RC2B and RC3 for disproportionate collapse. RC1 is split into two Risk Groups RG1A and RG1B, with RG1B covering houses or extensions to houses of larger size or non-traditional construction. The Risk Group that is selected for the project affects the items that an Approved Certifier is able to select on the Schedule 1 for that certificate. Guidance Note 12 - Guidance on the use of the Building Risk Group Matrix, gives further information on this and links Risk Groups to the level of checking required.

Two new schedules are being introduced. These are:

• List of information used for the purposes of certification - which is to be used to record the structural drawings and specifications, relevant architect's drawings etc, which were used. (It will be possible to either upload a document containing the list or list the individual items directly on the certificate.)

• Items to be certified in a later stage - giving a list of the structural elements which will be certified as part of a later stage (for a non-staged application it will be blank) - Please note that this schedule only applies to staged projects and should therefore be left blank for non-staged projects.

Both of these schedules will be submitted to the Verifier.

Can I pay online? +

Yes, online payments are our preferred method.

There is also provision to pay via cheque. For payments over £1,000 we are also able to accept payment via BACS.

Can I access my old certificates? +

All of your certificates are accessible on the new system and can be downloaded in their original form from the certificate status report on your user home page. You are also able to create amendments to warrant and add further stages to these legacy certificates.

Can Sole Practitioners produce certificates? +

Sole Practitioners may certify provided they are registered as both an Approved Certifier and an Approved Body.

Can the Firm that I work for apply to join the Scheme? +

A Firm is able to apply to join the Scheme as long as it permanently employs an Approved Certifier (i.e. on a permanent rather than contract basis) or there is an application from a Chartered Engineer employed by the firm either pending or accompanying the firm application.

Do Certification Co-ordinators have to be engineers? +

Certification Co-ordinators do not have to be engineers. One of the main duties of the Certification Co-ordinator is to be responsible for ensuring that the conditions under which the Approved Body was approved are fulfilled and maintained, which does not require them to hold any engineering qualifications.

Do you provide online tutorials? +

We have produced a set of step-by-step tutorials that can be accessed at various stages of the site. These include:

- Joining the scheme
- Producing certificates
- Renewing your membership
- Auditing and the audit process

You can access the Certifier-related tutorials via the 'Certifier Actions' section of your homepage, and the Body-related tutorials via the 'Body Actions' section. Certain tutorials relating to certification processes will also be available when you undertake the relevant process on the site.

How do I generate a Form Q for a certificate which was generated using the pre-October 2016 SER system? +

For a certificate that was generated using the old SER system, contains Schedule 1 items and has not been superseded by a certificate generated using the new system, you should create and issue the Form Q using the previous process; e.g. printing a blank Form Q and hand-writing the third party designed elements. You are able to issue a Form Q for such certificates even if the Schedule 1 includes items that are no longer permissible as per SER Guidance Note 12. Local Authorities have been advised to accept old-style Form Qs in these circumstances, but will not accept them otherwise.

How do I generate a Form Q for a certificate which is linked to a certificate which was generated using the pre-October 2016 SER system? +

When completing Schedule 1 for a certificate which is to supersede (e.g. additional stage(s) or amendment to warrant) a certificate generated using the pre-October 2016 SER system, you will be provided with a list of the items that were entered onto the Schedule 1 for the previous certificate. You should re-enter all items from this list that are still permissible for the applicable Risk Group (see SER Guidance Note 12 for further information). You will not be able to enter items that are no longer permissible; however they do remain valid. When generating the Form Q you should enter such items by hand. Local Authorities have been made aware that they should accept Form Qs which were generated in the current system but which contain hand-written additions in these circumstances only.

How do I add or change a Certification Coordinator? +

This can be done at any time via your Body Account home page. On this page you are able to navigate to 'Body Actions' and then 'Certification Coordinators'. Here you will find a link to 'Update Certification Coordinators'.

How do I apply as a Sole Practitioner? +

A Sole Practitioner is required to be registered as both an Approved Certifier and an Approved Body.

How do I contact you? +

You can contact us by phone, email, or letter using the below details:

P: +44 (0)20 7201 9116
E: [email protected]
A: Structural Engineers Registration Limited
47-58 Bastwick Street
United Kingdom

Follow the contact us link at the bottom of the page whenever you need these details.

How do I log in? +

Please use the email address and password that you registered with initially.

You can access the Log In/ Log Out button via the top right of all pages throughout the SER website.

How do I make structural changes to certificates which have been issued to Local Authorities? +

Discussions have taken place between SER and the Scottish Government's Building Standards Division regarding the procedure to be followed when structural changes occur to projects for which a certificate has been issued to the Local Authority but where a Warrant has yet to be granted.

To avoid any possible confusion Approved Certifiers should select 'Generate Structural Changes to Certificate Issue to Local Authority (Warrant Not Yet Granted)' from their admin area when required to generate a certificate in these circumstances.

How do I renew my membership? +

Membership is renewed online via the task on your account home page (this will automatically appear when you are due to renew).

Please note that renewal reminders are sent to the email address that you log in with.

How do you store my credit/debit card information? +

None of your credit/debit card information is stored in paper form by us and our data storage complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

How does this Scheme affect me as a non-Chartered Engineer? +

Non Chartered Engineers (IStructE or ICE) are not eligible to join the Scheme. However you may still make Building Warrant applications to Local Authorities in the traditional way.

How has Schedule 1 changed and what is included in the new risk groups? +

The items which are permitted to be listed on Schedule 1 to a certificate are determined by the Risk Group of the building and are given below.

RG1A and RG1B:
1. Piling
2. Vibro stone columns
3. Precast foundation systems
4. Precast concrete floor units
5. Precast concrete stairs
6. Timber roof trusses
7. Steelwork connections
8. Pedestrian barriers
9. Glazing

RG2A and RG2B:
1. Piling
2. Vibro stone columns
3. Precast concrete floors
4. Precast concrete stairs
5. Timber roof trusses
6. Steelwork connections

RG3: None

How long does the auditing process take? +

In the case that only a single Certifier and Body are audited we endeavour to have our auditors complete the process within a day.

Please be aware that if more than 1 Certifier is audited the process may take longer.

How long will the assessment of my application take? +

The average length of time from when SER receives the hard copy of an application form to an applicant being accepted onto the Scheme is approximately 10-12 weeks.

This is dependent on the strength of the initial application plus factors such as whether the assessors request further information or for the applicant to attend an interview before a final assessment decision is reached.

How often will I be audited? +

SER endeavour to audit all Certifiers and Bodies within a year of their activation date and at least every 5 years following a successful audit.

I have only just become Chartered. Am I able to apply to join the Scheme? +

The Scheme requires that all applicants must generally have a minimum of 5 years' building structures design and checking experience.

Applicants with less than 5 years experience should be aware that their application may not be approved on the basis of insufficient experience.

What are the possible audit outcomes? +

There are 8 possible audit outcomes.

In order of least to most severe these are:

- Audit within 5 years
- Audit within 4 years
- Audit within 3 years
- Audit within 2 years
- Audit within 1 year
- Active with mentoring
- Suspension with mentoring
- Termination

Active with mentoring - Your ability to generate certificates will remain active but the auditors and SER will request that you submit proposals as to how you will improve your procedures.

Suspended with mentoring - Your ability to generate certificates will be temporarily removed pending the submission of satisfactory proposals as to how you will improve your procedures.

Terminated - Your ability to generate certificates will be removed permanently.

What should I do if my application is not approved? +

It is most likely that your application has not been approved because of insufficient building structures design and/or checking experience and reapplication once more experience has been gained is recommended. Feedback will be provided on request to allow you to better understand why your application was not approved.

If, however you are unsatisfied with the results, details of our appeals processes will be included with the email informing you that your application was not successful.

Why is my email address not working? +

If you are having issues logging in, please contact SER and we will be able to confirm your email address for you.

Please note that we have no access to your password; as such if this requires changing you will be required to follow the forgotten password process.

Why is the Scheme open to Chartered Engineers only? +

The requirement for those signing design certificates for a Building Warrant to hold Chartered Engineer status was included in Regulations introduced in Scotland in 1992.

This Scheme has the same requirement.

Why was this Scheme devised? +

This Scheme was introduced in response to the requirements of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003.

Why would a business want to become an Approved Body? +

SER Approved Bodies are able to offer clients a faster route to obtaining a Building Warrant than by submitting calculations to the Local Authority.

Why would a Chartered Engineer want to become an Approved Certifier? +

SER Approved Certifiers are able to offer clients a faster route to obtaining a Building Warrant than by submitting calculations to the Local Authority.

Will I be able to access my previous audits? +

As with certificates, all of your previous audits have been migrated to the new system; you can download a copy in PDF format from each audit's page - which is accessible from the audit history page on you user home page.