This week’s blog is all about how to correctly use the Schedules when generating SER certificates. We see this as a crib sheet that can be referred to whenever you are unsure of something Schedule-related, so we will keep it as brief as we possibly can by concentrating on what you can and can’t do with each Schedule, rather than waffling on (too much) about the reasoning behind them.


We run the risk of repeating ourselves later in the blog, but the most important piece of general advice relating to the use of Schedules in the certification process is that an SER certificate should always represent a 'snapshot' of the entire project at the point of certification. For example, if you are adding a Stage 3 to a project, Schedule 1 should only include those items which are currently 3rd party designed (i.e. those items that you have yet to receive the full design for at the point of generating the new certificate), and Schedule 2 and the List of Information Used for the Purposes of Certification should contain all items relevant to stages 1, 2 and 3, rather than only items relating to Stage 3. Similarly, when generating an additional certificate for a non-staged project (such as an amendment to warrant or a structural change), each Schedule should contain information relating to the entire project rather than simply the elements that have changed since the previous certificate.

We realise that there are only two Schedules named as such. Because Schedule 2 is not issued to the Local Authority, we decided that naming the List of Information Used for the Purposes of Certification and Items to be Certified in a Later Stage as Schedule 3 and 4 respectively could lead to unnecessary confusion at the Local Authority end. But we do view them as Schedules in all but name, hence why we are including them in this blog!

Schedule 1 - Third Party Designed Details

As you will no doubt be aware, the list of items that you are permitted to enter on Schedule 1 is limited depending on the Risk Group of the project you are certifying. Further information relating to which items are permitted in each Risk Group can be found in Certification Performance Criteria B1.4: Use of Third Party Design Detail Option

Probably the most important thing to be aware of is that there is no ‘Other’ section on Schedule 1, regardless of the project’s Risk Group. If there is an item that you want to enter on Schedule 1 but can’t, you will need to apply for a staged warrant so that you can proceed with other elements of the project and minimise delays.

For projects which require multiple certificates (i.e. staged projects or amendments to warrant/ structural changes), you should adopt our oft-repeated ‘snapshot’ approach. As stated in SER Certification Performance Criteria B1.4, ‘If the final design for an element has been received from a third party designer and checked prior to certification then it should NOT be included on Schedule 1; rather it should be certified in the normal way’. Therefore, if an original certificate contained a Schedule 1 item, but by the time you came to generate an amendment to warrant for the project you now had the final design for that item, you should not include it on Schedule 1. You should, however, then include the item in the full certification process rather than generating a certificate which does not cover the item at all.

Where the warrant is staged, certification should not normally include the use of Schedule 1, except where piling or vibro stone or concrete columns form part of the stage 1 submission or where steelwork connections form part of the stage which includes the associated steelwork.

One final point on this Schedule - to answer a question that we have received on a semi-regular basis since time immemorial (2006), all Schedule 1 items should also be included on Schedule 2. We realise some find this counter-intuitive, but please take this as the definitive word on the subject!

Schedule 2 - Design features

Schedule 2 is not to be issued to the Local Authority; it is largely intended for administrative and SER audit purposes and as such should always be included in your project records.

Once again, ‘snapshot’ is the key word for ensuring that you use Schedule 2 correctly -  if a certificate involves adding a stage to a staged project, or an amendment to warrant/ structural change, do not just include the new bits. An amendment certificate should cover the entire project as it stands at the point of generation, and a staged project should cover all stages that have been certified at the point of generation. This shouldn’t be too difficult as the system automatically pre-populates the new certificate with the Schedule 2 items from the previous certificate, so you will only have to delete any items that are no longer applicable, and add any new ones that are.

Oh, and did we mention that all Schedule 1 items should also be included on Schedule 2?! They should…

List of Information Used for the Purposes of Certification

This should be issued to the Local Authority.

Guidance Note 4 describes the information that should usually form part of the list as ‘likely to include all of the structural drawings and specifications and any other information, such as architect’s floor and roof plans, elevations and sections, which will be construed as defining the design proposal for the project described in the application’.

Certifiers have two options for how to complete this list; by either entering it manually or uploading a document containing the relevant items.

Whichever option you prefer, the ‘snapshot’ idea comes into play yet again. We are aware that some Certifiers add or upload a list which refers only to the information for a specific stage or for the ‘changes’ that led to an amendment to warrant. This is incorrect; as there is in effect only one current certificate for a project (with each subsequent certificate superseding the preceding certificate), if you upload or add a list containing only such items, these will in effect be the only items that are currently certified. To repeat a point made in another recent blog (more of which in a minute!), just think of each certificate as if it is the only certificate for the project at that point, and you won’t go far wrong. Therefore, when adding a Stage 3 to a project, ensure that each part of the certificate covers the whole project at the point of generation.

For those that prefer to upload a document, we would reiterate that each uploaded list should cover the entire project up to that point rather than an individual stage or just those items relating to the changes in the project. We recently published guidance relating to preferred naming conventions of uploaded lists. We would recommend all Certifiers read this if they haven’t already, but the upshot is that you should ensure that the Project Reference as it appears on the SER certificate is entered onto the list, and you should adopt the following naming protocol for uploaded files: ‘DocReg’-<project reference to match certificate>-<date as yyyymmdd>

For further information, please see on the May 2018 blog on Changes to use of List of Information.

Items to be Certified in a Later Stage

For non-staged projects this section should always be left blank.

For staged projects this section should be submitted to the Local Authority.

As a staged project proceeds, this section should get smaller as Schedule 2 gets bigger, until the ‘Items to be Certified in a Later Stage’ for the final stage for the project is blank. Please be aware that each new certificate for a staged project will pre-populate this section with the information you entered for the previous certificate for the project; therefore you need to ensure that you manually delete the items as the project progresses.

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