Certifiers need to maintain vigilance when assessing the suitability of building systems

The QBCC has recently addressed concerns about fire-rated wall systems, in particular, a national manufacturer who referred to their system as having CodeMark when the system had no current CodeMark accreditation.

Following the QBCC’s intervention, the manufacturer voluntarily removed the CodeMark reference and logo from their publications.

This situation highlights the need for certifiers to ensure they check the current accreditation status of building systems claiming to have CodeMark accreditation on the Australian Building Codes Board’s register of CodeMark Certified Products.

The need to check the accreditation status of building systems falls under A0.5 of the National Construction Code Volume 1.
This specifies the assessment method requirements for meeting performance provisions of the BCA Class 2 to 9 buildings.  
The Register of CodeMark Certified Products (link below) details all CodeMark Certificates of Conformity issued by CodeMark certification bodies. The register is updated as new certificates are issued, or when existing certificates are updated or withdrawn:

Certified Products

Also of concern are manufacturers who include variances to the tested prototype in their installation instructions which are not in compliance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) as to how such a variance to a building element can be supported. Examples of supporting evidence include a report from a “Registered Testing Authority”. 

There is no denying that everyone in the building product supply chain has a responsibility to ensure products are fit for purpose.

Nevertheless, it is important that when assessing building systems, certifiers ensure products are fit for purpose. Certifiers must ensure the product manufacturer can produce “Evidence of suitability” in the forms prescribed by the BCA for the product as well as any variances.

If a product manufacturer cannot produce the required evidence, then the building product will likely be considered a non-conforming product. As such, the non-conforming product should not be accepted unless assessed as a “Performance Solution”.

Certifiers should be diligent when performing their regulatory certification function by ensuring that building products have “Evidence of suitability” as required by the BCA.