Tom Reynolds – Why we need to change ideas about compliance

InsightFeatures Fri 22nd Jul 2022 by KBBFocus

Tom Reynolds – Why we need to change ideas about compliance

Tom Reynolds – Why we need to change ideas about compliance

Ideas about compliance are outdated – we need to change them to protect consumers' health and our water supply, says chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association Tom Reynolds.

Once a precedent has been established it can take a long time for things to change, and the world of water fittings compliance is no exception.

Promoting the efficient use of water, safeguarding water supply, honouring legal requirements, and of course protecting public health is a top priority for all members of the BMA. Sadly, not all companies do the same, selling consumers short and risking their safety. It’s our mission to improve product compliance in the UK marketplace.    

Historically, in the UK, WRAS Approval has been the only approvals scheme demonstrating compliance with UK Water Regulation 4. But this is no longer the case – other test laboratories have developed their own approval schemes accepted by all industry stakeholders. And it is time for this shift in the status quo to be universally accepted. If the alternative schemes are more widely recognised by buyers and specifiers, it will speed up approvals processes and help bring innovative new products to market quickly. 

In my view, it's no longer correct to refer only to WRAS Approval as the required indicator of compliance. The correct terminology should be 'regulation 4 compliant', recognising that other schemes carry equal weight.

There are currently three relevant scheme providers in the UK for water fittings certification/approval: WRAS Approvals, NSF and Kiwa UK. Demands for a specific approval are no longer necessary as all carry assurance of compliance – any of them are equally valuable and we may see other schemes emerge in the future too.

I’m really impressed to see a fellow trade body, the British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) also raising the profile of this issue. Architects, consulting engineers, specifiers and buyers should look out for any of the regulation 4 certifications. Then, they can be fully assured they are dealing with the exact same levels of product approval, in a much-valued level playing field.

BMA plays a role in market surveillance, which enables us to highlight areas of non-compliance, often working with our Primary Authority partner Nottinghamshire Trading Standards. We are determined to highlight proper regulatory requirements at every possible opportunity, so those companies that invest in compliance are not disadvantaged in the marketplace by those that neglect their responsibilities.

Ultimately, we all have a vested interest in protecting the end consumer and the water supply. By using trustworthy manufacturers who demonstrate proper compliance with UK Water Regulation 4, we can all take comfort in the commitment to best professional practice.

Tags: insight, features, tom reynolds, bathroom manufacturers association, bma

In other news