Queensland-based CertMark International Pty Ltd (CertMark, or CMI) has questioned the value of the CodeMark compliance scheme in New Zealand after being suspended from it, and then deciding to withdraw from it.
The company issued a statement last week saying its withdrawal would take effect on Monday 23 July. The fact that Monday wasn’t the 23rd but the 22nd would normally be an error of no consequence that you could skip past, but the suspension & withdrawal are the pointing of fingers over the quality of a compliance register.
CertMark chief executive John Thorpe said that, “upon consultation with our risk & impartiality committee, industry bodies & our New Zealand technical consultant, have made the difficult decision to voluntarily withdraw from the NZ CodeMark scheme in its present form”.
He said CertMark “is not taking this step lightly; however, we feel that the CodeMark scheme in New Zealand, in its current form, is not an ideal means of demonstrating compliance. The fact the Building Product Certification Regulations (the 2008 Act), override the CodeMark scheme rules has always been a problem and it’s one that is currently being addressed by MBIE (the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment)….
“CMI also believes that, as a result of the recently published MBIE review into product certification in New Zealand, which has recommended, among other things, a second tier of certification that will provide an avenue for ‘possible new compliance pathways’ for manufacturers to self-certify their design, manufacture & onsite assembly against the NZ Building Code, will greatly impact on the CodeMark scheme in New Zealand.”
Mr Thorpe said CertMark was offering to provide all its current CodeMark NZ clients with an evaluation report that can be used as evidence of compliance for consideration by building consent authorities.
“The CMI evaluation reports are similar to a BRANZ appraisal. Acceptance of a CMI evaluation report is at the discretion of the relevant building consent authority; however, to date they have been well received.
“All current certificate holders will have until their next scheduled audit to either migrate to a CMI evaluation report, or move their current CodeMark to another certification body, or opt out completely. CMI will assist any of its clients wishing to migrate to another certification body by providing all relevant documentation required to apply for recertification.
“CMI are consulting with JAS-ANZ [CodeMark manager the Joint Accreditation System of Australia & NZ] with regards to upgrading our evaluation report scheme into a JAS-ANZ accredited programme for both Australia & New Zealand.”
When CertMark was suspended, The New Daily news website reported that a company note to clients “shows the suspension is related to combustible cladding”.
The news site quoted Builders Collective of Australia president Phil Dwyer questioning the credibility of past certificates CertMark had issued: “It’s a big story, because they are the people who certified the flammable cladding panels.”
Australian superannuation funds launched The New Daily in 2013. It’s owned by Industry Super Holdings Pty Ltd, which has a long list of super funds as shareholders.
The New Daily, 20 July 2019: Certification agency that signed off on dodgy cladding has been suspended
MBIE, Building system legislative reform programme public consultation (closed 21 June)
MBIE, Product certificate register
Applying for CodeMark
23 July 2019: CertMark withdraws from CodeMark scheme following suspension
12 July 2019: CertMark expresses surprise at accreditation suspension
Attribution: Company statements, The New Daily.