The iATS scheme has the following aims
- To be independent, impartial and transparent
- To be recognised as a trusted, competent and professional scheme by all stakeholders
- To address the needs of Government, Industry & Testers
- To be financially viable
- To respond to tester concerns
The History of iATS
The need for an independent air tightness testing scheme was identified following concerns that the successor scheme proposed by ATTMA/BINDT was perceived by some to have potential commercial conflicts of interest, and may have been developed without adequate consultation with BINDT Members.
As a result, the Airtightness Testers Association (ATA) made a proposal to DCLG to launch an alternative scheme with the intention that it would meet all elements of the Conditions of Authorisation (CoA), National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Minimum Technical Competences (MTC).
On the 18th April 2015, iATS received authorisation from DCLG to accredit air tightness testers within the industry.
Three levels of testers
The NOS and MTC sets out three levels of buildings and is defined using the BS EN 13829:2001.
Air tightness testing for single dwellings and other small simple buildings up to 4,000 m3
Air tightness testing for non-simple buildings over 4,000 m3
Air tightness testing for large, complex, high rise and phased handover zonal buildings
Auditing of Testers
The Assessment Procedures and entry route, listed in the Quality Management System (QMS), identifies the routes required during registration and illustrates the path to follow at different qualification levels. This includes both existing testers and new entrants. The level and complexity of the assessment will depend on which ASTTAT (individual section of the NOS *) a tester request to achieve and will be in accordance to MTC.
* email address – firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
All registrants during the transitional period will carry out an initial witnessed test and assessment, on knowledge of current procedures, Technical elements and provide proof of capability carrying out envelope calculations all in accordance to the appropriate NOS for the particular level of expertise.
New entrants will be assessed by an approved training course and will be required to join as a trainee member and adhere to a probation period providing 3 desktop assessments with a further witnessed assessment after the initial 12 month period similar to the assessment carried in training or registration. This process is similar for Levels 1 & 2 except for the building type.
The assessment process will be efficient in both time and cost by selecting specific locations and buildings. Individual assessments will be carried out in a single assessment day with the possibility of utilising online examination capabilities.
A technical committee will provide a specification and interview for those who wish to carry out Level 3 tests in accordance to ASTTAT 10.
Where it has been established that the result of a test is in question, the Scheme Manager will be authorised to instruct an independent re-test of any property to ensure that the correct test result has been recorded.
Lodgement of tests
The iATS central lodgement system is a central system into which all test information is entered. The main data entered includes building address, the q50, n and r2 values and envelope area. A test certificate will be produced. All test certificates will be allocated a unique reference number.
The standard test report produced from the Fan software can be uploaded on to the system and will be required for audited reports.
Testers will be provided with a restricted access to their own portal area and for those organisations with an administrator for more than one tester, can be given rights to all testers within that organisation.
Building control bodies and Energy assessors may be provided with a search mechanism to access other areas within the system.
iATS has intentionally chosen not to integrate the output data from testing software. Such integration may lead to significant downtime and lack of confidence in the system where there is a failure of the two systems to communicate – perhaps due to a change in the output from the Retrotec/Minneapolis/other software. iATS IT portal developers are looking at the option to integrate CVS/Excel files only to allow a basic level of integration for key data entries.
Governance of iATS
The Scheme will be governed by a Board of Trustees who will oversee the work of a Scheme Manager (SM), and provide strategic direction to the Scheme.
The Scheme Manager will be responsible for the day to day management of the scheme, and will provide written monthly reports to the Trustees. These reports will include financial and statistical information, and details of any complaints or issues arising.
Depending on the level of membership, an administrative assistant may also be appointed. The administrative assistant will report to the Scheme Manager.
Separately the chairs of the Membership Committee (MC), and the Technical and Appeals Committee (TAC) will provide written monthly/quarterly reports (frequency as determined by Trustees and issues arising) to the Trustees and the Scheme Manager.
Audits will be undertaken by 3rd party financial auditors and 3rd party organisational auditors, in accordance with the Conditions of Authorisation.
The SM will be the initial port of call for Trustees, Testers and 3rd parties.
Membership and Technical Committees
Technical and Appeals Committee (TAC)
The purpose of the Technical and Appeals Committee is: (a) to provide technical support to testers and consider technical matters raised by testers; (b) to liaise with external parties e.g. DCLG on development of appropriate technical standards; and (c) to review complaints against testers, and to propose sanctions to be imposed on any testers or organisation who fail to comply with the rules of the scheme.
It is envisaged that the group will consist of between 4 & 6 members, and will meet quarterly. It is envisaged that communications between meetings will be in the form of e-mail and conference calls. The members of the committee shall elect a Chair.
The Scheme manager will attend these meetings. The Chair will report to the Directors and the Scheme Manager, outlining matters discussed, issues arising, and advise on any sanctions proposed.
The Chair may be asked to attend Directors meetings.
All members of iATS are eligible to be part of the TAC. If more than 6 members are proposed, an election will be held, all iATS members are entitled to vote.
Membership Committee (MC)
The Membership Committee provides a forum for testers to discuss topics of interest and concern. It is an opportunity to communicate the views of the members of the scheme to others in the Airtightness testing industry and other associated industries.
It is envisaged that the group will consist of between 6 & 10 members, and will meet quarterly. It is envisaged that communications between meetings will be in the form of e-mail and conference calls. The members of the committee shall elect a Chair. It is envisaged that regional committees may be established to respond to local concerns, for example in Scotland.
The Scheme Manager may at the Chairs’ discretion be asked to attend these meetings. The Chair will report to the Directors and the Scheme Manager.
The Chair may be asked to attend Directors meetings.
All members of iATS are eligible to be part of the Membership Committee. If more than 10 members are proposed an election will be held amongst all members. All members are entitled to vote.
• iATS aims to be recognised as the market leading scheme delivering improved quality and confidence to the users of air tightness test reports.
• Increased confidence to developers and building control bodies that they are receiving accurate test results
• Access to impartial Technical Support
• Structured CPD events to develop your skills and knowledge delivered by independent training organisations and iATS
• Protecting the interests of the tester
• There is no conflict between protecting the interests of the testers and providing the improved surveillance and quality of testing required by DCLG
• The initiators of iATS – the ATA – opened up testing of commercial buildings to all testers, and will continue to ensure fairness in the marketplace
• The existence of iATS may help limit other schemes’ charges
• Use of Portal for lodgement – links to CPD, Technical Support and a range of other services to assist with your management and personal development within the industry
• Secure storage of tests data and registration details will also provide a means to easily manage your test data and registration documentation
• As part of registration you will also receive update on changes in our industry.