Application for Certification and Examination
CATG welcomes all applications for examination and certification.
CATG operates in an impartial, open, fair, non-discriminatory manner and welcomes application from individuals and companies throughout the UK and the world regardless of their:
Type of business
Size of business
Number of current or past certificates they hold
Membership of other certification schemes
We will respect and maintain your confidentiality and personal details.
To apply for certification, please complete our application form on our website or email CATG or call on the telephone numbers on our website.
Our application form and contract lists in detail what you are required to submit with your application in order for it to be processed without delay.
Upon receipt of your application, our certification manager will allocate an auditor or examiner to you.
Our certification manager will contact you after studying your application form and we will send you an estimate for the certification work.
If you need any guidance or not happy with our service at any time, please contact our team.
What is the cost of certification?
Please contact CATG for our current fees. Along with details of the documents, standards and publications we offer.
Our fees include all costs, travel, flights, car hire, translators, accommodation and certification. There are no extras.
Some scheme owners, FSC®, PEFC, GiB, Timcon, will levy you a fee for participation in their scheme.
Some scheme owners, FSC®, PEFC, GiB, Timcon, require you to make formal claims on the products you sell and have strict rules on the use of their name, trademark and logos. CATG is required to check these before you use them.
Some scheme owners, FSC®, GiB, Timcon, will, when full payment has been received, issue you with a certificate.
For product certification schemes a stamp, DOP, ACD, label, mark and/or end band will be needed to demonstrate the product conformity. CATG is required to check these before you use them.
Check before you apply
Before applying for certification or an examination, you should have obtained a copy of the relevant standard/s in order to:
Ensure you have the right standard for you
Prepare your application to CATG
Determine your scope
And you have reviewed:
The products, goods and services you wish to offer
Your processes and controls
Your reliance on subcontractors
Who will undertake the management of the scheme for you
For a new certification audit
For audits CATG normally recommends a pre-assessment, scoping or stage one visit by your auditor.
This visit addresses the scope of certification you have requested and will normally last between 1 to 4 days depending on your organisation’s size and the complexity of your processes.
It is designed to confirm your readiness for full, main or stage two assessment. Through the assessment the auditor will tour your operations and review your:
Site or sites
Top management commitment
Staff competence and understanding of their roles and responsibilities
Calibration of measuring and testing equipment
Release of products and services to your customers
Understanding of the scheme
Internal audits and management review
You will receive a full report outlining where you meet the standard/s and outlining the areas to be developed.
Main assessment audit
Following your pre-assessment audit and when you feel ready for certification, the main or stage two audit will be conducted by your auditor. Payment for the stage one must have been received by CATG.
Through the main assessment the auditor will tour your operations and review your:
Conformity of your scheme against the standards
Success towards scheme objectives
Performance monitoring and measuring
Meeting of scheme, regulatory and compliance obligations
Staff competence and understanding of their roles and responsibilities
Internal audits and management review
The length of the main assessment or stage two will depend upon the scope of certification requested, the number of sites, how many staff are employed and the number of sub-contractors used. Again, the certification manager or your auditor will provide you with a quotation for the work involved.
Prior to the visit, you will receive an audit plan, which provides a proposed timetable for the work and areas to be audited.
Following your audit, you will receive a written report. If successful, certification will be awarded.
Possible outcomes of a certification decision, depending on the scheme, include:
Unconditional certification or certification – the audit found no discrepancies
Reduced certification and/or scope – changes in production or products
Conditional certification – the evaluation found discrepancies which do not prevent the issue of a certificate, but which do need to be rectified prior to the first surveillance audit
Pre-conditional certification – the evaluation found major discrepancies under which a certificate cannot be issued without substantial remedial actions and an overall re-evaluation of the applicant’s procedures and activities
Mandatory findings – findings must be corrected for certification to be given or continued
Qualified approval for ISPM15 - 3 months to correct the findings
Unsatisfactory – a complete main audit within one month
Generally satisfactory – given 2 weeks to correct the issues
Any improvement actions identified against certification requirements will be notified to you in writing during or immediately following the assessment visit.
You will then be asked to advise CATG on how you intend to address them. Once the improvement actions have been implemented to the satisfaction of CATG and full payment, you will be granted certification.
For an examination
For an examination for:
Softwood visual strength grading
Temperate hardwood visual strength grading
Tropical hardwood visual strength grading
Tile batten visual strength grading
Scaffold board visual strength grading
CATG recommends that you or your staff complete a training programme or fully assess your or your team’s competence.
The examination objectives are to assess:
Candidates for their examination will normally have:
Completed a formal training course
Been fully trained by in-company assessors
Or they can be from:
Individuals seeking re-examination
Employees sent by their employers seeking re-examination
CATG welcomes all delegates for visual strength grading examination. Ideally, delegates should have undergone training or work experience where they have:
Visually strength graded timber
Identified timber defects and measured, judged and rated them
Taken moisture readings
Identified species and their origin from the rate of growth
Kept accurate grading records
The required competences for graders are:
Identify the species
Take moisture readings
Determine knot plots, sizes and/or types
Grade the timber successfully
Allocate a grade or fail the timber
Stamp the timber correctly
Store the timber safely without loss of quality
Record grading activities
Design stamp marks or labels for the products
Complete ACDs and DOPs
CATG welcomes all delegates for private water sampling examination and certification. Ideally, delegates shall have undergone training or work experience where they have:
Undertaken a wide range of private water samples
Understand ways in which samples can become contaminated or unrepresentative and prevent this
Adopted correct storage of chemicals/ reagents
Understand how the sampling order can affect sample integrity
Understanding of the importance of correct transportation and sample refrigeration
Understand different types of bottles used for certain samples
The examination can range between 4 hours and one day depending on the examination.
Following the examination, we will review your examination results.
If you are not successful resits can be taken.
Your company and staff will need to register with CATG or another certification/notified body to run the chosen scheme.
Maintenance of your certification
Your certification or staff competence will be confirmed on a six-monthly, annual or 18-month basis by surveillance audits, with a full re-assessment or re-certification every three, four of five years depending on your certification scheme.
When certificated you are required to:
Comply with the scheme requirements
Inform CATG of any changes that can affect your certification
Make all necessary arrangements for CATG to conduct your audits, including provision for examining documentation and access to all processes and areas, records and personnel for the purposes of initial certification, surveillance, recertification and resolution of complaints
Make provisions, where applicable, to accommodate the presence of observers
CATG will inform you of any changes to the scheme/s.
Your surveillance audits will, subject to your certification, review your:
Non-conformities identified at previous CATG audits
Non-conformities, non-conforming products and complaints from others
Changes you have made
Use of the scheme marks, logos, trademarks and reference to certification
Effectiveness of your scheme and objectives and controls and your commitment to developing your scheme
Your procedures, policies, records and records
Competence of staff
Recertification audits, depending on your management and product scheme/s will review:
Your current and past competence and audit results
Confirmation of continuing satisfactory work and work experience records
The effectiveness of the management of your scheme in its entirety in the light of internal and external changes and its continued relevance and applicability to the scope of certification
Your commitment to maintain the effectiveness and improvement of the management system in order to enhance overall performance
The effectiveness of the management of your scheme with regard to achieving your objectives and the intended results of the respective management system/s
For person certification for strength graders and private water samplers we will review:
Changes to normative documents
Changes in the relevant scheme requirements
The nature and maturity of the industry or field in which you are working
Ongoing changes in technology, and requirements for certified persons
Requirements of interested parties
The frequency and content of our surveillance activities
Your professional development
Your equipment, PPE, calibration of testing kit
Your use of stamp, marks, labels and supporting documents
Extending your scope of certification
You may extend your scope of certification at any time, but costs can be minimised if
extensions are audited as part of the on-going surveillance programme.
You are advised to submit an application for extension to scope at least three months before your next audit is due to ensure it can be included in the assessment (where on-site assessment is required).
An additional fee for an extension to scope will be charged where extra assessor or
administration time is involved.
To submit a request for an extension to scope please contact CATG.
Suspension and withdrawing or reducing your certification
You can leave your CATG scheme at any time. We require a written confirmation that you wish to leave the scheme certification.
If you do not meet the requirements of the certification scheme, we reserve the right to suspend or withdraw you from the scheme/s. In all cases we state how you do not meet the scheme/s.
We will also require you to confirm that you will cease to make any certification claims and cease to use the scheme logos, marks, trademarks, stamps and remove any products that make certification claims if suspended, withdrawn or you chose to leave the scheme/s.
Changes affecting certification
When your certification scheme introduces new or revised requirements, we will inform you of these and outline the changes. You may have to develop your:
Labelling, marking or stamping
If you make changes to your scheme you are required to inform CATG.
These changes affecting certification may result in CATG:
Undertaking a further evaluation to review of your approach to the changes
Conducting a review of your approach to the changes
Conducting a decision on your approach to the changes
Issuing revised formal certification documentation to extend or reduce the scope of certification
Revised surveillance activities
Not happy with our approach?
If at any time, you are not happy with our approach please contact our team. We will respond positively.
CATG operates with a Board of Governors and you may, at any time, contact them.
Useful contact details
By telephone: 0044 (0)1534 400632 or 0044 (0)7941536543