Explained: The role of Independent Certifier
Phil Smith, Associate Director at Rund Partnership gives an overview of the Independent Certifier role.
What is an Independent Certifier?
The role of an Independent Certifier on a project is to provide specialist advice, monitor compliance with design, specification and statutory standards and ensure all project requirements are met. Acting on behalf of the principal stakeholder to the project, the Independent Certifier is required to act impartially, considering all elements without bias towards one specific party involved in the project.
What does the role involve?
Independent Certifiers are often engaged in a project where complex development arrangements exist, and where multiple stakeholders are party to a development.
The Independent Certifier will typically carry out the following key functions:
- Certifying the works’ commencement date
- Certifying interim payments, approved variations, and final payments
- Visiting the site to monitor compliance of the works
- Assessment and certification of extension of time claims
- Witnessing completion testing, review test and commissioning results and confirming compliance
- Issuing completion certificates (including practical and sectional completion)
- Maintaining a register of defects and issuing certificates of making good
- Participation in dispute resolution, if required
Regular, interim progress reports are also typically issued on a monthly basis. These comment on the general progress of the works and any matters that could impact upon determining whether the works will be carried out and completed in accordance with the project timescales and requirements.
How does the role differ from others?
The Independent Certifier role differs from the Employer’s Agent and Clerk of Works roles, although combines elements associated with both. The difference is that the Independent Certifier acts impartially on behalf of the principal stakeholders to provide assurance regarding compliance of the works with the project requirements.
Why is it important to invest in an Independent Certifier on a project?
Complex developments with multiple stakeholders will benefit from the input of an Independent Certifier to monitor the quality of the construction, while also ensuring compliance with the project requirements as work progresses.
Investing in an Independent Certifier also ensures that administration of the project between multiple parties is carried out efficiently. Without the engagement of an Independent Certifier, any disputes which may arise could escalate to legal proceedings and delay the overall project process.
At Rund, we focus on building trust with our clients. We have multiple long-term clients, including Grainger plc and One Housing, who trust us to provide specialist advice and ensure work is completed in line with their brief – on time, within budget and to the highest quality standard.
Communication is also a key focus in everything we do. Many of our clients have been inspired to work with us because of our transparency and clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve.
When carrying out our Independent Certifier service, we have a clear audit process in place with a series of reporting tools, including observation trackers and monthly reports. This ensures that our joint clients are kept abreast of progress and draws attention to any specific details of the development.