A guide to what makes batten compliant

Nov 14, 2019 Off Comments in General News by
A guide to what makes batten compliant

SR Timber’s Trading Director Shaun Revill talks about the certification that the company has in place to ensure that the timber it supplies to merchants meets all national and international recommendations and standards for quality and compliance – meaning that merchants and their customers have complete peace of mind when they purchase graded roofing battens.

It was only when I sat back and looked around the boardroom of our head office that I actually realised just how many certificates we have on our walls for all the different industry bodies that we are members of or are registered with. It’s easy to forget just how much we do behind the scenes to ensure the level of compliance and due diligence that is needed to operate a business that is a leading importer of timber products and the UK’s largest importer of roofing batten, including our flagship Premium Gold.

It’s something that merchants and their customers probably never think about – and why would they? They’re busy people and all they have to think about is the implied assurance that what they are purchasing is of a high quality, meets all the standards and is of course safe to use.

But what it has highlighted is all the checks, management and quality processes we have in place as a responsible business with a supply chain that stretches from the forests of the Baltics, through our sawmills, on ships that arrive into our yards at three ports in the UK and then delivered to merchants all over country.

We are members of the UK’s leading federations and organisations and, to confirm our professionalism and dedication to quality and safety, I want to highlight a few of them.


BM TRADA is the Timber Research and Development Association. It is an international organisation that provides independent, authoritative and technical design guidance and most importantly certification. Its Q Mark is stamped on each piece of batten, which shows that our grading, preservative treatment, product marking and management processes have all been independently audited and verified. In the case of our batten, this is done by a good third-party body that is UKAS accredited.

2. The NFRC

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) is the largest and most influential roofing trade association in the UK. As well as promoting the profession as a whole, it is at the forefront of a continued drive to improve standards of workmanship, and integral to this is the use of quality, compliant products.

The federation also offers training services and technical advice, as well as facilitates a series of committees that discuss different aspects. SR Timber sat on a roofing batten committee that was formed to discuss standards and has been involved in major decisions, as well as contributing to changes with relevant technical bulletins. The committee has been influential in the introduction and revision of the current British Standard: BS 5534:2014, which came into force in 2014 and was revised last year (+ A2:2018).

As well as the quality and technical standards, one of the other priorities of the NFRC is safe work practice for contractors – especially for roofers who work at height. Quite simply, the quality – and therefore tensile strength – of our batten has to be such that it contributes to a safe working environment for merchants’ customers onsite.

3. The TTF

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) is the UK’s foremost membership body for the timber supply chain, and its members have to satisfy specific criteria concerning the sustainable sourcing and harvesting of timber products before they can join the federation. All TTF members must adhere to its code of conduct in ensuring that all products are fit for purpose, are high quality and comply with the latest national and international market standards and regulations.

4. The PEFC

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is the world’s leading forest certification system and an internationally recognised brand devoted to ensuring that forests are managed according to environmental, social and economic criteria.

It is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification. It works by endorsing national forest certification systems developed collaboratively by all interested stakeholders and has recognised certification systems in 36 countries.

5. The FSC

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. The FSC runs a global forest certification system with two key components: forest management and chain of custody. This system allows consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products produced from well-managed forests and/or recycled materials.

Just these five alone demonstrate the breadth of the bases we have to cover, from the sustainability of raw materials and the certification of materials to the safety of the contractors using our products. We take care of all the details so that merchants and their customers don’t have to worry about a thing, as we have got everything covered.

This article was first published in Builders Merchants Journal magazine.