In March 2022, the British Woodworking Federation (BWF)’s Fire Door Alliance surveyed 1,000 people with responsibility for fire door specification, installation, and maintenance across the UK, to assess their understanding of the newly introduced Building Safety Act.

A year later, research conducted with the same audience aimed to find out if attitudes had changed, and whether the industry’s understanding of legislation has improved. So, what did we discover? Encouragingly, there was a noticeably improved awareness and understanding of the benefits of thirdparty certification. However, we also found that adoption levels dropped very slightly.

This article explores the importance of third-party certification and the role it can play in ensuring compliance with new legislation for organisations of all kinds.


We believe that third-party certification is a vital component of a robust fire safety approach. Not only does it provide essential evidence that a fire door is fit for purpose, but it is important in complying with regulations.

Third-party certification has a number of features aimed at providing assurance over doors’ performance:

  • Traceability: Third-party certified doors display labels or plugs that offer traceability throughout the construction supply chain, including important information about the door’s component parts.
  • Testing: All fire door designs should be tested to BS 476 Part 22 or the European equivalent BS EN 1634 Part 1 by a UKASapproved test facility. Each fire door design must be tested as a complete assembly at least every five years, and annually for highvolume products.
  • Auditing: All FDA members involved in the manufacture and conversion of fire doors, or their associated components are audited annually by their certification provider. The aim is to ensure that fire doors or components use the same materials identified in the original test for that specific design.
  • Quality management: The order management, design and manufacturing processes are assessed. A quality management system following the principles of ISO 9001:2015 and a Factory Production Control System (FPCS) are requirements of the BWF Fire Door Alliance to ensure that standards are consistently maintained.
  • Training: All staff involved in the manufacture and sale of fire doors or components are required to undertake regular training to ensure they understand the latest Building Regulations and can offer correct advice to their customers.


The BWF Fire Door Alliance’s latest survey reveals that those with responsibility for fire doors not only understand the importance of third-party certification in improving overall fire safety, but also how it can help meet new standards.

Despite the improved understanding of third-party certification and its associated benefits, alternative approaches to fire door testing – which lack crucial traceability and performance assurance – are still prevalent. With an increasing number of individuals that oversee fire safety relying on fire test certificates for proof of performance, many fire doors aren’t undergoing the crucial comprehensive assessment that third-party certification provides.

Third-party certification entails a rigorous audit by an independent party to validate that the fire door manufacturer or processor has conducted appropriate testing and consistently adheres to set standards.

The only way to be certain that fire doors and doorsets will perform as they are intended is through third-party certification, and we believe it should be a requirement for all fire doors and doorsets. For this reason, we urge the industry to fully explore its benefits and set a new benchmark for building safety in the UK.