What Qualifications Does an Oak Framer Need to Call Themselves an Oak Framer?

An oak framer actually needs no qualifications to call themselves an oak framer. Why is this?

Apart from electricians and plumbers, it is actually true of all trades that a person needs no official qualifications to be able to call themselves a member of whichever trade they wish. Around 80% of those working in the UK building industry do not have the correct qualifications for what they are doing.

What About Building Control?

Building Control is there to check that specifications are correct. They are not there to ensure that the expected level of quality is what you actually end up getting, or even that what was specified is what you end up getting. That responsibility lies solely on your shoulders.

In our experience, it’s crucial that every building is calculated to avoid any issues of under-specification, beam size or bracing. We also guarantee site orientation and elevation of your building have been considered.

What About a Trade Body?

There is no trade body to protect the rights of people purchasing oak frames. This is why you need to make sure that whoever you engage to supply and manufacture your oak frames has the correct qualifications. This ensures you are not left with a structure that is unsound but instead gets one built to the right specification that actually lasts.

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What Qualifications Should You Look for?

Ideally, you want to find qualifications that have third-party ratification. If the professionals you have chosen are a small outfit or “one-man band”, they need to have credible carpentry qualifications and a track record of producing frame buildings. If you have chosen a manufacturer, they should have ISO 9001 or an equivalent manufacturing certification. It is also worth bearing in mind that ISO 9001 is to do with the process, not quality.

The only third-party qualification we know of that certifies for quality and process is the BM TRADA Q-Mark. You will find some manufacturers that say they have this, but you may want to ensure this is the truth first. A professional will bring the physical certification to demonstrate that they are designing and manufacturing frames to the correct standards.

English Heritage Buildings has been producing oak frames for over 30 years, and we are the only oak framer to hold a BM TRADA Q-Mark.