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


Pre-assessment 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


Process/es controls


Scheme objectives

Top management commitment

Scheme documents

Scheme records

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:



Process/es controls

Conformity of your scheme against the standards

Success towards scheme objectives

Performance monitoring and measuring

Meeting of scheme, regulatory and compliance obligations

Scheme documents

Scheme records

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:


Water sampling

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:


Select timber

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

Handle complaints

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.


Surveillance audits


Your surveillance audits will, subject to your certification, review your:


Non-conformities identified at previous CATG audits

Internal audits

Management reviews

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


Re-certification audits


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

By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.