The ATTMA has amended it’s Lodgement software to now pick up on all deviating certificates, sending them to the Scheme, Quality and Technical Managers to be reviewed before being released.This allows ATTMA to intervene and make the decision about what is and what is not acceptable temporary sealing, ultimately allowing the ATTMA to reject certificates completely if tests are not done in accordance with the test standard.
Barry Cope, ATTMA Scheme Manager, adds “It’s a very slick process that allows the ATTMA to decide what is and isn’t acceptable and is a very powerful tool that the industry has needed for a long time. No longer are the testers able to declare deviations in the hope that they get picked up by either the SAP / SBEM assessor, they now know that the ATTMA pick these up and are actively rejecting data where it is not acceptable.”
When asked about why deviations are allowed in the first place Mr Cope responds “The problem is actually two-fold. Temporary sealing of some areas has always been acceptable, for instance let’s take a smashed pane of glass in a dwelling. It doesn’t make sense that the tester could travel 50 miles to air test a plot and to walk away because of a single area of temporary sealing required. The glass will always be more air tight than the testers tape and therefore the tester or contractor will seal the glass and carry out the test. This is an example of an acceptable deviation.” Mr Cope continues “The issue is that contractors will often misinterpret the use of tape and will start to seal other areas that will not be fixed before the plot is sold, for example the bath panel where there is leakage behind that should be fixed. By taping the bath panel it gives an artificial representation of what the true result is. If ATTMA see that the contractor has taped a bath panel to hide leakage behind it, it will reject the certificate and make the result 0.00, therefore making the result useless in the chain it then goes on to”.
The ATTMA managers have a screen that shows all deviating tests but does not show the testing company name, the test engineers name or any identifying information, only the deviations which allows the ATTMA managers to make a decision based only on what they see.
Approximately 5-7% of all tests (30-40 per day) have some form of deviation with 75% (25-30 per day) of those being considered acceptable. Around 10% of the deviating certificates (3-4 per day) are completely rejected.
Examples of the certificate wording are shown below: