Industry-led quality assurance scheme raises the bar – again

1 December 2018

Industry-led quality assurance initiative Steel Fabrication Certification (SFC) has been extended to include a site erection module. This addition further broadens the scheme by capturing activities including on-site bolting, welding and erection.

Steel Construction New Zealand (SCNZ) manager Darren O’Riley says: “This is a natural progression for the development of SFC. New Zealand’s structural steel contractors typically provide complete project management, from shop drawings and fabrication to site erection. This latest SFC module is formal recognition of this end-to-end approach.”

Mr O’Riley says that New Zealand’s structural steel contractors have always been about complete project management – from start to finish.

“This latest enhancement of SFC makes us even more accountable for the final execution and delivery of a completed, compliant structure. This approach sets our local industry apart from suppliers of imported structural steel, who don’t erect the steel or manage the process and, as such, aren’t accountable for the final outcome,” says Mr O’Riley.

Importantly, the New Zealand-based workshop fabrication module of SFC is a prerequisite to achieve the erection module.

Recognising experience and training is central to the SFC scheme and is based on the competency requirements of the personnel involved. SCNZ and the Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA) have partnered to develop training modules to support the success of SFC.

Participating structural steel contractors are certified by an independent auditing authority, HERA Certifications Ltd. Certification for both the fabrication and the erection modules is valid for five years but is subject to an annual surveillance audit to ensure the integrity of the scheme. SFC provides procurers and specifiers with certainty of product quality and significantly reduced compliance risk.

Current SFC-qualified structural steel contractors have until July 2019 to prepare for their first audit to achieve erection module certification.

This SFC compliance milestone follows the 2017 announcement to make SFC a compulsory condition of SCNZ membership from 2020.