Key Industry Links

As a merchanting professional, you are not only a vital link in the supply chain: you are also a member and contributor to a vast network of industry knowledge. The following organisations are all carrying out vital work on the industry’s behalf, and have proven themselves excellent sources of information, statistics and ideas.

Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA)
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association is the trade association for manufacturers of bathroom products trading in the UK and now represents around 87% of major bathroom manufacturers, who collectively employ in excess of 13,000 people at 71 sites across the UK.
Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)
The Department produces regular monthly figures on construction work, housing starts and completions, contractors’ performance and employment in the construction industry as well as other useful data.
Brick Development Association Ltd (BDA)
The Brick Development Association promotes the use of clay bricks and pavers in architectural, structural, landscape and craft applications. The UK and Irish manufacturers of clay bricks and pavers who form the BDA membership account for over 95% of the UK and Ireland’s total brick making capacity.
British Board of Agreement (BBA)
The British Board of Agrement is a body partnered with Government. Their main role is technical approval of innovative construction products and awarding Agrement Certificates to those that come up to the mark.
British Cement Association (BCA)
The British Cement Association is the trade and research organisation that represents the interests of the UK’s cement industry at national and European levels.
British Lung Foundation (BLF)
British Plastics Federation (BPF)
The British Plastics Federation is the leading trade association of the UK Plastics Industry (representing approximately 80% of turnover), a springboard for industry action, existing to exploit common opportunities and resolve shared problems.
British Standards Institute (BSI)
Creators and guardians of British Standards for product manufacture and performance, as well as ISO 9000 series Quality Management and ISO 14000 series Environmental Management standards.
British Woodworking Federation Federation (BWF)
The British Woodworking Federation is recognised as the leading representative body for the woodworking industry and builders’ joinery and represents leading manufacturers, distributors and installers of doors, windows, conservatories, staircases, architectural joinery, timber frame buildings and engineered timber components.
Builders Merchants Awards For Excellence
The Builders Merchants Awards For Excellence are a platform for the industry to officially recognise its high achievers.
Builders Merchants Federation  Builders Merchants Federation
The BMF is the representative body and the largest training provider for builders and plumbers merchant businesses in the United Kingdom. BMF works on behalf of the whole merchant trade and the professional manufacturer / merchant / contractor route to market. BMF Training includes BMF Campus product knowledge, Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeship qualifications and the BMF Diploma, which is accredited to national Higher Education standards, and leads to a Foundation or BA Honours degree award, subject to further study.
Builders Merchants Journal
Builders Merchants Journal is the UK’s longest established magazine catering solely for the information needs of the wholesale construction distribution market. For 80 years they have been at the forefront of publishing to the UK merchanting industry, bringing vital business information to the attention of those involved in distributing building materials to the trade.
Builders Merchants News
For over 30 years Builders’ Merchants News has provided a fresh, expert perspective and an independent view on the news, issues and events shaping the builders’ merchants industry. With its market trends and spends, market intelligence surveys and reports on industry issues from the key players in the business, Builders’ Merchants News is regarded by merchants as the voice of the industry and their preferred read. From company profiles to the latest innovations in construction products and services, Builders’ Merchants News is renowned for the breadth of its coverage, while its topical columns provide an enlightening, frequently challenging view of the market as it evolves.
Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
The only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated solely to encouraging and facilitating professional standards and qualifications in management and leadership.
Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
The professional institute for marketing professionals has a lively Construction Interest Group, which brings together individuals throughout the construction industry supply chain.
Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)
As the UK plumbing and heating industry’s professional body, the IPHE with its registered educational charity status strives to raise standards of plumbing and heating for everyone.
Constructing Excellence
The Constructing Excellence website comprises all of the former Construction Best Practice, Rethinking Construction, Movement for Innovation (M4i), Housing Forum, and Local Government Task Force websites.
Construction Products Association (CPA)
The Construction Products Association represents the UK’s manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of construction products, components and fittings. It acts as the voice of the construction products industry, representing the industry-wide view of its members. The Association is committed to demonstrating the importance of a growing, profitable and sustainable construction products industry within the UK economy. BMF is a founder member of CPA.
Construction Products Association (CPA) – Play The Regs
A website designed to give architects, designers, builders and manufacturers a simple introduction to Part L and the different combinations of products that can get dwellings to comply.
Construction Products Association (CPA) – Sustainability website
Door & Hardware Federation
DHF represents the interests of manufacturers and installers of industrial, pedestrian and garage doors as well as manufacturers of locks and building hardware. It provides professionals in all sectors of the building industry with a single source for technical expertise with the ultimate aim of assuring progress and maintaining standards throughout the industry.
e-Xact Online
The e-Xact product database contains details of over 200,000 products from over 200 suppliers. Information can be viewed and downloaded by subscribers and integrated into their own back office systems for easy product ordering.
Energy Savings Trust (EST)
The EST is the UK’s leading organisation working with a range of partners to deliver the sustainable and efficient use of energy.
Envirowise offers UK businesses free, independent, confidential advice and support on practical ways to increase profits, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact.
Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
Founded in 1941, the Federation of Master Builders is the leading employers’ trade association in the UK building industry with some 15,000 members. Membership requires a builder to prove that they offer suitably high standards of working practice and business methods and is thus widely accepted as a hallmark of quality.
European association of lightside Merchants Assocations.
Freight Transport Association Freight Transport Association (FTA)
Freight Transport Association represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 200,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition, they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight.
Gas Safe Register
Gas Safe Register has replaced CORGI in Great Britain and the Isle of Man. The register exists to protect you, your family, and your property from dangerous gas work. By law, anyone carrying out work on gas installations and appliances in your home must be on the Gas Safe Register.
Green Gauge
Green Gauge’s mission is to mainstream the knowledge and skills for cost-effective low energy, low carbon buildings in the UK. There are many different players involved in various stages of a building cycle, any one of whom can inadvertently confound the aim of delivering a low energy low carbon building. How many of them immediately understand what we mean when we talk about building energy and carbon performance? Green Gauge aims to develop common language, common understanding, common standards and consistent training to enable the industry to meet its sustainability goals.
Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI)
The Guild serves to further all aspects of architectural ironmongery, promoting the interchange of information to encourage better product design and high professional standards of ironmongery scheduling and specification. The Guild operates a three-year educational programme leading to the GAI Diploma – an industry recognised qualification, and to Registered Architectural Ironmongery status requiring Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The Health and Safety Executive website provides access to over 350 of HSE’s priced publications, Approved Codes of Practice, the latest health and safety legislation and a wide range of other information.
Home Builders Federation (HBF)
The Home Builders Federation is the principal trade organisation for private sector housebuilders and voice of the home building industry in England and Wales. It is an exciting industry filled with many talented people and organisations, providing sustainable and attractive homes to meet the demands of consumers.
Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)
Professional networking, training and qualifying body for managers from all sectors of industry.
Leading Edge Research and Marketing Consultants
Leading Edge is a research and marketing consultancy focussing on market research, market analysis and strategic marketing. Established in 1988, they specialise in the construction, construction products and environmental sectors.
Modern Masonry Alliance
Masonry holds the ultimate in up-to-date information on Masonry products, manufacturers, suppliers and applications. Everything you need on-line at the click of a mouse.??
National Federation of Builders (NFB)
The National Federation of Builders is the construction industry’s longest established trade association which has grown in stature since its origins in the late 19th century. This has been achieved by providing top level advice to their members on legal, employment, taxation, health and safety, planning, environmental, technical, training and government funding issues. Their staff are close to the industry, have in-depth knowledge of todays business practises and how they are changing.
National Home Improvement Council (NHIC)
The National Home Improvement Council represents the most important body of companies and organisations that work in the home improvement sector. They earnestly believe in higher standards of materials and workmanship, backing this with codes of practice, gaurantees and warranties. BMF is a founder member of NHIC.
National Merchant Buying Society (NMBS)
NMBS are a centralised buying society with over 660 Members and 1400 branches and over £500 million buying power. Together NMBS, its Members and Suppliers are a strong and highly effective influence on purchasing decisions and processes. That means top quality deals for Members and a seriously large market for suppliers.
Society of British Gas Industries (SBGI)
The SBGI, established in 1905 as the Society of British Gas Industries, is the only Trade Association covering the whole of the onshore gas industry. It continues to successfully promote a thriving gas industry, as well as developing and adapting to the ever changing needs of its members and the industry.
T-ZERO is a comparison website that saves money and carbon through green home improvements. Users can compare options to find the best solution for their home, then locate the companies in their area that can help them with the improvements.
Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA)
TRADA, the Timber Research and Development Association, is the UK’s most authoritative provider of information on the specification and use of timber in construction. BMF is a member of TRADA.
Timber Trade Federation (TTF)
The Timber Trade Federation is the official voice of the UK timber trade. It represents timber importers, agents, distributors and other suppliers and users of wood and wood products. The Federation aims to create the best conditions for its members to trade successfully and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry.
Traditional Housing Bureau (THB)
Established in the 1980s the THB is a lobbying body for the modern masonry construction industry communicating all the performance advantages of brick and block construction to the consumer and the housing industry.
European association of national Builders’ Merchants Assocations.
UK Green Building Council
In 2004, the Government’s Sustainable Building Task Group reported that no one body or organisation concerned with sustainability was providing clear direction for the sector as a whole. The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC), launched in February 2007, will bring cohesion to the UK green buildings movement.
United Merchants (UNIMER)
Unimer is the largest non-profit making merchants co-operative celebrating over 70 years of service to the merchant trade – the making of a profitable partnership.
Wood For Good
One tree is cut. Two trees are planted. Wood For Good is about encouraging more people to use nature’s own building material. The only sustainable building material. The only renewable material. A resource that, in Europe, is increasing year by year by over 25 times the annual UK consumption.
Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants
The Builders Merchants industry’s City Livery Company, The Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011. The Company is committed to the advancement of professionalism and education within the merchant industry, and works closely with the BMF and the Institute of Builders Merchants in pursuance of these aims.

PIABC: Professionalising the industry – new competence qualifications launched
At last – a nationally recognised qualification for those dealing with wood in timber and builders merchants: level 2 NVQ Diploma in Merchant Supplies – Timber.

For the staff that buy, sell or handle wood, this NVQ will help provide a consistent standard nationally and has the potential to be recognised throughout the industry as the minimum competence required.

Everyone will benefit from the introduction of this qualification:

  • Employers will have an assurance that staff are qualified and quality will improve
  • Staff will gain confidence, esteem and a sense of satisfaction and achievement
  • The reputation of the industry will improve as more staff become qualified

The NVQ has been developed by employers, the Sector Skills Council and the awarding body PIABC.

PIABC is determined to help professionalise the wood and timber industries by offering relevant qualifications and have recently also launched NVQs in:

  • Woodmachining level 2
  • Woodmachining level 3
  • Sawmilling – round timber level 2
  • Sawmilling – secondary conversion level 2
  • Technology – Saw Doctoring level 2
  • Wood Preserving level 2

Also, there is now a national apprenticeship scheme for the wood and timber industry

Helen Hewitt, Proskills wood and timber industry lead said “These qualifications have been developed specifically for companies in the Wood and Timber Industries, and come after a long wait for the industry. We have been extremely excited about this launch as this is truly the first time the industry has worked together towards achieving a fully competent workforce for the future.”

PIABC will offer these OFQUAL accredited qualifications. PIABC is a professional awarding organisation operating within the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).

For further information on qualification please contact Paul Preston by email or telephone 01476 513896

PIABC, The Boilerhouse, Caunt Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 7FZ.