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DHF celebrates 125 years of raising standards across the industry


DHF celebrates 125 years of raising standards across the industry

2022 has already proved a hugely successful year for one of the UK’s oldest trade association, Door & Hardware Federation (DHF), with a new Chairman in place, the re-establishment of its training regime in Ireland, and the Covid-19 pandemic hopefully very much in the rear-view mirror.  And as it faces its 125th anniversary with tremendous optimism, the federation has much to celebrate, particularly following the unprecedented challenges of the past two years.  It has never been a better time to celebrate the organisation’s history, heritage, vision, and values.  

DHF has been serving the needs of its now-500 plus members since it was formed in 1897 (then an employers’ association called the Brass Masters’ Association); 125 years on, it remains the ‘go-to’ organisation for technical advice and training with its ultimate objective to raise industry standards and provide a ‘one stop shop’ for technical expertise, information, knowledge, advice, and practical help. 

“It is, quite simply, a ‘centre of excellence’, with a network of professional consultants in Automated Gates, Industrial & Garage Doors, Building Hardware and Doorsets.” explains DHF’s Head of Commercial Operations, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens.  “It is entirely true to say that we are going from strength-to-strength.”

One of DHF’s greatest changes in recent years has been successfully managing its significant expansion.  Its relocation to ‘The Barn’ at ‘Shuttington Fields Farm’ took place in 2018, and offers a large office space, together with a state-of-the-art training academy and parking for more than 40 cars.  It has become a training ‘hub’ for the now thousands of people who have embarked upon DHF’s training courses for those working in automated gates, industrial doors, or garage doors.  DHF continues to prioritise its training offering, keeping the industry informed by delivering training that enables safe and compliant products to be put on the market.  Even during Covid-19, the federation supplied an almost uninterrupted level of training – remotely – then face-to-face.

“DHF continued to put training first during the pandemic with online webinars and the distance learning programme,” explains Patricia.  “Following this, we resumed classroom training.  It was imperative for us to continue this service.”

Managing Brexit and Covid-19 in collaboration has proved a considerable test for the federation, but DHF has emerged from both in fine form, so much so that it regarded 2021 one of its most constructive years. And there’s been no let up in 2022 as DHF continues to support its members and the industry with guidance and advice on matters such as changes to Building Regulations, Fire Safety Regulations, conformity marking and the relevant Approved Documents.

It has also grown through its ability to collaborate, for example, in joining forces with the Automatic Door Suppliers Association (ADSA) to create Entrance Systems Alliance (ESA), DHF can now offer a single, combined NVQ qualification to better serve the needs of the Powered Pedestrian Door, Automated Gate, Industrial & Garage Door and Fire Door industries.  It continues to offer three fire door training courses in collaboration with BRE and this summer will see the launch of the Fire Roller Shutter training course.  Other collaborations include the Private Security Authority (PSA), who used the original DHF TS 011 Code of Practice to form its standard PSA80, and the Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE) with whom their core training courses are accredited.

From gaining accreditation for its training courses to a new training academy website, to hosting bespoke webinars regarding UKCA marking, to vocalising the need for third party certified complete doorsets and compartmentation in helping minimise the spread of fire, and helping members navigate challenging legislation, DHF has proved a reliable and consistent ambassador for safety and compliance; it continues to flourish year-on-year.

“We celebrate our 125th anniversary with great optimism and an eye to the future,” concludes DHF’s CEO, Bob Perry.  “DHF has achieved many positive and considerable milestones that have impacted the industry, and people’s lives; these have helped underpin our reputation as a centre of excellence.  We remain proud of our accomplishments and confident that with a highly skilled team in place, we will continue to inform, guide and inspire.”

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Door & Hardware Federation, The Barn, Shuttington Fields Farm, Main Road, Shuttington, Tamworth, B79 0HA
Registered in England No.2537077
VAT No. 240112234
  • Construction Products Association
  • Build UK Trade Association Member