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Facing 2022 with huge optimism: DHF reflects on a most successful year

DHF reflects on a most successful year

Despite the on-going uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, Tamworth-based trade association, the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF), has hailed 2021 one of its most successful and constructive years. At a time when the industry has been required to wade through the collaborative headache of Covid-19 and Brexit, the federation has continued to offer unrivalled support, information and assistance to its members and to the industry.

At the beginning of 2021, DHF published a new best practice guide named Biosafe Hardware. The guidance document targets architects, facilities managers and building managers/owners, and offers information and support on how they might effectively balance health, safety and security, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The federation has continued to advise its members on how to operate safely throughout the year.

In February, DHF hosted a series of bespoke webinars regarding UKCA marking replacing CE marking following Brexit, with the first virtual event held on Wednesday 10th February. It served to highlight the pertinent points regarding the replacement of the CE mark following Brexit, relevant to manufacturers and suppliers of domestic garage doors.

DHF has also voiced its full support for The Construction Playbook, in delivering a more efficient, faster and greener solution to improve building and workplace safety. Introduced in December 2020 by the government, The Construction Playbook brings together knowledge, expertise and best practice to reform the industry and transform how public works projects are assessed, procured and managed. Its objective is to improve building and workplace safety, promote social values and work towards the UK’s 2050 net zero commitment with a whole life carbon approach, by way of clear and appropriate outcome specifications, longer term contracting across portfolios (offering greater value through public spending) and faster end-to-end project delivery. 

In addition, DHF has demonstrated its decade of support for the automated gate and traffic barrier sector this year at Fencex. Speaking at the time, DHF’s Head of Commercial Operations, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens, said:

“We are not only celebrating 10 years of putting our weight behind the automated gate industry, but the many positive and considerable milestones that have been achieved along the way, for example, ’setting the standard’ by offering Ofqual-regulated training, and in so doing, becoming the UK’s very first organisation to offer an official theory qualification for the automated gate sector that complements the industry NVQ, has been a significant highlight for the federation. The formal qualification is recognised by employers and is vital in demonstrating a competent workforce. This has been a genuine ‘game changer’ across the industry.” Most noticeable has been the improvement in the quality of gate installations and installer knowledge UK-wide.

At the very heart of DHF’s operations, of course, is its training programme and it prides itself on keeping the industry informed by delivering training that enables safe and compliant products to be put on the market. Indeed, the organisation’s employees have remained committed to helping its members as much as possible during the pandemic, putting delegates first, through online webinars and the distance learning programme. 

“Our members have been able to access an almost-uninterrupted level of training since March 2020 and we have worked extremely hard behind the scenes to offer a streamlined provision,” explains Patricia. In April, DHF resumed its classroom training with learners once again returning to DHF’s training academy, and in June, it added to its training portfolio with an Emergency First Aid at Work Training Course, covering such topics as actions in an emergency, resuscitation and CPR, the use of AED’s (automated external defibrillator), wounds and seizures. The federation has also embarked upon a five-year training strategy, planning for a series of new and innovative training courses over the next five years that will fully complement its existing offering.

In collaborating with Entrance Systems Alliance (ESA), the organisation established by DHF and the Automatic Door Suppliers Association (ADSA), DHF has been able to 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. This one NVQ will cover installation, repair and maintenance, a change from the original requirement of two NVQs: one for installation, and the second for repair and maintenance. 

And a new training website – just launched – will enable greater flexibility for learners. Outlining its potential benefits, Patricia says:

“We will be able to update presentations in-house for our delegates and allow learners to sit accredited examinations online. The new training website also delivers our Distance Learning Programme (DLP) remotely; there is no need for learners to co-ordinate with their Distance Learning tutor, instead they can learn online, controlling their own pace and learning journey.

“Once again, we see DHF rising to the continuing challenges that face the industry, providing a consistent, reliable and trustworthy service to members and non-members,” concludes Patricia. “Having faced the tumultuous uncertainty of the past two years, we are facing the future with tremendous optimism. DHF remains a centre of excellence across all the sectors it serves, and its calm and proactive response since March 2020 has been a clear demonstration of its value and place in the industry.”

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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