The BESA represents firms active in the design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of engineering systems and services in buildings.


What is the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA)?

The BESA is the UK’s leading trade organisation representing the interests of firms active in the design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of engineering systems and services in buildings.

When was BESA founded?

Founded in 1904 as the National Association of Master Heating and Domestic Engineers, BESA was known for almost 50 years as the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association, before rebranding in 2012.


What categories of firms are eligible for BESA membership?

The BESA membership is open to all UK-based firms engaged in any or all aspects of building engineering services contracting.

What are the main benefits of BESA membership?

Firms value the support they receive in maintaining and growing their businesses. For some members of the BESA, this centres on the “badge of quality” which raises their prestige among actual and potential clients. For others, it means the practical advice and guidance they receive on legal, technical and workforce issues. For others again, the focus is on collaboration on key issues, access to lawmakers and opinion-formers and the opportunity to help in setting and raising industry standards.

Do members undergo checks on their competence and professionalism?

To achieve membership, firms must undergo rigorous third-party inspection and assessment of their technical competence, commercial capability and adherence to health and safety best practice under the BESA Competence Assessment Standard (CAS). To remain in membership, firms must submit to a similar regime at least every three years.

BESA Services

What services are offered by the BESA Group?

Employee Benefits from Welplan Ltd: Cost effective benefits to help you attract and retain talent

Competence Assessment from BESCA: Demonstrate competence and self-certify for a full range of business services

Commercial Insurance from Welplan Ltd: Discounted, tailored insurance to keep you covered

Technical Expertise from BESA Publications: Best in class technical guidance

Industry Certification from Refcom: Stay compliant and demonstrate quality and professionalism

Training from BESA Training: Apprenticeships and short courses to develop future industry leaders

Personnel Registration from Skillcard: The industry recognized SMART card issuing and personnel registration scheme for people working in the mechanical sector of the building services engineering industry throughout the UK

Does BESA promote its members to clients, specifiers and end users?

The online Find a BESA Member facility allows actual and potential clients to identify and select members of the BESA according to the range of services they provide and their geographical location.

In addition, The BESA Book, published annually, provides a comprehensive guide to members, including full contact details for each.

Do members have access to insurances at preferential rates?

Preferential rates are available to members via the BESA Unique commercial insurance package, which can provide substantial savings, along with fully comprehensive cover.


How is assessment under CAS managed and administered?

The CAS regime is overseen by the BESA Membership Committee, which rules on all member-related matters, and the Technical Committee, which develops and reviews the technical standards according to which the scheme operates.

It is managed and administered independently by Building Engineering Services Competence Assessment (BESCA), which provides a professional, industry-specific assessment procedure.


Does BESA have relationships with other high-profile industry bodies?

BESA is itself a member of the Specialist Engineering Contractors' (SEC) Group, which provides a united voice for all engineering specialists working in construction, and of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB), which provides a central forum for matters of specific interest to the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

BESA provides the secretariat for the Building Services Engineering Employment Agency Alliance, a voluntary grouping of employment businesses that supply personnel to contractors across building engineering services.

The BESA works closely with other bodies throughout the sector – including the research organisation BSRIA, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, the Electrical Contractors’ Association and the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA), and is a member of the CIBSE Patrons corporate supporters’ network.

In Europe, the BESA is an active member of GCP Europe, the umbrella body for the building engineering services sector and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration European Association (AREA), which represents refrigeration and air conditioning contractors.