BESA's Competence Assessment Standard (CAS) enables FES to find trusted RAC contractors


For over 60 years, FES has led the UK marketplace. The company continues to hold a unique position in providing cutting-edge services to the construction and support sectors of UK business.

FES had a significant project requiring a substantial amount of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) work to be completed. However, they lacked in-house RAC engineers and typically outsourced all of their RAC work. Unfortunately, their regular contractors did not have the capacity to handle the workload for them this time. As a BESA member of X years, they reached out to their Account Manager for help.


In light of this challenge, their Regional Manager Iain McCaskey was able to search the BESA Members' directory for contractors that may be able to help.

Unlike other trade membership associations, BESA ensures the competency of their members. As all BESA members must pass the BESA Competence Assessment Standard (CAS) Audit before joining, FES could be confident that they had the technical competence and commercial capability, guaranteeing them peace of mind.

The BESA CAS audit is robust but straightforward. It involves a business management review of key documents to ensure the right technical, commercial and health and safety processes and procedures are in place, and a comprehensive technical audit to verify technical competence and compliance. Members are reassessed every 3 years to monitor and re-verify their competence. By using a BESA member, FES can be sure that their chosen building engineering services contractor meets the required standard in all of the following ways:

- They are regularly inspected on their competence

- They are financially evaluated to fair and reasonable commercial standards

- Their performance meets recognized specification and good practice guides

- They are fully compliant with mandatory H&S requirements

- They have controls in place to ensure their work complies with the Building Services Act

- They have adequate insurance in place

- They have adequate recruitment policies

- They have an awareness of the environmental issues the industry faces.

Once a member, every contractor for works such as Air Conditioning, Commercial Industrial Plumbing, Duct Work Cleaning, Pipework, Renewables, and Water Treatment are added to the database.

Iain was able to use this tool and narrow the search to members who had recently completed the CAS scheme and had turnovers below £5 million, giving them the credibility and flexibility they required for this project.

FES were then able to review this shortlist and find the perfect fit for them. 


After reviewing the search results, FES selected BESA member Durham Air Conditioning Ltd. Their experienced engineers were delighted to support FES on the project.

Since the project, FES has significantly expanded its engagement with Durham Air Conditioning Ltd, extending beyond the North East region to encompass projects as far as the Midlands and Scotland.

In addition to Durham Air Conditioning Ltd, FES has also utilised the services of other BESA members such as Roperhurst and Parker Environmental. Recognizing the importance of compliance and competency, FES acknowledges that engaging a BESA member who has recently completed the CAS ensures high standards, particularly in terms of meticulous paperwork and documentation.

"This success demonstrates our ability to assist members in securing projects, further fostering the sense of community spirit we aim to cultivate within BESA." - Iain McCaskey, FES Account Manager.

“As a valued BESA member we were delighted to be referred to FES by BESA as a potential project partner as we’d previously not worked together.  We have gone on to collaborate on several projects and trust that this will continue into a long-term commercial relationship over many years.  The assurance of working with like-minded companies is something we truly value as part of our involvement with BESA”. – Keith Dunnill & Kevin Davis, Durham Air Conditioning.