The Approval Process

UK Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steels ("UK CARES" or "CARES") is an independent, non-for-profit certification body which provided its first certificate in 1984. It is a company limited by guarantee, with no shareholder capital, operating for the benefit of the construction sector by providing certification to companies that produce materials, components or provide services primarily, but not totally, within the reinforced concrete industry.

Applying for CARES Certification

The CARES office will respond to any enquiry for certification in a clear and efficient manner. When it has been agreed between CARES and the applicant firm that an application will go ahead, the applicant is required to submit an application which generally consists of a completed and signed application form, an updated copy (in English) of the firms Quality Manual and the relevant application fee.

CARES Procedures after Receipt of Application

  • Confirmation of scope of approval
  • Review of the Quality Manual
  • Pre-assessment visit if required
  • Assessment
  • Independent testing of samples (where applicable)
  • On satisfactory completion of all stages a Certificate of Approval is issued.

Maintenance of Approval

In the case of its reinforcing steel and technical approval schemes, twice yearly inspections of approved sites are performed by CARES auditors. These are performed to assure CARES of the continued compliance of the approved firms products and systems. These may be supplemented by unannounced inspections. CARES' certificates are reissued annually.

Cost of Approval

The cost of approval is dependent on the nature of certification required and particularly on the amount of testing which the certification scheme requires. Re-auditing due to the discovery of Major non-compliances or retesting due to sample failures will add to the cost of certification.


Producers of Carbon Steel Bars for the Reinforcement of Concrete
  • CARES approval of reinforcing steel bars (rebar) covers the steel making process through to the production of the finished rebar and includes the testing facility
  • Quality System Requirements
  • Manufacturers are required to operate a management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001
  • Product Requirements
  • Products must comply with requirements of BS4449 or other documented specification.
  • Process requirements
  • Manufacturers must demonstrate via statistical analysis of product testing, both on a heat by heat and longer term basis, the consistency of the performance of their steel
  • Identification of CARES Bar Marking
  • The CARES Rebar Scheme requires that all deformed bar produced by mills approved under the CARES Scheme carries three pieces of identification
  1. The dot-dash-dot is the CARES approval mark and is a registered certification mark, number 2150684.
  2. The number of ribs after the CARES mark indicates the country of origin and is based simply on the number of ribs between the last dot of the CARES mark and the next part of the coding.
  3. The number of ribs after the country of origin identifies the mill that produced the bar.

For further information on bar marking please go to the bar mark page.


Reinforcement Fabricators

The CARES Scheme for reinforcement fabricators covers the cutting and bending of rebar. The Scheme requires that this is achieved with accuracy and without causing product degradation.

Quality System Requirements

Reinforcement fabricators are required to operate a management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001.

The principal requirements are:

  • material sourcing
  • establishing material conformity
  • maintaining traceability
  • a quality system to ensure compliance with BS EN ISO 9001 and BS8666
  • quality plans for non-standard requirements
  • control of procedures and work instructions
  • document supplier and customer complaints procedures
  • regular internal reviews of the quality system
Product Requirements

Reinforcing Steel purchased and processed by CARES approved reinforcement fabricators must have been manufactured by CARES approved steel manufacturers and cut, and cut and bent products must comply with requirements of BS8666 and/or contract specifications.

CARES approved fabricators operate an approved management system for quality which will ensure that order requirements are fulfilled with all material in full compliance with the required British Standard.

Should you have any queries regarding the use of these standards, how they differ in detail, or how they should be used in practice, then please contact CARES directly or consult CARES web site.

Identification of Rebar from CARES Approved Fabricators

All bundles of cut and cut and bent shapes must be labeled according to BS8666. The label should carry the CARES logo and approval number of the fabricator. All deformed bar supplied by CARES approved fabricators is required to carry a bar mark unique to the steel mill that enables the CARES approved products to be easily identified.

It is important for purchasers to recognise the controls placed by CARES on the Reinforcement Fabricators listed on the following pages. The CARES Scheme has been designed to eliminate further work by the engineer who can rely on the products being supplied without the need to test material and inspect the related mill test certificates, both of which will have come from CARES approved Steel mills.


Manufacturers of Steel Fabric for the reinforcement of concrete

The CARES Scheme for reinforcement fabric covers the production of feedstock for rod coil through to the production and processing of welded fabric.

Quality System Requirements

Manufacturers shall operate a management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001.

Product Requirements

Products shall comply with requirements of BS 4482 and BS 4483.

Process requirements

Manufacturers must demonstrate via statistical analysis of product testing on long term basis, the consistency of the performance of their steel.

General

The manufacture of reinforcement fabric relies on the integrity of several critical manufacturing operations:

  • steel making
  • steel rod production
  • cold working of the steel rod to achieve mechanical properties and correct size,
  • accurate welding of longitudinal and cross wires to form fabric.

The CARES product conformity scheme for fabric ensures that each of these manufacturing operations is adequately controlled by a quality management system supported by product testing against the requirements of BS 4482 and BS 4483. All deformed reinforcement wire shall be identified by the unique CARES bar marking system as described on the bar mark page.


Stockists of Construction and Related Products

The CARES Scheme for Stockists of Construction and Related Products includes the Stocking and Distribution of CARES approved reinforcing steel and fabric.

Quality System Requirements

Stockists are required to operate a quality management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001.

Product Requirements

Reinforcing steel and fabric must be CARES approved. All other products must meet individual customer requirements.

General

The CARES Scheme is accredited by UKAS operates within a nationally agreed framework of quality assessment and approval and, where appropriate, includes full lot traceability. As a result the certificate of approval of a CARES Stockist will be accepted by other stockists within the commercial chain.


Processors of Mechanical Splices for Rebar

The CARES Scheme covers the processing and assembly of mechanical splices.

Quality System Requirements

Processors are required to operate a quality management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001 and CARES Appendix SRC 8.

The main features of the Scheme are:

  • use of CARES approved couplers and/or couplers acceptable to CARES
  • material sourcing
  • application of couplers to steel of the appropriate strength and ductility grade
  • establishing material conformity
  • a quality system which complies with BS EN ISO 9001
  • control of procedures and work instructions
  • full material traceability
  • calibration of processing equipment
  • trained workforce
Product Requirements

The assembled couplers must comply with requirements that are commensurate with the coupler approval e.g. BS8110, BS5400 or BNFL requirements.

General

Product compliance of the spliced joint is confirmed by testing at an independent UKAS approved test laboratory selected and monitored by CARES. CARES assessors select the spliced joints to be tested from the approved size range during the six monthly surveillance inspections. This ensures the continuing capability of operatives, equipment and procedures to produce a satisfactory splice.


Producers of Prefabricated Welded Assemblies

The CARES Scheme for producers of prefabricated welded assemblies covers the cutting, bending and welding of rebar. The Scheme requires prefabrication to be achieved with accuracy and without causing product degradation.

Quality System and Product Requirements

Manufacturers are required to operate a management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001 and CARES SRC Appendix 6 Tack welding of reinforcing steel CARES SRC and Appendix 10 Manufacture of pre-assembled welded fabrications using semi-structural and/or structural joints.

Product Requirements

Products must comply with requirements of BS7123.

General

The basis of the scheme is:

  • approved steel with correct chemical composition
  • approved welding procedure
  • trained and approved operatives
  • controlled welding consumables and calibrated equipment
  • dimensional control of welded assemblies
  • independent verification of weld quality

The British Standard for welding of reinforcing steel has enabled controls to be placed on the welders, weld procedures and materials. The resultant welded products are of a quality which enables safe delivery to site whilst preserving the integrity of the reinforcing bars used in the assembly.

A list of approved welders is kept by CARES and six monthly surveillance inspections ensure that welds produced are satisfactory in terms of BS7123.


Producers of High Tensile Steel Bar, Wire and Strand for the Prestressing of Concrete

The CARES Scheme for prestressing steels covers the production of bar, wire and strand materials.

Quality System Requirements

Manufacturers are required to operate a management system that complies with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001.

Product Requirements

Materials must meet the requirements of BS4486 and BS5896. Wire purchased by prestressing steel manufacturers for further processing into bar, wire and strand must be purchased either from a CARES certificated source or from a supplier assessed by the manufacturer by a method acceptable to CARES.

General

The principle requirements of the scheme are:

  • raw material source acceptable to CARES.
  • a quality system which complies with BS EN ISO 9001.
  • control of procedures and work instructions.
  • full material traceability.
  • compliance with the product standards BS4486 and BS5896 including independent verification by a UKAS laboratory.
  • regular internal audits of the quality system.

Purchase and Supply of Steel Products for the Reinforcement of Concrete (Traders)

The CARES Scheme for purchase and supply of steel products for the reinforcement of concrete (Traders) includes requirements for organisations involved in the purchase of reinforcing steel which might include stockholding, packaging and the reconsignment of goods as follows:-

  1. BS4449 grades B500A, B500B and B500C in straight lengths or coil.
  2. BS4483 standard and purpose made fabric in bundles or single sheets.
  3. BS4482 cold reduced steel wire in coil or cut to length.
  4. Semi-finished product for further work.

It commences with raw material produced at CARES approved steel mills, through to the supply of product either as supplied or cut to length in accordance with customer specification.

The objective of the Scheme is to provide a means by which Traders of reinforcing steel can demonstrate that they have a quality management system that ensures quality of service and maintenance of quality of product in the chain of supply.

Quality System Requirements

Traders are required to operate a quality management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001.

Product Requirements

All Reinforcing steel must be subject to the CARES product conformity scheme and shall be purchased only from CARES approved sources.


Manufacturers of Precast Concrete Units

The CARES Scheme for precast concrete units covers the manufacture and supply of reinforced precast concrete products. The scheme includes structural elements such as: beams, ground beams, lintels, piles and non-structural elements such as: architectural units.

Quality System Requirements

In all cases manufacturers are required to operate a management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001.

General Product Requirements

In general, the products must comply with the requirements of the following standards as appropriate:

  • BS 7973 Spacers and chairs for steel reinforcement and their specification. Part 1: Product performance requirements.
  • BS EN ISO 206-1: 2000, Concrete Part 1: Specification, performance, production and conformity
  • BS 8500-1: 2002, Concrete- Complementary British Standard to BS EN 206-1, Part 1: Method of specifying and guidance for the specifier.
  • BS 8500-2: 2002, Concrete- Complementary British Standard to BS EN 206-1, Part 2: Specification for constituent materials and concrete.
  • BS 8110 Part 1:1997, Structural use of concrete Part 1 Code of practice for design and construction
  • BS 5400 Part 4:1990, Steel concrete and composite bridges Part 4 Code of practice for the design of concrete bridges
  • Applicable product standard if available

The principle requirements of the Scheme are based on demonstration of satisfactory control of:

  • Purchasing and traceability of raw materials
  • Concrete mix design and concrete batching
  • Placing and fixing of reinforcement
  • Cover to reinforcement
  • Placement compaction and curing of concrete
  • Dimensional accuracy
  • Moulds
  • Concrete Finishing

Producers of Fusion Bonded Epoxy Coated Reinforcing Bars (FBER)

The CARES Scheme for epoxy coaters of reinforcing steel covers the coating and subsequent cutting and bending of the steel. The Scheme requires that epoxy coating achieves the integrity demanded by the customer.

Quality System Requirements

Manufacturers are required to operate a management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001.

Product Requirements

The CARES assessment of the quality management system takes account of the particular customer requirements for the coated bar including the coating materials.

Main Features of the Scheme
  • control of the reinforcing steel quality
  • use of approved coating materials
  • maintenance of steel and powder traceability
  • a quality system to ensure compliance with BS EN ISO 9001 and relevant product standards
  • quality plans for non-standard requirements
  • calibration of processing equipment
  • trained workforce
  • control procedures and work instructions
  • regular internal reviews of the quality system.

Management System Approvals

CARES is primarily a product conformity certification body. There are occasions however, where the product does not easily lend itself to product conformity approval. CARES therefore are able to offer, at the manufacturers request, system certification to a variety of standards (ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001). Integrated Management System certification can be provided also.

Management System Requirements

Manufacturers are required to operate a management system that complies with the relevant standard.

Product Requirements

Where there are no product assessment requirements CARES assess the quality system with the product in mind to ensure that the product meets the customers specified requirements.
It is the policy of CARES to perform such assessments only in those product areas where it has the necessary expertise.


Supply and Installation of Post-tensioning Systems in Concrete Structures
General

The development of the CARES certification scheme for the supply and installation of post-tensioning systems and its acceptance by the post-tensioning industry played a key part in the Highways Agency decision to lift its moratorium on grouted post-tensioned bridges in September 1996. CARES certification enables companies to comply with the major specifiers' quality requirements and enable them to bid for major post-tensioning contracts.

CARES has several schemes for the supply and or installation of post-tensioning systems, remedial grouting and post-tensioning system components:

  • PT1 - The Supply and Installation of Post-tensioning Systems in Concrete Structures: This scheme is for major structures with a high durability requirement such as The Concrete Society Technical Report 47 (TR47) type contracts and is for internal and external systems. Under this scheme an approved specialist contractor must supply and install, stress and grout (where required) the post-tensioning system.
  • PT2 - The Supply and or Installation of Post-tensioning Systems in Concrete Structures (excluding Highways Structures). This scheme is for general structures such as concrete frames, floor slabs and containment structures. This scheme allows an approved specialist producer to supply post-tensioning systems and another approved specialist to install, stress and grout (where required) the post-tensioning system.
  • PT3 - The Production and Supply of Prestressing Anchorages for Post-tensioning systems. This scheme requires an approved specialist producer to supply post-tensioning systems that comply with BS EN 13391 or ETAG013 requirements as appropriate.
  • PT4 - The Supply and or Installation of Bar Post-tensioning Systems in Concrete Structures. Under this scheme a specialist approved contractor/subcontractor must supply, install and stress the post-tensioning system. An approved specialist contractor must pressure grout (where required) the tendons.
  • PT5 - Void Grouting of Post-tensioning Systems in Concrete Structures. This scheme requires an approved specialist to investigate ducts with voids, locate voids and ascertain the void characteristics and disposition and regrout the voids in accordance with TR47 requirements.
  • PT6 - The production of wire rod for further processing into high tensile steel wire and strand for the prestressing of concrete, including inspection and testing requirements.
  • PT7 - The production of high tensile alloy steel bars for the prestressing of concrete to BS4486.
  • PT8 - The production of high tensile steel wire and strand for the prestressing of concrete to BS5896.
  • PT9 - Registration scheme for post-tensioning operatives.
  • PT10 - The production and supply of pre-bagged grout material for use in post-tensioning systems to BS EN 446 and BS EN 447.

Technical Approvals
General

CARES offers Technical Approvals to manufacturers of reinforced concrete products as a means to gain official recognition for their new and innovative products. Such new products do not usually have recognised national product standards by which they can be evaluated. Therefore the product requirements and performance criteria must usually be determined from first principles.

CARES' Quality and Operations Assessment Schedules

Technical experts are used to determine the product requirements and product performance criteria. These requirements together with production requirements based on BS EN ISO 9001 are defined in CARES' Quality and Operations Assessment Schedules.

Assessment

The manufacturers are subject to an initial regime of quality auditing and product evaluation in accordance with the appropriate CARES' quality and operations assessment schedule. Products are subject to thorough initial product testing to ensure that they comply with the criteria defined in the CARES quality and Operations Assessment Schedule.

In order to ensure that the product continues to comply with the defined requirements, the company and product are subject to a continuing regime of regular quality and product assessment.

Recognition of CARES' Technical Approvals

The CARES technical approval system has been structured to ensure the highest possible technical integrity for the benefit of end-user of the product. All CARES' Technical Approvals are covered by UKAS accreditation, which is an independent verification of the integrity and transparency of the scheme.

Major specifiers have agreed to accept CARES Technical approvals, which will afford the widest possible recognition to producers who hold CARES Technical Approvals for their products. CARES is designated under the CPD as a European Technical Approval (ETA) issuing body.


Manufacturers and Processors of Stainless Steel Reinforcing Bar

CARES has developed a new product certification scheme for producers and processors of stainless steel reinforcement in accordance with BS 6744: 2001 and BS8666: 2000 respectively. The scheme covers the technical and quality aspects of production and processing to ensure consistent product characteristics and quality of material against the relevant Standards. CARES have published the following quality and operations assessment schedules to evaluate the capability of stainless steel producers and processors:

  • Appendix 6 - Quality and operations assessment schedule for the processing and/or supply of stainless steel products for the reinforcement and use in concrete.
  • Appendix 16 - Quality and operations assessment schedule for stainless steel bar and coil for the reinforcement of concrete including inspection and testing requirements.

The Highways Agency has also issued an Advice Note BA 84/02 giving guidance on the selection and use of stainless steel reinforcement. Advice Note BS84/02 is available in Adobe PDF format and can be obtained from the Highways Agency's web site or CARES web site.

Manufacturers of Stainless Steel Reinforcing bar

CARES approval of stainless steel reinforcing bars covers the steel making process through to the production of the finished reinforcing bar and includes the testing facility.

Quality System Requirements

Manufacturers are required to operate a management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001.

Product Requirements

Products must comply with requirements of BS 6744 or other documented specification.


Stainless Steel Reinforcement Processors

The CARES Scheme for reinforcement processors covers the cutting and bending of stainless steel reinforcing bar and coil.

Quality Systems Requirements

Manufacturers are required to operate a management system that complies with BS EN ISO 9001. The principal requirements are:

  • material sourcing
  • establishing material conformity
  • maintaining traceability
  • implementation of a quality management system to ensure compliance with BS8666
  • quality plans for non-standard requirements
  • control of procedures and work instructions
  • documented supplier and customer complaints records
  • frequent internal quality audits of the quality management system
Product Requirements

Reinforcing Steel must be CARES approved and products must comply with requirements of BS8666 and/or contract specifications.


The Construction Products Regulation.

CARES is Notified Certification Body under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and can provide certification in relation to CE marking for the following product areas:

  • Reinforcing and prestressing steels.
  • Post tensioning kits for prestressing.
  • Precast concrete products.
  • Structural metallic products and ancillaries.

CARES is also designated under the CPR as a Technical Assessment Body (TAB) and is able to assess new and innovative products and issue European Technical Assessments.

The certificates issued to each of the above will allow producers to CE mark their products and place them on the market of any European Member State.