What's been happening in WaterMark?

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Interested in keeping up to date with the WaterMark Certification Scheme? Here are some recent and upcoming activities.

Improved schedules

The WaterMark Schedule of Products and Schedule of Excluded Products identify products that are either included in or excluded from the Scheme. After 12 years, both schedules were looking a little tired and not serving their purpose effectively. In August, the ABCB published new schedules in an easy to read format.

Now the schedules have an introduction explaining the purpose of the schedule and a contents page. The products are listed in more appropriate categories and include a scope or application for each product type. Also, the full name of the applicable specification and the referenced version (year) is provided.

WaterMark consultation

Earlier this year, the ABCB created a new webpage to facilitate consultation with stakeholders about WaterMark related matters, including new or amended documents.

The webpage provides information about current consultation activity, with a link to the documents that are available for review. Stakeholders are invited to provide comment by completing and submitting the WaterMark Public Comment response sheet.

Feasibility study of point of sale regulation

An investigation into the feasibility of point of sale regulation of the Scheme was undertaken by the ABCB earlier this year. The study involved consideration of submissions received in response to an ABCB discussion paper about the issue, as well as information obtained during stakeholder consultation sessions. The ABCB engaged a consultant to facilitate the study, report on its findings and provide recommendations.

The Board provided its recommendations, with the consultant’s report, to the Building Ministers’ Forum for consideration in August. Ministers agreed to pursue other actions to strengthen existing arrangements before further considering point of sale regulation. One of the actions agreed was for the ABCB to initiate increased education and awareness about the Scheme as a means of improving compliance with the PCA.

Increased education and awareness

The ABCB is developing a communication, marketing and education strategy in consultation with stakeholders. One goal of the strategy is to improve point of installation compliance of plumbing and drainage products with the requirements of the Scheme by increasing awareness of the requirements (and the penalties for non-compliance) at the point of sale.

The strategy will be targeted primarily at stakeholders who buy, sell, specify or install plumbing and drainage products. These stakeholders include suppliers, retail and trade stores, building practitioners (such as designers, project managers and contractors), plumbing practitioners and general consumers.

Product specification review

The ABCB is commencing a comprehensive review of all product specifications referenced in the Scheme, as many are over 10 years old.

Industry working groups, with relevant product expertise, are being established for each product category to assist with the review. Each review will include a full risk assessment and consideration of other criteria. Draft project proposals for recommended revisions will be developed for public comment prior to finalising.

Once finalised, project proposals for revisions to product specifications can be progressed with the appropriate publishing body, such as the ABCB or Standards Australia.

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