BSI PAS 100 FAQs

Further information about the PAS100 specification for compost:

What is BSI PAS 100?

This is the national compost benchmark - the minimum requirements for the process of composting, the selection of materials from which compost is made and even how it is labelled. BSI PAS 100 stands for the British Standards Institution's Publicly Available Specification for composted material.

This specification was launched in November 2002 and was developed joinly by WRAP and The Association for Organics Recycling (formerly the Composting Association).

Why do we need BSI PAS 100?

This is way of defining the quality of the compost. Compost producers need to know they are producing to a certain standard and buyers and specifiers need a way of recognising these standards.

Can I sell, transport and apply compost certified to BSI PAS 100?

In England and Wales, compost certified to BSI PAS 100 is of recognised quality. However, it is still considered a waste. In order for it to be accepted as a product, compost needs to comply with the Quality Protocol for Compost. Although quality compost can be sold, it requires regulatory control for its handling, transport and application.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, compost produced to BSI PAS 100 is considered a product and is therefore free of these additional regulatory controls.

How does BSI PAS 100 certified compost become a 'product'?

The Quality Protocol for Compost sets out the criteria for when source-segregated waste becomes a 'product' in England and Wales. BSI PAS 100 is the preferred baseline standard for achieving QP certification as it is extensively used across the industry and meets the criteria stated in Appendix D of the Quality Protocol. This protocol came into effect in March 2007.

Why should I certify to BSI PAS 100 if I then have also to certify to QCP to sell a 'product'?

As mentioned above, achieving to BSI PAS 100 is a useful step toward achieving QCP compliancy. The BSI PAS 100 is the preferred baseline standard for achieving QP certification as it is extensively used across the industry and meets the criteria stated in Appendix D of the Quality Protocol.

Is there a lot of work involved in getting BSA PAS 100 certified?

Certification involves a series of steps and the Association for Organics Recycling will be able to assist you with most of them. The steps involved are briefly described below:

  • Creation of a quality policy
  • Hazards analysis
  • Creating standard operating procedures
  • Process validation and day-to-day record keeping

Please refer to the certification section of AFOR's website for more detail.

How long does it take to get BSI PAS 100 certified?

As a rough guide, allow seven to 10 months from beginning to end. it really depends on what stage you are starting from, how quickly you make your compost, the speed at which you process the paperwork, and how long it takes for the lab to perform its analysis.

How do I join the certification scheme?

The certification section of the Association for Organics Recycling website has all the information relating to scheme application or enquiries.

How many producers are working towards certification?

The number of producers applying or achieving certification status to BSI PAS 100 or QCP varies from month to month. For an up-to-date figure please refer to the certification section of the Association for Organics Recycling website.

How can I find out who is BSI PAS 100 or QCP certified?

You can search for producers and suppliers by postcode via WRAP's Compost Suppliers database or you can look through the certification section of the Association for Organics Recycling website.

Can we self-comply or do we need to bring in consultants?

You can self-certify, although we strongly recommend independent third party certification (as does the Association for Organics Recycling).

What do I do if I don't think the compost I purchased is up to standard?

If you have purchased PAS100 certified compost, and you don’t believe it to meet the required standard, then please visit the AFOR website for information on how to register your feedback.