Getting started

Applying for initial certification – key steps

1. Download REAL’s Compost Certification Scheme Rules from here;

2. Purchase a copy of BSI PAS 100. You can find information about this on our website here. PAS 100 is the specification which REAL’s Certification Scheme is aligned to, so it is crucial that you are aware of its requirements.

3. Download copy of the Compost Quality Protocol if you are planning to supply your compost as product for use in England, Wales or Northern Ireland or SEPA’s RPS if you are planning to supply your compost as product for use in Scotland.

4. You should then read carefully the documents above and check whether you meet all the relevant pre-requisites for applying (see section of the Scheme Rules).

5. Develop and implement your quality management system including the HACCP plan and the Standard Operating Procedures.

6. Start validating your composting process by sampling and testing batches of the compost grade(s) under assessment until three passes for the PAS 100 obligatory parameters have been obtained for the three most recent samples.

7. You will need to request a temporary certification code from REAL ( to provide on the PAS 100 Compost Analysis Request Form.

8. You can download the analysis request form from the Laboratory Testing page of this website. Guidance on sample testing requirements can also be found on this page.

9. When you have achieved three passes, apply by filling in then posting or faxing your application form to your choice out of one of the three certification bodies.

You can discuss your prospective application with one or all of these organisations before deciding which certification body you apply to. Please note by signing the form, you confirm that you have read and agree to all the terms and conditions and requirements specified in REAL's Compost Certification Scheme Rules.

Please check with the relevant certification body what records and documentation you are required to provide to the CB in advance of the inspection and what will be checked directly on the day of the inspection.

You can find more detail on the application process in the CCS Guidance Document for Applicants.