The sub-committee of the British Standards Institution who are in charge of updating BS 8415, the standard for stone memorials, concluded its revisions to the standard on 5 March.
The changes still have to be signed off by the full committee, but further alterations are not expected to be made. The revised standard is expected to be published in about three months.
The revision of the standards took longer than anticipated, because it included some significant and debated changes, including the testing regime for memorial securing systems (mostly ground anchors). The standard now says fixing or stability systems should be tested in a dug pit filled with washed sand that has been tamped down.
The test can be carried out by any qualified testing centre that will issue a certificate of compliance. However, to comply with the new standard, fixing systems that have already been tested and approved by NAMM will need to be tested again.
Anton Matthews, who makes the Stone-Safe memorial fixing system and member of the sub-committee reviewing BS 8415, has advocated the dug pit filled with sand method for a long time. He has used dug pits to demonstrate the effectiveness of his fixing system compared with simple steel pin fixing systems approved by NAMM).
NAMM had previously resisted the change to the test method, insisting that its tests of fixing systems in a cemetery in Northamptonshire met the criteria.
These and other changes proposed attracted more than 160 responses from the public consultation, which ended in January. It took the sub-committee two days to work its way through all those comments in its final deliberations.