LabTest services are available to all applicants that meet the terms and conditions covered by the policies of the program. Following is a summary of the major elements of the program.
- Type 1b: this scheme type involves the certification of a whole batch of products, following selection and determination as specified in the scheme. The proportion to be tested, which can include testing of all the units in the batch (100% testing), would be based, for example, on the homogeneity of the items in the batch and the application of a sampling plan, where appropriate. If the outcome of the determination, review and decision is positive, all items in the batch may be described as certified and may have a mark of conformity affixed, if that is included in the scheme.
- Type 3: this scheme type resembles the product certification scheme operated by LabTest. The surveillance part of this scheme involves periodically taking samples of the product from the point of production and subjecting them to determination activities to check that items produced subsequent to the initial attestation fulfil the specified requirements. The surveillance includes periodic assessment of the production process. This scheme does not provide any indication of the impact the distribution channel plays on conformity. When serious nonconformities are found, the opportunity may exist to resolve them before widespread market distribution occurs.
- Type 4: this scheme type most closely resembles the product certification scheme operated by LabTest. The surveillance part of this scheme allows for the choice between periodically taking samples of the product from the point of production, or from the market, or from both, and subjecting them to determination activities to check that items produced subsequent to the initial attestation fulfil the specified requirements. The surveillance includes periodic assessment of the production process. This scheme can both indicate the impact of the distribution channel on conformity and provide a pre-market mechanism to identify and resolve serious nonconformities. Significant duplication of effort may take place for those products whose conformity is not affected during the distribution process.
The client submits to LabTest a “Request for Quotation” for the testing and evaluation of their products for the intended markets. Typically, this is accompanied by information on the product such as sales literature, photos, instruction manuals, schematics, etc.
Upon review of the information provided, an application package is sent by LabTest to the client containing the following:
- “Quotation” letter indicating the standard(s) to be used in the evaluation, service deliverables, estimated fee and the amount of preliminary deposit (if required), and product samples needed.
- The name and location of the laboratory where testing will be performed (if testing is subcontracted)
- Copy of “Certification/Listing Agreement”
- Annual Certification Fee Schedule
- Requirements concerning “Application for Initial Factory Inspection and Certification”
The fee indicated in the quotation letter is based on a review of the documentation provided. The estimate covers one evaluation of the product and does not cover any
retesting or re-evaluation that may be necessary as a result of failure, nor does it cover testing of individual components/subassemblies used within the product to determine compliance with the applicable component standards.
Upon acceptance of the quotation, the client provides to LabTest the following:
- Completed and signed “Quotation”
- Completed and signed “Certification Listing Agreement”
- Completed and signed “Application for Initial Factory Inspection and Certification”
- Signed “Annual Certification Fee Schedule”
- A “Purchase Order” covering the expenses noted in the quotation
- A “Preliminary Deposit” (if required)
- The required number of “Product Samples” and
- The requested technical documentation
Test samples required to be submitted to LabTest for evaluation should be selected at random, either directly from production or from warehoused stock. In the event that samples are prototypes, LabTest reserves the right to verify compliance on production samples.
Upon receipt and verification of the submitted materials, the following major activities are initiated:
- A “Project Engineer/Holder” is assigned to process the project. This person will act as the LabTest contact person with the client, and will be responsible for all activities associated with the project and the investigation of the product.
- A “Project Number” is assigned to the specific project, and a unique “Client Number” is assigned to first time clients, identifying the client in question.
Testing and evaluation of a product is mostly performed at LabTest’s own laboratory(s). In some cases, testing may be subcontracted to an external independent laboratory qualified by LabTest. In such cases, the client will be informed to obtain the approval. LabTest remains fully and completely responsible for the outcome of testing, for the integrity of all test data generated by the subcontracted lab, and for final certification of the product.
Testing can also be conducted at the client’s facility under one of the following LabTest service options. Details on these service options are available to clients upon request.
- Witness Testing
- Supervised Manufacturer Testing
- Testing at Manufacturer’s Premises
The product is tested and evaluated to the current edition(s) of the relevant national and/or international standard(s). If a question arises concerning the interpretation of a requirement in a standard as applied to a product, members of LabTest engineering team (Technical Manager), or the relevant “Standards Writing Committee” will be consulted to help resolve the interpretation issue.
LabTest has established a “Complaints, Appeals and Disputes Procedure” which is available to all clients upon request. The appeal procedure allows the client to present their views at successive levels of LabTest management should agreement not be reached at the project manager level.
Compliants, Appeals, and Disputes Form: Click Here
Client may provide test data from an ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratory, holding a valid accreditation certificate from an ILAC member accreditation body. Acceptance of the test data will be determined upon review of the test data.
Before certification is granted, the client must sign a “Certification and Listing Agreement” with LabTest. This Agreement forms a legally binding contract between LabTest and each of the parties responsible for the manufacture of the product and the use of the LabTest Certification Mark(s).
The Agreement defines the duties and responsibilities of all parties, and establishes legal control by LabTest over the use of the LabTest Registered Certification Mark(s).
Products certified by LabTest are subject to a “Factory Inspection Program” consisting of unannounced inspection visits to the factory where the product is manufactured and the LC Mark(s) is applied. The appearance of the LC Mark on the product is the means to indicate that the product is certified/verified/listed and is being manufactured under the terms of the Service Agreement. The purpose of the inspection visits is to ensure that: The certified/listed products are manufactured in accordance with the Certification/Listing Report; The required production line tests are being conducted; Established production control procedures are still being followed. The client must pay for the costs of on-going factory inspections and an “Annual Listing Fee”.
Upon completion of evaluation, LabTest will issue a “Findings Report” containing the outcome of investigation and the status of compliance. The report will include any constructional features or test results that do not comply with the applicable standards, as well as any other approval conditions that the client must meet. LabTest will attempt to complete the entire test/evaluation program before formally reporting its findings. The client must respond to all the items indicated in the Findings Report before continuing to proceed with the next step(s).
In the event that test failures or constructional deficiencies are encountered during the investigation, the client may be required to provide improved sample(s) of the product for re-testing and re-evaluation. In such cases, LabTest will provide the client with new estimate(s) of the retest/re-evaluation costs.
When the tested/evaluated product is found to be in compliance with the applicable standards, and the client has fulfilled all the terms and conditions of certification, LabTest will issue a “Certificate of Compliance” (CoC) and Authorization Letter (AL) granting the client the authority to display the LC Mark(s) on complying products. LabTest will also issue a “Certification/Listing Report” which provides a detailed description of all the important and critical features of the certified product. The Certified/Listed product will be listed in the LabTest Directory of Certified Products.
Click here for LC Marks
Typically, projects are invoiced upon completion of the work involved. For projects whose scope is such that work may extend over several months, progress invoicing on monthly and work completed basis will occur. Payment terms are set at start of each project.
Periodically, standards are updated or revised to incorporate new requirements which may necessitate retesting of certified/listed/verified products to determine compliance with the new requirements. In such cases, LabTest may request that the client identify which approved products are to continue to be certified/listed/verified, and a determination will be made as to the samples required for re-evaluation (evaluation fees will apply).