Type Examination is the comparison of the design specification of a product against the requirements of a standard specification, informed by physical examination of a sample and the performance of tests as may be necessary according to the particular standard.
A Type Examination Certificate makes a statement (without time limitation) which is true on the day of issue and refers to compliance of the design as specified by the certificate.
An EC-Type Examination Certificate is a specific form of Type Examination Certificate, given legal status within the framework of one or more EU Directives. Such a certificate does not necessarily provide evidence of compliance with all statutory requirements, but it does signify conformity with a particular standards or requirements, and may be used as evidence towards the meeting of relevant legal requirements.
The prime activity of type examination is the collation of evidence confirming compliance with the specified standard(s). The evidence will often include the results of tests performed in our own laboratory or in another laboratory which can, probably through accreditation, demonstrate equivalent traceability, along with data sheets for material and components. Drawings, often prepared specifically for the certification exercise, are the primary source of information.
The output is a report, confirming the evidence of compliance, and a certificate, defining what has been certified. The certificate will normally be a "public domain" document, but the report is a confidential document between our customer and us. There will, however, be the possibility that we are required to reveal the contents of the report, and the drawings, to appropriate legal bodies (such as the European Commission in connection with EU Directives) and to our accreditors.
A Supplementary Type Examination Certificate (or Supplementary EC-Type Examination Certificate) is issued, where appropriate, to accommodate subsequent variations in the specified design. This will normally be in the form of a supplement to the original certificate, describing the permitted changes. Occasionally, as changes occur during the life of a product, the number of individual supplementary certificates may become unwieldy and it is appropriate to issue a "compendium" supplementary certificate, restating everything from the previous certificates that remains applicable to current production.
Type Examination and ATEX Directive
The process for EC-Type Examination is described in Annex III of the ATEX Directive and forms the procedural basis for all type examination work carried out by Baseefa. Type Examination, in combination with Product Verification form the basis for Unit Verification described in Annex IX of the ATEX Directive. For further information on Unit Verification, please see the Product Verification Guide.
The ATEX EC-Type Examination Certificate is issued against the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) given in Annex II of the directive. However, compliance with those EHSRs is normally assured by compliance with one or more standards which have been published by the European Standards making bodies, CEN and CENELEC. Once such a standard has been listed in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJEC) as a "Harmonised Standard", compliance with the standard may be presumed to give compliance with the EHSRs.
As an alternative to the use of Harmonised Standards, the EC-Type Examination may be issued directly against the EHSRs, but full justification must be given in the report. In practice, it is normal to follow the requirements of the harmonised standards so far as they are applicable, and to use a direct interpretation of the EHSRs only for those aspects of the design of the equipment where there are no relevant standards.
The ATEX Certification Process
The certification process is essentially an exercise in information gathering and confirming that the information proves compliance with all the relevant clauses of the specified standard(s) or other form of specification.
The information may come from many sources and we, as a certifying body, are responsible for ensuring that any source used is reliable and, where necessary, has proven traceability to national standards of measurement.
Essentially the information is of three types :
The manufacturers drawings - providing detailed dimensional information, material selection information and occasionally processing information.
Material suppliers data sheets - providing information on the properties of the materials used in construction, where reference to a national or international standard is inappropriate or insufficient.
Sample test data - providing direct evidence of compliance with certain testing clauses in the construction standards.
Also critical, in most cases, is the physical process of comparing the sample with the drawings, to ensure that the drawings and sample are identical where relevant for compliance with the standards or specification. On occasion, it may be possible for us to accept a sample which differs from the drawings, but you should establish this with us before such a sample is submitted.
Certification drawings are used principally by the certifying body, and by the company responsible for the design of the product (referred to here as the manufacturer).
The manufacturer prepares and uses the drawings :
To record the controlled details of the certified product;
To provide a source of reference for the control of manufacturing drawings;
If the drawings are manufacturing drawings, to make the product;
To audit or inspect final product for compliance;
We uses the drawings :
During examination, including comparison with a prototype or sample;
In conjunction with the certification report, to demonstrate conformity;
As a record of what has been certified;
For product surveillance activities;
To be held available for authorised third parties including accreditors (e.g. UKAS), inspecting bodies (e.g. HM Inspectorate of Mines) and legislative authorities (e.g. EU Commission).
The drawings used for certification should ideally contain only those details necessary for :
Compliance with the standard or other normative document to be demonstrated; and
The conformity of subsequent production items with the certified type to be achieved.
We recommend that you consider preparing separate certification drawings which are specifically for the purpose of certification and do not necessarily give every detail required to manufacture the product. Once these drawings are listed in a certificate, they can only be modified by having a supplementary certificate issued, to permit the alteration.
Manufacturing drawings, derived from the Certificate Schedule Drawings, are referred to as Certificate Related Drawings. These drawings may be originated and/or modified under the control of a defined procedure within your organisation, without the need for our prior consent, unless the change relates to information controlled by the Schedule Drawings. If detailed manufacturing drawings are submitted for the purposes of certification, they will become subject to the same control as any other Certificate Schedule Drawing and this is not usually necessary or desirable.
The certification drawings should provide a general outline of the equipment and also concentrate on those details which are relevant to compliance with the specified standard(s). The details to be included will vary according to the emphasis of each standard.
At the completion of the certification process, once we are satisfied that the drawings contain all the relevant information to ensure that subsequent production will remain in compliance with the specified standard, the drawings are frozen at a given issue. The drawings are listed on the certificate, along with their issue and date. We supply a stamped and signed copy of each drawing along with the certificate.
Material Suppliers Data Sheets
Where possible, we will rely on the veracity of information contained in material suppliers data sheets, particularly where it is backed up by declarations in accordance with recognised standards. However, on occasion, the data can be critical in determining compliance with the specified standard, but the presented data is in a form which does not provide sufficient traceability. Under these circumstances, we have to reserve the right to separately verify the material characteristics.
In most cases it will be necessary to confirm that the data given relates to a clearly identifiable material type and that a change in data will result in a change in material type reference.
We have facilities to perform the majority of tests required by the large range of standards covering equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, together with many more generalised tests. These facilities are subject to accreditation by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), demonstrating the effectiveness of the methods employed and the traceability of the measurements to national standards through a comprehensive system of instrumentation calibration.
For many of the tests, the work can only be carried out by a specialist laboratory such as ours at Buxton.
For other more general tests, we would normally expect to carry out the more critical ones at our own laboratory unless there was prior agreement between us. This is particularly important for the large number of tests where subjective judgement plays a part, either in selecting the input parameters or in assessing the outcome. (Even the simple impact test requires a deal of judgement in assessing the correct point of application of the impact.) Where we do accept results from other laboratories, we have to demonstrate the equivalent traceability of all measurements. Obviously, we have to reserve the right not to accept results where we are unsure that the methods employed would give the same results as tests performed in our own laboratories.
If you wish to submit results from your own laboratory on a regular basis, you may elect to have the facility audited by us specifically for that purpose. For further information, please contact us.
At the end of the certification process, we assemble evidence in the form of a report confirming how the information demonstrates compliance. Unlike some other European certification bodies, we are prepared to make this report available to our customers, since this represents the culmination of the work done leading to the issue of a certificate. We will offer you the option of having the report created in a publishable form, rather than the data remaining solely on our files. (We can also make a formal report available at a later date, if required, though obviously the cost of doing so would be greater than if it were prepared at the conclusion of the certification process.)
In its conventional format a Baseefa Certification Report comprises the following parts:
An Assessment Narrative - describing the certified equipment, listing the definitive drawings, summarising test data and detailing the evidence of compliance. The assessment will often be ordered in a logical fashion with respect to the equipment, rather than with respect to the standards, so there follows:
A Set of Checklists - showing the place within the assessment narrative where, for each standard, evidence of compliance with each relevant numbered clause is contained.
Baseefa Test Reports - giving in summary form all the procedures used, samples submitted, dates of receipt, full results and conclusions.
Test Reports and Data Sheets from other sources - including where necessary justification for their use.
Note that we will not always create a Certification Report in association with Supplementary Certification, particularly where the changes are minor and do not affect compliance with the standards.
Certificate and Schedule
The complete certificate comprises a front sheet and a schedule.
The front sheet gives the relevant summary information: Certificate Number; Manufacturers Name and Address; Equipment Title; Directive, Standards or Specifications complied with; Hazardous Area Marking (in accordance with the directive and standards) if relevant; along with the date of issue and a signature on behalf of Baseefa.
The Schedule includes a brief description of the equipment, a list of the definitive drawings, any specific parameters relevant for use, and, where appropriate, a section on "Special Conditions for Safe Use". This is relevant if there are conditions for use over and above those found in normal industry codes of practice for installation.
A Baseefa Certificate is regarded as being a statement of fact on the day on which it was issued and, as such, the only reason for withdrawal would normally be if that statement were subsequently found to be incorrect.
However, for apparatus certificates issued in accordance with European Community Directives 76/117/EEC and 82/130/EEC, the certificate also gives specific permission to apply the distinctive European Community Mark specified in the directives to apparatus that the manufacturer has verified as being in conformity with the certified design. These certificates will cease to have validity for sale of equipment within the European Union from 3 June 2003. Until that date, manufacturers should retain proof that the manufacture is taking place in a facility having a quality management system assessed for the purpose by an ATEX Notified Body in accordance with EU Directive 94/9/EC. In the event that appropriate monitoring of the production facility does not remain in place, it will be necessary for such a certificate to be withdrawn so that the permit to apply the mark is revoked. (Although new certificates of this type cannot be issued after June 2003, it may be that you wish to continue to use them for sale of equipment outside the EU. At the time of writing this guide, we are awaiting advice on this issue. Please contact us for an update.)
Progression of Certification Work
Ideally, the documentation package you supply will contain all the information to enable us to proceed straight through the certification process in one go and issue the certificate. Inevitably, this will not always be the case. Information may be missing, or some details may need to be changed to obtain compliance with the standard.
For complex projects, it may be necessary for there to be a number of interactions between us before all the evidence has been collected to justify certification. When this happens, the final delivery date for the certification documentation is as much a function of your reactivity as our own workload. If you are not sure where we have got to in the certification process, please contact us and we will give you an update.
International Type Examination
Baseefa has both formal and informal agreements with other bodies throughout the world and can provide reports or certificates to meet your international requirements
Test and Assessment Reports
Where certification is not required, the results of tests or assessments can be reported as a separate function.
Technical Advice Service
We have developed a wealth of knowledge of the standards, both from applying them and from taking a lead role in the British, European and International committees responsible for creating them.
We can make this knowledge available to you, to help you design your products to meet the requirements of those standards. We do this within carefully laid out guidelines which prevent us breaking the commercial confidence of our other customers, or stepping over the dividing line into design consultancy which would then prevent us acting as a certification body.
Proper targeted advice at an early stage of a project can usually save time and costs at a later stage.
If you want specific technical advice, or if you want more general training in aspects relating to our services, please contact us.
Confidentiality of Reports and Certificates
Reports are normally regarded as being confidential between you and us, although, when we provide a report in a publishable form, you are entitled to make use of it, so long as it is reproduced in its entirety and not used out of context. If you are requiring certification from overseas test houses, whether covered by a mutual recognition agreement or not, you will usually find a Baseefa Report to be a good starting point.
Certificates are not regarded as confidential documents, but copies required by third parties should normally be requested from the certificate holder rather than us. However, we will produce further copies when circumstances dictate it to be appropriate. You have an obligation to provide copies of certificates with supplied equipment, when requested, and an obligation to inform your customers of any "Special Conditions for Safe Use" given in a certificate with a number having a suffix "X".
The various directives make specific provision for certain documentation to be held available for member states and the European Commission, and require that abstracted information from issued certificates is circulated on a routine basis.
We reserve the right to make that abstracted information publicly available.
Under certain circumstances we may also make the full text of certificates directly available to the public. Please see our Guide to the Review and Storage of Technical Files (P06) which can be found under Published Documents.
Equipment intended for use in British Mines
Before electrical equipment an be used below ground in British Mines, it must comply with the relevant statutory requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and the Mines and Quarries Act 1954 and Regulations made thereunder, in particular with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which include specific legal requirements for equipment used in mines susceptible to firedamp.
It is a common commercial practice for a manufacturer to supply "badged" product; i.e. the product bears the name of the company to whom it has been sold by the manufacturer and who will, subsequently act as a supplier to the market. This supplier will also normally provide the market with all relevant documentation in his own name.
Applications for Type Examination
We welcome applications for Type Examination from all customers who have registered with us. If you have not already registered, we will be happy to accept your request for registration along with your application for type examination. (Please see our Publication P01 General Information and Guide to Services.)
We provide an application form, for the use of those seeking type examination, but we will also be pleased to proceed on the basis of any written application (letter, fax, e-mail) provided that we have the information that would be obtained by the use of the form. Note that we can only accept orders signed by individuals with appropriate authority as designated on registration. We will obviously supply quotations to anyone who makes the request.
For brand new products, we normally recommend that you ask us for a quotation. This will be supplied entirely free. We will recommend the best way to proceed with certification, including the use of our Technical Advice Service if you appear to need guidance on the way that the available standards can be applied to your product. Where the steps to completion of the certification process are reasonably clear, we will provide a fixed price quotation. Where there is still work to be done before we are ready to proceed towards certification, we will provide a firm quotation for the first phase of the work and a budget quotation for completion. Our quotation will normally offer staged payments where appropriate. Work can commence following receipt of your order confirming the acceptance of our quotation.
For certain routine certification projects, where we have an agreed protocol with our customer, we will normally avoid the quotation process and accept a direct order on the basis of the agreed protocol. Our staff will discuss this with you if it appears likely to be of interest. (On this basis, we hope to maintain certification times of less than two weeks for those routine projects that do not require the provision of a testing facility.)
Other projects, such as simple supplementary certification, are also suitable for the direct order route. We will accept orders for such projects with a value up to that listed in our schedule of fees and charges. Should it become apparent that we cannot complete the project for a cost within the stated figure, we will provide an appropriate quotation, or otherwise obtain your agreement to the cost in writing before proceeding.
Provision of drawings, data and samples
The more information that we have when we provide a quotation, the more accurate it will be, so we encourage you to send drawings and data with the enquiry. Unless we ask for a sample at an earlier stage, we prefer that you wait until we have provided you with our quotation (which will specify the samples we require, together with details of any special preparation) and you have placed the order before we receive samples.
We are happy to receive documentation by e-mail and can handle anything in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. We also have other software packages available to us (particularly for dealing with PCB artwork) so please ask if we can accommodate your native format.
Payment of Fees and Charges
We operate different payment schemes according to the amount of work placed with us by a particular customer and their payment record history.
For new customers, and for those with a poor payment history, we require most payments in advance and certainly before release of final documentation. Such customers will normally receive invoices based on the progress of individual projects.
Other customers will normally have the costs for individual projects combined into monthly invoices. In order to assist our customers in payment of invoices within the agreed period, we can adjust the timing of such invoices to suit their standard accounting periods, Customers may also elect to run a "reserve account" whereby the need for even monthly invoicing is avoided and the rate at which invoices are sent depends on the rate of turnover of certification projects.
Terms and Conditions for Type Examination Work
1. All type examination work is subject to the General Terms and Conditions of Baseefa which are confirmed as applicable on registration. In addition, the following specific terms and conditions apply.
2. When we provide a quotation or estimate, or we accept an order for work leading to the issue of a Type Examination Certificate (or similar document), this should not be taken to imply that we will issue such a certificate. A certificate (or similar document) can only be issued once the appropriate evidence has been assembled and, in some cases, once the appropriate arrangements have been made to cover the production phase.
3. Unless subsequently clarified, work will be carried out in accordance with the standards specified at the time of application, quotation or order. Care may need to be taken in specifying options contained in the standards (for example; apparatus group, temperature classification, ATEX Category, etc. for explosion protected equipment).
4. Where an application is incomplete, or does not provide sufficient information for us to prepare a quotation, we may refer the application back to you or, at our discretion, prepare the quotation on the basis of assumptions that we will communicate back to you.
5. You may submit changes or additions at any time during the course of the type examination work. We will discuss with you the implications of such changes on the project (cost, timescale, technical compliance) and advise you of your options as to how we may proceed.
6. We wish all projects to be completed to time and on cost to the satisfaction of our customers, but we reserve the right to treat a project as withdrawn or abandoned if :
7. Within six months of the date of requesting further information drawings, data or samples they are not received; or
8. Designs or samples submitted are found to be non-compliant and revised designs or samples are not received within six months;
9. The accumulated response time in accordance with the above exceeds six months.
10. Sample equipment for testing should only be sent to us when requested, and in accordance with our specific delivery instructions.
11. We will not accept liability for loss or damage of samples during transit or storage. Some tests are potentially destructive. If destruction of a particular sample is an issue with you, please discuss with our staff.
12. At the completion of the project we will normally either return the samples to you or arrange for their destruction and disposal as requested at the time of application. You will be liable for any costs incurred in return or disposal. We reserve the right to retain individual samples, but will normally only do so with your agreement.
13. Type Examination Certificates are issued in the name of the "Certificate Holder". This will normally be the manufacturer and, in any event will be the body responsible for controlling the design. Where the manufacturer is does not control the design and does not have the certificate issued in their name, special provisions will apply. You must make clear to us the relationship between design and manufacture.
14. A Certificate Holder may apply to have documentation issued in the name of a Trade Agent. Please see separate information.
15. Copies of certificates and their schedules shall be made available on request to all purchasers of certified equipment.
16. Where certification documents contain "Special Conditions for Safe Use", normally identified by a suffix "X" to the certificate number, all such specific information must be made available to purchasers of the equipment.
17. We may withdraw a certificate if :
18. It is discovered that it should not have been issued (either through false information provided to us, or through our own error).
19. You fail to abide by these terms and condition.
20. The certificate includes provision for the use of a production mark (particularly those issued under the Explosive Atmospheres Directive 76/117/EEC or the Gassy Mines Directive 82/130/EEC), and the conditions applicable to the use of the production mark are no longer being met.
21. You must retain the certificate and associated documents for your future reference and, where relevant, for inspection by us or any other body responsible for supervision of production. Certain legislation, for example the ATEX Directive, places a legal requirement on you to retain these document for a stated period (normally ten years) after the last production.
22. We will retain copies of the documents as a "Technical File" for a defined period in accordance with our service for retention and storage of technical files.
23. Baseefa Certificates bearing the crown and tick logo relating to national accreditation of certification bodies by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) indicate that the work leading to the issue of that certificate has been done in accordance with the accreditation of Baseefa by UKAS. It should not be construed that the product, system or device to which that certificate relates has been approved by UKAS.
24. Our acceptance of a drawing showing marking detail which includes the European Community CE Marking should not be construed as confirmation that we have given permission for the CE Marking to be applied to any particular item of equipment. Applying the CE Marking remains the responsibility of the manufacturer in accordance with the appropriate EU legislation.