Recognised External Certification Schemes

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A person who conducts a scheme for the certification of electrical equipment, may apply to a regulator for the scheme to be declared to be a Recognised External Certification Scheme (RECS).

The application must be in the approved form (form is obtained from the regulator to whom the application is being made). The application will include an appropriate declaration and be supported by other documentation, as required, demonstrating their independence and suitability to certify that types of in-scope electrical equipment meet the relevant standards.

The regulator will have a review process to consider the application including that the regulator will publish a submission notice that the regulator intends to declare the scheme to be a RECS. The submission notice will specify a 14 day period during which anybody may make a submission to the regulator about the proposed declaration.

The term of the declared scheme is for five years.

Among other requirements, a RECS must be independent of the Responsible Supplier and any party involved in the manufacture, importation, consultation or sale of the electrical equipment it is certifying. RECS must follow the Equipment Safety Rules (Link to document).

RECS are not agents or activists for manufacturers and importers or applicants for a certificate. They do not lobby on behalf of certificate holders or engage in activities to justify a product should be certified if it has not met the requirements for certification in the equipment safety rules (activities such as these are the role of a ‘consultant’ and a RECS cannot be independent if they act as a consultant). A RECS role is to verify the documentation provided is sufficient to show compliance to the requirements of the equipment safety rules and make that decision and issue the certificate attesting to that decision. In essence a RECS is a gate keeper to ensure equipment that does not meet the equipment safety rules does not obtain a certificate.

Note: a RECS may act as an Authorised Representative for a responsible supplier to whom they have issued a certificate. This would be, for example, to register the equipment on the responsible supplier database on behalf of the responsible supplier on the same day they have issued the certificate (this process is not seen as ‘consultancy’).