BASEC News

Third Party Certification

01/06/10

BASEC is a prestige certification body for cables, working in the UK and around the world with reputable cable manufacturers.

Electrical cables, data and signal cables and ancillary products are rigorously tested to meet necessary and appropriate British, European and international standards through detailed examination of manufacturers' production processes and controls, and regular surveillance testing.  BASEC can certify any type of cable. 
BASEC offers a wide range of approval and advisory services to cable-makers, traders and end users.  Cable-makers are offered product certification to national and international cable standards, a number of specialist product-related assessment and manufacturing certifications, and certification of their internal management systems.  In most cases this leads to BASEC’s prestigious approval and permission to mark cable BASEC.  For any party with an interest in cables, such as manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and end users, BASEC also offers independent examination of cables, testing and reporting, such as if problems are experienced with a cable, or in the event of disputes. To gain BASEC’s approval a manufacturer must have their factory and other locations (e.g. head office and sales outlets) thoroughly and regularly audited.  Manufacturers submit each cable type for a full range of tests to check the products comply with national and international standards. 
Only after BASEC has also verified that a cable manufacturer has the production facilities, processes, testing capabilities and the ability to make good cable is a product marking licence awarded, permitting the manufacturer to display the BASEC mark on their products. Each approved cable is then regularly retested by BASEC to ensure ongoing conformity.
BASEC approves to many national and international cable standards
BASEC offers product approval to a wide variety of cable standards and also offers bespoke approvals for products where standards do not yet exist. In terms of management systems BASEC also requires special procedures which go beyond an ISO 9001 quality management system.
The main group of standards BASEC approves to are British cable standards.  These include BS 6004, BS 6231, BS 6500, BS 7211, BS 5467, BS 6724, BS 7846, BS 8436, BS 6622, BS 7629-1, BS 5839-1 and many others.
BASEC also offers approval to European (CENELEC, harmonized) standards, to international (IEC) standards, and to sector standards (e.g. TIA). BASEC also approves to other national standards, such as Irish.
BASEC is a member of the HAR scheme for harmonized cables made in Europe, and awards the HAR mark to manufacturers based in the UK and Ireland.  The requirements of the HAR scheme are similar to the BASEC scheme.  BASEC also monitors HAR-marked cable coming in from other European countries and will assist traders and end users in the event of problems with these cables.
All BASEC approvals follow the same approach.  Each approved product is subject to a high level of product testing, manufacturing assessment and ongoing surveillance, in accordance with BASEC's scheme rules and regulations.
Only when the cable and the manufacturer’s management system has been approved can they use the BASEC mark.

For manufacturers to maintain their certification BASEC will revisit the factory several times per year to re-audit production and to select fresh samples (up to 200 per year) for testing.  If product quality is not maintained, a manufacturer can have their approvals suspended or withdrawn. 

As part of its activities supporting cable users, BASEC monitors cable in the market for compliance and safety.  Using unsafe cable could result in a contravention of health and safety law, or could void insurances.  Individuals involved could face serious allegations which might even result in a custodial sentence. BASEC reports on any unsafe cable found across the industry.

An increasing number of specifiers are asking for BASEC marked cable, and to this effect BASEC supports the Approved Cables Initiative (www.aci.org.uk) in promoting the use of approved cable.
Only cable marked with the ‘BASEC’ name is BASEC approved
It is a common misunderstanding that a cable is compliant with standards or even BASEC approved just because the supplier claims that it has been produced to a particular standard.
Cable marked with only a standard number should be treated with caution.  It is probable that nobody independent of the manufacturer has examined that cable, and the claims made may be unreliable.  Only cable marked with the ‘BASEC’ name is BASEC approved, by demonstrating its compliance to the required standards.
Cable standards not only specify the dimensions and materials of a cable, they also require that a range of specific tests are undertaken to prove the construction and performance.  Many non-approved cables have not been subject to the required tests.

 

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