Approving cable products and innovations … beyond regulations!
Learn about the important role that third party approvals play in demonstrating compliance of cable innovations to ensure their quality and safety performance go beyond regulations.
Where electrical power cables are required for fixed installation in buildings and for major public infrastructure projects, safety must always be the priority. Therefore, building regulations are mandated by governments and compliance with national and international standards is often required for cable products.
Preventing risk of non-compliant products
The recent report following the London Grenfell disaster investigation, “Building a Safer Future. Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety” identified many deficiencies in regulatory responsibility in the UK. The overriding message of regulatory non-compliance is common for many other countries around the world and the key question for authorities, owners, operators, consultants, designers, contractors and installers today must be: “What can I do to prevent the risks of non-compliant products being used in my projects?” The answer for wire and cable products is simply to demand third party product approval to ensure that products have been verified to meet the relevant regulations and appropriate standards.
The British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) provides independent, third party approvals and product certification to demonstrate compliance of cable products to regulations, such as the EU Construction Products Regulations and the new UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) which comes into effect on 1st January 2021. A BASEC approval provides assurance, that cables purchased and installed will consistently meet or exceed the minimum regulatory requirements for both, product manufacturing standards and operational performance.
BASEC supports the development of new cable technologies entering the market
It is important to remember that the UK’s regulatory framework is changing, and a roadmap has been set out to drive higher levels of quality, in line with industry recognised standards and the demand for electrification. This is, primarily, in response to the UK’s efforts to meet its legally binding 2050 carbon emission reduction targets and climate change commitments. Also, technological developments mean that fast-changing markets are creating unique opportunities for the cable industry to introduce new cabling solutions and innovative products or technologies. Many end users are demanding higher performance levels that go beyond the minimum or mandatory regulatory mandatory requirements. End users are driven by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) as well as their own organisation's policies, core values and rules, which require for them to set higher performance benchmarks for development projects.
End users of cabling products, such as the High-Speed Rail 2 station development projects in London and the Ravenscraig development near Glasgow, are responsible for major infrastructural works which have national significance. These projects are revolutionising the transportation and housing development networks to provide faster travel and sustainable, inclusive living spaces, fit for the future. Project owners are demonstrating the way forward by incorporating higher performance requirements in their strategic frameworks, developing standards and procurement procedures. Subsequently, this drives the demand for new cabling solutions and innovations from the cable industry.
Third party product approvals play an important role in the verification of new cable technologies and innovative products. This in turn helps the cable industry to demonstrate that their cable products can meet the standards, are fit-for-purpose and offer higher levels of quality. BASEC supports the development of new technologies entering the market. One way it does this is through its Certificate of Assessed Design (CAD) process, which verifies the performance of innovative cable products when no specific national or international standard exists. In the same way, BASEC’s CAD process can confirm that the products tested will be safe to use and meet levels of quality in line with the criteria of established standards. This process is just as rigorous as the testing BASEC conducts to local, British, European or International standards. All CADs are reviewed by a technical committee and are subject to regular sampling and auditing.
Governments and regulators have found it difficult to keep pace with market developments or know how to intervene to protect the public and allow innovation to flourish. It is against this backdrop that the role of third party product approval and an innovation friendly certification approach, to demonstrate compliance to standards that go beyond regulation have started to emerge in recent years. Many end users are starting to explore how third party approval will support their demand for higher levels of performance, output and innovative solutions for their developments; at the same time meeting their need for reliability, safety and compliance. Subsequently achieving their statutory requirements and developing newly approved cable products and innovations… beyond regulations!
The BASEC mark instils reassurance of safety and quality for those manufacturing, specifying, buying and installing cable around the world. To discuss how third party certification of cables can benefit your business, please contact the BASEC team today.
Many end users are seeking compliance that goes beyond existing regulation