Post-Certification: Maintenance Issues
AGA Certifications: Maintenance Issues
Important Note: The following relates to products covered by a current "Type-Tested" certification and the information is listed by type of product (ie gas, electrical or plumbing).
Any unauthorised (ie by AGA) modification to an appliance covered by any of the AGA schemes automatically renders the AGA certification issued for that product invalid.
Type-Tested Gas Product
An AGA certification is based upon type testing of a sample product and, accordingly, it is essential (and incumbent on the Certificate Holder) to ensure that the product continues to be manufactured strictly in accordance with the design certified (and for which details are held by AGA as part of the certification documentation). Any unauthorised departure to the "registered design" will automatically render the AGA certification invalid for the changed product and may result in AGA suspending/cancelling the certification.
To give confidence to the view that the certified product continues to comply with certification requirements, and to support the renewal process attached to the certification, product is subjected to a regular product verification audit (PVA) and a review of the measures to control quality of product. Such audits are not designed (or funded) to provide an exhaustive check of the product but, rather, a limited and largely visual review against the current technical specifications. It is incumbent upon the Certificate Holder to ensure the product remains unchanged and to seek formal application if a modification or addition is required.
Certificate Holders are responsible for ensuring payment of their respective Annual Fee/s within normal AGA trading terms if the currency of their certification/s is not to be adversely affected. Non-payment of the Annual Fee/s within normal AGA trading terms will result in, initially, the automatic suspension of the relevant Certificate/s and, if still unresolved shortly thereafter, irrevocable cancellation.
Unless holding a current AGAMark Licence to mark certified appliances with the AGAMark, each Certificate Holder is responsible for ensuring an authentic AGA Maker's Warranty badge (commonly referred to as an AGA "Approval" or "Certification" badge) is affixed to any appliance for which an AGA certification is claimed or implied. Such badges incorporate a registered design, belonging to the AGA, and it is a condition of certification that such badges must only be sourced directly from AGA. An example of the badge (for general appliances) is shown to the left. The Rules Governing contains explicit and important information regarding the sourcing of such AGA badges, their mandatory use for certification compliance reasons and confirms the consequences of a breach of the badging requirements.
The correct AGA Maker's Warranty badge for the category of product must be affixed. The fees associated with the AGAMark and each type of Maker's Warranty badge are designed, in part, to provide an ongoing revenue stream for the AGA. AGAMark/Badge costs, application/certification fees, audit charges, membership subscriptions and annual certificate renewal charges have been developed to provide an appropriately wide revenue base to help ensure certification services are fully funded and the "business" is sustainable in the longer term. AGA is a not-for-profit organisation and customer feedback on services, and the cost of services, is an integral part of Board reviews.
In summary, the key points are:
To maintain a certification, the Certificate Holder must ensure:
- Prompt payment of the Annual Renewal Fee each July
- The AGAMark (under Licence) or an authentic AGA Maker's Warranty Badge is affixed to each and every appliance (not applicable to components)
- The certified product must never be modified without formal AGA assessment and acceptance of the proposed changes first
- The certified product must be made available for audit (PVA) upon request and, within the limitations of such an audit, demonstrate compliance
- It adheres to the terms and conditions as detailed in the Rules Governing
Type-Tested Electrical Product
Prescribed (or Declared) Items
Prescribed electrical product is not subject to routine audit by the certifying body but is required to be reassessed against the prevailing standard every five years. The scheme provides for product modifications to be introduced (subject of course to appropriate pre-assessment by the certifiying body) but that any such approved modifications do not exteend the expiry date of the Certificate.
Non-Prescribed (or Undeclared) Items
Non-prescribed electrical items do need to be certified as such but a customer may choose to use such certification to establish "due diligence" in meeting the regulatory requirements that it warrants the product complies with the relevant standard/s. As for prescribed electrical items, certification is time-limited and subject to reassessment if an extension is needed.
Type-Tested Plumbing Product (ie WaterMark Scheme)
Level 1 Plumbing Products
Level 1 Plumbing Products (as defined in AS 5200) are certified with particular emphasis on the quality programme that governs production output. Once certified, it is therefore an important requirement that the certifying body verifies continued compliance of the product through the audit of sample products (sourced from the customer or the open market) and a review of the supporting quality system measures in place. Such factory audits are typically conducted on an annual basis and may include appropriate sub-contractor premises. The Rules Governing provides more specific details about the auditing requirements.
Level 2 Plumbing Products
Level 2 plumbing products (as defined) do not require an ongoing detailed review of production quality measures employed by the customer. This category of certification has a standard three-year lifecycle and the Certificate automatically expires at the end of the three year period unless the customer has previously lodged an application to renew. Irrespective of lodgement of a renewal application, a Certificate will expire on the three-year anniversary of the date of issue but may be shown as suspended pending the finalisation of such application to renew. Failure to lodge a renewal application prior to the expiry date will result in an automatic and irrevocable expiry of a Certificate.
Other schemes offered by AGA may have their own post-certification (audit) requirements and you should refer to the relevant Rules Governing for clarification as necessary.