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We help clients navigate their paths to an ESR, including Quality Assurance plan development.

Product Certification: Are You Ready for the Challenge?

April 2, 2018

For many smaller building product manufacturers, simply following best practices and common sense may work most of the time. But, for those looking to grow market share and compete on a regional or national level, that may not be enough. Having a formal quality assurance (QA) system is often the next step in your company's journey to market growth and success; and it is a must for getting your product certified as code compliant.

Passed or Failed

In our decades of experience working with manufacturers of all types and sizes, we have seen many small manufacturers face challenges when trying to fulfill the requirements of product certification agencies. Certification and listing programs for building products require ongoing surveillance QA of the manufacturing process. Specifically, certification agencies accredited to ISO 17065 rely upon the manufacturer's competency to control several key factors in the manufacturing process to ensure product performance: 1) qualified materials are used; 2) manufacturing processes are controlled to within tolerance; 3) inspection for key attributes is performed during or at the end of manufacturing; and 4) nonconforming product can be identified and managed. A formal QA system helps the certification agencies gage how prepared (or not) a manufacturer is to ensure rigor and consistency in these areas.

To help our manufacturer clients acquire the evaluation service reports (ESRs) they seek from the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), and in keeping with our overall mission to reduce barriers to innovation, we have created a quick guide for setting up a QA system. The document outlines the fundamental elements of a quality system based on the ICC-ES qualifying inspection.

Use this document as a starting point to create your company's QA system, and let us know when you're ready proceed with an ESR. Have questions or other hurdles to overcome in your process? We'd be happy to help.