Certifications (Part 2)
In last month’s blog we spoke about Seaqual’s ISO 9001 certification journey and how the introduction of Quality Management Systems (QMS) in our day-to-day business practices has improved the overall productivity and customer satisfaction of our business. We now want to move on to the certifications we have received for some of the products in our range.
In 2016, we spent 11 months undergoing a grueling and thorough assessment process to receive an official certification from Agrément South Africa (pronounced “Agri-mar”) for our WetFloor & Full-bore range of products.
As defined on their website; “Agrément SA is an independent organisation that evaluates the fitness for purpose of non-standardised building and construction products and systems by applying performance-based criteria in its assessment procedure.”
Agrément SA Logo - From the Agrément SA Official Website and the South African Bureau of Standards Logo – From the SABS Official Website
When using the term “non-standardised” they are referring to a system or product for which there is no applicable South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) regulation. When there are new product innovations that do not fall under the existing SABS codes of practices then Agrément SA bridges the gap by validating that product’s compliance with regulations through a series of assessments. This allows companies to still receive official recognition and certification for their product inventions.
Ideas & Inventions – Canva Image
Our WetFloor Drain removable Well Trap is one such example. This device is a superior replacement to the standard P-traps on the market. It has a rubber seal around the edge that gives it a snug and leak-proof seal when fitted into the F-box. The Well Trap can be removed and separated into two parts making cleaning and maintenance an easy process. This is just one of many problem-solving features our products have to offer.
Seaqual’s Well Trap and an example of it installed in a shower - Seaqual Images Copyright
There have been many instances where subjects that are granted their Agrément SA certification have subsequently been added to the SABS code of standards at a later stage. SABS will tap into the knowledge gained from Agrément SA’s testing process and use this information in their own assessment of the subject. So the two organisations work very closely together.
Teams working together – Canva Image
A basic outline of the Agrément technical assessment process is as follows:
Step 1: The Application
The client submits an application together with required supporting documentation and Agrément consults with relevant experts and then informs the client of their decision to either accept or reject the application.
Step 2: Preparation of assessment
Agrément drafts the assessment criteria and prepares the procedure after consulting with appropriate experts and a formal contract offer is presented to the client.
Step 3: Assessment
If the clients chooses to accept the contract offer then a fee must be paid to Agrément who then prepares a quality assurance plan. Agrément will then move forward the assessment.
Favourable results: In deliberation with all relevant parties, including the client, a draft certificate is prepared and is presented to the Technical Committee. They then review the draft certificate and make a recommendation to the Board of Agrément South Africa to approve the application and grant the certificate.
Results not favourable: The client is presented with the findings and is given the opportunity to make amendments and once the problematic issues are resolved, the subject is reassessed at the client’s expense.
Step 4: Certification
If the draft certificate is accepted by the Board, a certified copy of the approved certificate is issued to the client. Notice of granting the certificate is published in the Government Gazette. The certificate is then published and available for the public to view on Agrément South Africa’s website.
Granting Certification – Canva Image
Since our WetFloor and Full-bore range of products were new to the South African market and considered “non-standardised,” we decided to move forward with Agrément SA certification process. In June 2017, we were granted certificates of approval for both ranges. The Seaqual products that carry Agrément SA certification include WetFloor Drain, LoLoDrain, BalconyDrain and HyDrain. These products are considered fit for purpose when used and installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. These certifications can be viewed under the “All Certificates” section on Agrément’s website.
Copy of Seaqual's official Agrément Certifications - Seaqual Copyright
Thanks for reading and happy plumbing :)