Setting up an electrical testing laboratory in an environment that has no safety or consumer protection legislation only makes sense if the laboratory can initiate a legislative process in the country. The laboratory has to work with governmental agencies, legislators and regulators, explain to them what needs to be done, and have some regulations put in place.
Any scheme to improve consumer safety must always be established on a solid base. The laboratory should find out which products are potentially dangerous, what kind of accidents can happen and any other potential hazards. Fire departments, hospitals, the police and other agencies can often help gather and provide data, although in some countries this type of information is not readily available.
Processes involved in achieving international recognition through accreditation
⦁ Establishment of physical facilities for testing electrical products;
⦁ Selection of test equipment as required;
⦁ In-house training of laboratory staff on test methods and conformity assessment;
⦁ Provision of expertise by UNIDO for gap analysis and the preparation of quality and technical manuals in consultation with the laboratory management;
⦁ Foreign training of a quality manager and a technical manager at an accredited laboratory;
⦁ Finalization of laboratory documents and removal of gaps;
⦁ Participation in proficiency testing (PT) and Inter-Laboratory Comparison (ILC);
⦁ Internal competency assessment of test operators and associated laboratory staff;
⦁ Achievement of accreditation.
⦁ Benefits of accreditation
⦁ Global acceptance of its test reports;
⦁ Recognition of its services by the internationally recognized Product Inspection and Certification Bodies, including BV, SGS, TUV NORD, ITS, etc.;
⦁ An increasing trend in its annual business/services of approximately 40 per cent due to its achievement of accreditation.
⦁ The number of its clients increased by 75 per cent due to confidence building and the authenticity of its test results.
⦁ In the absence of an accredited laboratory, the fans and other electrical products were usually sent for testing to accredited electrical testing laboratories. This involved huge expenses for the manufacturers/exporters in testing fees and the cost of dispatching test samples—and, where a product was found non compliant, the same process had to be repeated.
⦁ Now the presence of an accredited electrical test laboratory in Pakistan has reduced the overall conformity assessment costs for export products such as fans by approximately 50–60 per cent.