Field Certification Explained

1 february 2017

There are several service options to get your product approved for the North American market, therefore, knowing and selecting the most suitable option is very important for manufactures. In this article we focus on the service known as “Field Certification”.

Field Certification is the best choice if your products are tailor made, or a limited number of units will be shipped to the US or Canada, and your client wants the product to be Certified against an applicable product standard.

The biggest advantage of this service is the flexibility in planning, the relatively short time to Certification, and the fact that no factory inspections are required. Field Certification can be performed at a location which is most suitable for you, as long as the product can be tested and evaluated at that location. In most cases, Field Certification takes place at the factory which makes it easier for the manufacturer to perform modifications to comply with the standard. The QPS representative will do the evaluation on site and will affix the QPS Certification Label to each complying unit.

Being a certification service, Field Certification is used for products intended for use in hazardous and non-hazardous locations. Typically, the process can be completed in a short timeframe, and the unit can be shipped right after the evaluation is satisfactorily concluded and the QPS representative has labeled the product.

To prepare for the service, you will be asked to provide technical information and documentation on the product for review by QPS beforehand. Therefore, close collaboration and effective communication with the QPS representative is key to expedite the process. Typically, the type of documentation covers the following:

  • Intended use
  • Function Diagram
  • Electrical schematics/wire diagrams
  • Critical Components list
  • Manual
  • Specific location of installation
  • Marketing/Sales material

Based on the documentation, the QPS representative will determine what standard is applicable and what tests are required. A critical part of the evaluation process is to ensure that safety critical components used in the product are certified to the applicable North American component standard and bear the Mark of a certification body/NRTL accredited in North America. It is also highly advisable to check if the components are certified through the product listings databases of the certification body in question. The following information must be provided for each component:

  • Component identification
  • Manufacturer of the component
  • Manufacturer’s Product Number (P/N) of the component
  • Technical Description
  • Electrical ratings
  • Marks of Conformity displayed on the component
  • Evidence of certification/listing (Example: reference to UL listing number)

In case a component is not certified, QPS can test and evaluate the component to determine its suitability for use in the product involved.

If you are interested in Field Certification you can fill out the Request For Quotation form, or you can send an email with the required information to sales@qpscertification.eu. QPS will issue a quote based on a review of the submitted documentation. To initiate a work project, the quote must be signed and returned to QPS, along with a signed application form. First time applicants are also required to provide accountancy details and sign a Field Certification Agreement. Upon receipt of all the required documents and the down payment, the QPS representative assigned to the project will discuss and agree on the plan of action with the client.

The on-site evaluation can take one or more days, depending on the complexity of the product under investigation. In most cases 1 or 2 days is sufficient. If the product needs to be modified to bring it into compliance, the QPS representative will provide the client with a formal Findings Letter outlining the deficiencies to be corrected. If no modifications are required, the product will be labeled on the spot indicating approval. To complete and finalise the process, an official Certificate of Compliance is issued and a test/evaluation report is prepared

If you require more information you can contact our Field Certification technical expert located in Lyon, France; or contact the QPS office in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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