Why use your accredited lab for your pre-compliance testing?

Pre-compliance testing can be a critical part of the process of designing, testing and certifying a product and there are significant advantages in using the same laboratory for both your pre-compliance and full compliance testing.

In this article, we’ll cover “What is pre-compliance testing”, “What are the main differences between pre-compliance and full compliance testing” and the key benefits of using an accredited lab.

Finally, we’ll cover the benefits of working with Eurofins York and with our accredited test labs for both your pre and full compliance testing.

What is pre-compliance testing?

Pre-compliance testing is a way to identify early potential problems in the design of your product and areas where you may have compliance issues in terms of test specifications. This unique type of testing improves the chances of a successful first pass of full compliance testing without expensive and time-consuming design changes.

The role of pre-compliance testing is to give you an early indication of whether your product going to market is likely to meet the requirements when full compliance testing will be  carried out further down the compliance process.

By carrying out pre-compliance testing before a product is completed, you can:

  1. Gain an understanding of whether the product is operating as intended in terms of its electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), safety design requirements and radio performance whenever applicable
  2. Reduce the risk that the product will fail full compliance testing at the end of the project cycle
  3. Reduce the time-to-market, reducing costs and project delivery risks to your business

Pre-compliance testing is key component of the design cycle of a product, and therefore one that should be carried out to the highest standards by experienced and qualified staff using test equipment and  test environments that will give you information that you can rely on.

However, before you undertake pre-compliance testing, there are some essential points to consider. These will help you get the best from this process and can provide you with further assurance that your product will pass its final compliance testing.

What are the main differences between pre-compliance and full compliance testing?

There are a number of ways in which pre-compliance testing may differ from compliance testing.

It may that the test equipment used may be different or not have sufficient or suitable the calibration, the test methods used may differ or it could be a combination of both of these.

It may be that the pre-compliance laboratory does not have the in depth expertise and that the testing may not be performed fully in accordance to the standards.

In our laboratories, we carry out pre-compliance testing using the same calibrated equipment and the same test facilities operated by the same staff as we do for our fully UKAS Accredited compliance testing.  The only differences between pre and full compliance testing are the tests and measurements that are undertaken, all of which can be tailored to meet your needs.

Don’t forget that the aim of pre-compliance testing is to highlight areas which may cause problems or prevent the equipment from passing full compliance testing.  By using the same equipment and facilities for both, you can be sure that the information gathered during your pre-compliance testing is meaningful and will relate to that obtained during full testing.

Pre-compliance testing, whilst not fully conforming to the requirements of the relevant standard (or standards), should still be carried out in a manner which will give meaningful and accurate results.

Why use an accredited lab for your pre-compliance testing?

By using an accredited lab for your pre-compliance testing, you’ll significantly reduce risks to your business, shorten the development time for your product and have confidence that the pre-compliance data that you have is accurate and meaningful.

What is an accredited lab?

At Eurofins York, we operate three test laboratories, each of which is accredited to ISO 17025:2017 by UKAS for compliance testing across a wide range of technical requirements (EMC, Radio and Safety) including standards.

Full details of the scope of the accreditation for our laboratories, and any UKAS accredited lab, can be found on the UKAS website and we’d recommend that you check that the lab that you are using for both pre-compliance and full compliance testing can demonstrate that it works to the very highest standards, both in terms of equipment, procedures and technical ability.

A quick search of the UKAS website can do this but you can always ask your chosen lab for their latest UKAS schedule of accreditation.  Check the contact details are correct and that the date of issue is the same as that available from the UKAS website at www.ukas.com

All three of our laboratories carry out extensive pre-compliance testing as well as full compliance testing for a wide range of customers across many different markets and sectors. The test engineers who work alongside our customers have extensive international regulatory expertise, allowing them to guide you across multiple requirements and standards.

By undertaking your pre-compliance testing within one of our accredited labs you will get:

  • Real confidence in the measurement provided by us, providing you with better assurance when tackling your full-compliance assessment
  • Assurance of data ahead of measurement to provide you with a focused approach on product redesign or improvement, ready for full-compliance testing
  • Cutting edge test equipment, providing ultra-fast pre-compliance emission scans, ideal for debugging and quick identification of problems areas
  • Access to our workshop, stocked with EMC solutions which can be applied on-site, helping you to determine the best long-term solution for your product
  • Access to our experienced engineers with expertise across different compliance standards and requirements (EMC, Electrical Safety, Radio etc.) thus ensuring that any recommendations made does not impact on other test requirements (EMC to safety for example)
  • Detailed and comprehensive traceability of the test equipment used, meaning no discrepancy between pre-compliance and full-compliance data (subject to standard), reducing the time to market and potentially avoiding unnecessary and costly design changes
  • Repeatability of test setup between pre-compliance and full-compliance

You’ll also be able to develop a working relationship with our test engineers and laboratory staff which will continue throughout the process of both pre and full compliance testing.

You also can be confident that the pre-compliance tests have been carried out to the highest standard, removing any doubt that you may have about the validity, reliability or accuracy of the measurement data.

Removing risk – Using Eurofins York for your pre-compliance testing

At Eurofins York, we take pride in what we do and the measurements and tests that we undertake for our customers. We believe in the value of accredited measurements so that our customers can have confidence in their data.

By entrusting us with your pre-compliance testing, you’ll benefit from:

  • Full traceability of your pre-compliance measurement to international standards
  • Full confidence in the measurement we undertake through the regular independent assessments and audits of our laboratories, performed by National and International bodies
  • Tests performed either partially or fully to the relevant standards, as per your requirements, providing you with flexibility and value for money
  • The ability to switch between pre-compliance and full-compliance testing to assure the likelihood of pass/fail during later compliance testing
  • Use of the same ISO17025 calibrated equipment for both pre-compliance and full compliance testing, assuring you of data traceability throughout
  • The same personnel performing both full compliance and pre-compliance testing so you can access the same level of knowledge and expertise regardless of the testing, assuring you of the competence of our test engineers and laboratory staff
  • Use of the same ISO17025 accredited testing facilities for both full compliance and pre-compliance, providing you with the assurance of the accuracy of your measurements
  • Pre-test checks and verifications performed for both full-compliance and pre-compliance, to ensure repeatability of measurements

What to do next

If you’d like to discuss any aspects of compliance testing for your product or if you have any questions about how you can deliver a compliant product to your chosen market, please get in touch and we will be pleased to help.

We’ll be happy to advise you as to the best route to compliance for your product and we can assist you in obtaining the relevant certifications and approvals needed, both now and in the future.

You can use our contact form here or please call us on 0330 430 3456 and we will be pleased to help.