The ABCB, in conjunction with the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ), has been driving hard towards the implementation of the revised and improved CodeMark Australia Scheme.
A new-look and revised scheme rulesTo differentiate the CodeMark schemes that will operate in Australia and New Zealand, the Australian scheme will be called 'CodeMark Australia'. A new scheme logo with this name has also been developed. While the ABCB will retain ownership of the scheme, Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) will be responsible for both accrediting Certification Bodies (CBs) and administration of the Scheme. A revised set of Scheme Rules outlines these changes in responsibilities. They also tighten up the formal relationships between, and obligations of, all parties.
Critical to addressing concerns raised through the consultation process, a new Certificate of Conformity template has been developed. This makes it easier for practitioners to prescribe the amount and clarity of information required in the certificate. The new format also makes it easier for practitioners to determine which parts of the BCA the product has been certified to meet. This means greater confidence for certifiers and product end-users.
Rather than waiting until the improved scheme is implemented later this year, the new template has been issued for use under the current scheme. CBs are currently required to use the new template. The template will again be reissued once the new scheme is implemented, to reflect the change of the scheme name to 'CodeMark Australia' and to incorporate new scheme branding.
The Product Database
With JAS-ANZ taking on the administration of the Scheme, it will also be hosting the product database, which up to this point has been on the ABCB website. An additional feature of the database will be downloadable Certificates of Conformity. However, until the launch of the CodeMark Australia scheme, the ABCB will continue to host the database and has modified it to include information on which edition of the BCA a certificate has been issued.
The ABCB and JAS-ANZ recently co-hosted a workshop with CBs and Unrestricted Building Certifiers (UBCs). The purpose of the workshop was to assist CBs to prepare for the new scheme and to ensure common understanding of the changed roles of parties and changes to the Scheme Rules. There was robust discussion on some aspects of the Scheme Rules. This resulted in both JAS-ANZ and ABCB working to better clarify some functional aspects of the scheme through guidance and educational material, to better inform both CBs and product or system manufacturers considering CodeMark certification.
Transitional arrangements, which were also a topic of discussion at the workshop, will soon be finalised. These will guide the timeframes for implementation of the various components of the new scheme.
When transitional arrangements have been finalised, and final trade mark approvals have been received, the new CodeMark Australia scheme will be ready to implement. With a fresh new look, all Scheme documents, including the Certificate of Conformity, will be re-launched with contemporary and consistent branding.