A WaterMark technical file is required when submitting a new or amended product specification for review.
Let’s look at what a technical file is and how it is used.
Why do we need a technical file?
A technical file is necessary because it collates the relevant information for the review of a proposed new or amended product specification. The PCA requires most products intended for use in plumbing and drainage installations in or around buildings to be evaluated and certified to WaterMark product specifications. These include WaterMark Technical Specifications, which are published by the ABCB, and third party publications, such as Australian Standards and international standards. Where a new or amended a product specification is proposed, the Protocol for Developing Product Specifications (the Protocol), found in Appendix 4 of the Manual for the WaterMark Product Certification Scheme (the Scheme), requires the creation of a technical file.
What is a technical file?
The technical file contains the draft new or amended product specification along with relevant information to assist the review of the proposed product specification.
As a minimum, the technical file must include the following:
- Executive summary
- Product details
- Product risk assessment
- Report of research undertaken of relevant existing specifications or standards
- Draft new or amended product specification
- Product history
- Product test reports
- Current product certification details.
Third party publishers may require similar information to be provided. For example, a Standards Australia project proposal may contain some of this information. Where this information exists, to avoid unnecessary duplication, the information can be referenced in, and attached to, the technical file.
What is the technical file for?
The technical file is used by the ABCB to ensure that the proposed product specification satisfies the requirements of the Protocol and does not adversely impact the Scheme or existing WaterMark certified products. The technical file assists the ABCB and its technical peer review panel in the review of the draft product specification to ensure that the product, the risks presented by the product, and other considerations, have been appropriately evaluated and the identified risks have been addressed.
How long does it take for the ABCB to review a technical file?
Technical files and draft specifications can be submitted via email. The ABCB will review and provide a response within 2 weeks of receipt. The review is to ensure that the information supplied in the technical file meets the requirements of the Protocol, and that the draft specification is suitable to release for public comment.
Submitting a comprehensive technical file is the best way to ensure that the review can be completed without the need to supply further information. It is also a good idea to discuss the requirements of the technical file specific to your project early with the ABCB to make sure that the correct information is provided.
Keep an eye out for part two of this article, where we will cover how to prepare a technical file. In the meantime, if you have questions about technical files, we encourage you to reach out to the ABCB.