In this video we discuss the process of WaterMark certification and who is responsible for this process.


The WaterMark Certification Scheme or WaterMark is a mandatory certification scheme for plumbing and drainage materials and products. It ensures products are fit for their intended purpose and appropriately authorised for use in plumbing and drainage installations. So how exactly does the WaterMark scheme work?

In this video, we'll discuss the process of WaterMark certification and who is responsible for this process. Let's start by taking a look at the administrative framework and the stakeholders involved. The scheme owner is the Commonwealth and states and territories of Australia.

The office of the Australian Building Codes Board, also known as the ABCB, is the administering body. the ABCB administers and manages the scheme on behalf of the scheme owner. ABCB is responsible for the oversight of the scheme's trademark rules and manual which include the procedural requirements and the responsibilities and relationships of all parties involved.

The accreditation body, the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand, also known as JAS-ANZ is appointed by the scheme owner. JAS-ANZ are responsible for the accreditation and ongoing surveillance of approved certifiers, also known as WaterMark Conformity Assessment Bodies or WaterMark CABs.

WaterMark CABs are responsible for evaluating and certifying plumbing and drainage materials and products; issuing certificates of conformity and WaterMark licences, and undertaking ongoing surveillance of products and approved users. They sign an approved certifier agreement with a scheme owner.

Approved users, generally a manufacturer, assembler or importer of a product, are responsible for ensuring their products continue to conform to the issued certification. They enter into a formal agreement with a WMCAB called an approved user agreement. The WMCAB grants them permission to use the WaterMark trademark on certified products.

Now, we know who the stakeholders are and what they do, let's take a look at how the WaterMark scheme works and the roles each stakeholders play . All products to be used in a plumbing and drainage installation must undergo a risk assessment to determine if risk mitigation is required through WaterMark certification. Products are subsequently placed on either the WaterMark schedule of products when certification is required or the WaterMark schedule of excluded products when certification is not required.

If a new product type is not listed on either the WaterMark schedule of products or the WaterMark schedule of excluded products, the WMCAB must undertake a risk assessment of the product to determine if WaterMark certification is necessary. Once the risk assessment has been verified, if the product type doesn't need to be WaterMark certified, it is then listed on the WaterMark schedule of excluded products.

If the product does require WaterMark certification and can be evaluated against an existing product standard or specification, the product type is listed on the WaterMark schedule of products. The product type can then be evaluated by any WMCAB against the applicable product standard or specification.

If the evaluation is successful, a WaterMark certificate of conformity and licence will be issued to the approved user, by the WaterMark CAB. If no product standards or specifications exist for evaluating a new innovative product type a WMCAB will nominate an existing or develop a new or amended product standard or specification.

After public consultation on the proposal, the administering body will be asked to approve the use of the standard or specification for the evaluation of the new or innovative product type. Once a product is WaterMark certified, it is authorised for use in a plumbing and drainage installation as long as it is listed on the WaterMark product database and its certification remains current.

WaterMark certified products must be installed by a licenced plumbing practitioner so that installation complies with the plumbing code of Australia. Importantly, if a product type is listed on the WaterMark schedule of products but the product is not WaterMark certified a licenced plumber is not permitted to install it, and if it's being installed as part of a DIY project, the local plumbing authority may not accept the installation.

If you would like to know more about the WaterMark Certification Scheme, visit the WaterMark website or follow the links to other WaterMark videos.