Specifying quality cable for construction projects may not be top-of-mind when preparing building specifications, however, failures in cable can result in costly damage and even loss of life. Purchasing independently-verified cable is one way to ensure the cable you specify is safe to use and meets all relevant regulations.
As your customer’s first point of contact, at the specification stage, construction projects will have key requirements or a need for specific criteria to be adhered to. You’ll often be involved in assessing and awarding the main contractor who will be responsible for conducting the risk assessments and ensuring control measures have been put in place, prior to the project commencing. Ensuring quality materials and products are specified at the start of a project, is one of the most effective ways to manage risks and minimise any potential costs of poor quality, which may arise from using substandard materials or products.
Working closely with the main contractor, electrical installers with the appropriate credentials can be selected. Special attention from the experts can be used to your advantage to ensure that any issues with cable quality can be identified and addressed, prior to any significant impact on the project. When on-time delivery is a critical component of a project cable products, if decided upon late in a project’s timing plan, may not be available or could have long-lead times associated to them. Cable products are almost always made to order, however if the timing plan has not accounted for these lead times a margin of error can be built into the project without full realisation. Off the shelf products may at this point be sought based on availability, meaning that they may not potentially be the right product for the application.
In the same way that buildings are required to meet regulatory standards for a wide range of requirements, cable products must also meet specific standards for quality and safety. However, simply meeting a standard does not guarantee a cable will be suitable for its application. To ensure that cable products specified are of the highest quality and will perform as intended, in the right application, products should be independently verified. A comprehensive set of tests should be conducted on a cable at the manufacturing source to confirm how the product will perform in long-term service. Many high-profile projects specify cable products, prescribing that they must be tested independently to provide an objective assessment of performance and conformity.
Your role in cable specification
As a trusted advisor, customers rely upon your guidance to help meet their business or project objectives and to ensure that the products specified for use in their projects will meet all relevant standards and regulations. Keeping up-to-date with the latest industry developments in materials and regulations can also be difficult, as these continue to evolve rapidly.
Who is BASEC?
BASEC is the preferred testing and certification partner to the worldwide cable industry. Partnering with cable manufacturers around the world BASEC is focused on improving product quality and safety. Cable manufacturers who are BASEC approved, have undertaken a rigorous auditing programme which looks in detail in how the business and its factories are operating, as well as the processes and production methods they follow. Product samples are randomly selected from the product ranges undergoing product certification and these are sent to BASEC’s laboratory for testing. Once product approvals are awarded, these are publicly displayed on www.basec.org.uk, giving access to all members of the supply chain a live platform to check and verify documentation from their suppliers. Alongside factory assessments manufactures management systems for quality, environment and health and safety can be assessed. A key purpose of verifying cable quality at the beginning of the supply chain is to ensure manufacturers consistently produce high-quality products.
What is the Registered Stockist scheme?
BASEC’s stockist scheme is a new certification scheme, which opens the doors of approval to the supply chain and increases the level of independent market surveillance within the cable market. Industry can now cross check cable quality at the point of sale. In years gone by, BASEC was a certification that could only be obtained by those who had their own manufacturing factories and plants. In a bid to drive higher levels of quality and safety, stockists and wholesalers alike can become approved suppliers. Becoming a Registered Stockist means that measures are in place to test the quality of the product just before it enters the market, where BASEC can in confidence verify performance test results against those achieved at the manufacturing source.
Why should I specify independently-verified cable?
By specifying BASEC approved cable, you can have complete confidence that the product selected has been tested independently to ensure it meets the performance requirements specified. The BASEC mark is recognised around the world, which give you and your end customer complete peace of mind that the product installed will be safe and resilient in operation. The Registered Stockist BASEC mark provides assurance throughout the supply chain of assured quality, scrutinised at various check points, from source to end user.
How can I find a registered stockist?
Registered Stockists will be listed in a stockist selector application on the BASEC website www.basec.org.uk, following the formal awards ceremony this summer. Where the pioneers of the stockist market, entering the scheme right now, will showcase their certification.
The path to becoming a Registered Stockist status
For a stockist to be awarded Registered Stockist status, they must successfully pass an audit to verify their commitment to supplying quality cable into the market. The path to becoming approved includes a comprehensive evaluation, which reviews their quality and management processes, as well as batch traceability.
The scope of their audit includes:
- Verification of ISO 9001
- Understanding supplier monitoring processes
- Sales processes
- Goods receiving
- Non-conformity: product, returns and scrap
- Training and competence
- LVD and CPR compliance checks
- Stock handling
- Flow of communication from head office to branches and distributors
- Use of BASEC marks
The true value of buying from a Registered Stockist
Cable products that are marked as approved at source, coupled with a Registered Stockist supplying them into the market, provides assurance to the entire supply chain that the products selected meet the highest standards for quality and safety. As a consultant recommending materials and products that adhere to public safety and standard requirements, this shows a thorough understanding and appreciation for quality. In turn, the longer term performance of the specific cable products selected will talk for itself, demonstrating your expertise in the market.
If a project requires complex or non-standard cable products, your understanding of the importance of cable quality and suitability boosts your credibility. In the same way the contractors you select must be certified to industry standards, specifying approved cable demonstrates commitment to working to recognised standards for quality and safety.
With the cost of quality becoming increasingly important, a recognisable mark such as the Registered Stockist mark symbolises the assessment that a product has undertaken, from manufacture to point of entry into the market, is a valuable tool to take advantage of.
BASEC’s Registered Stockist scheme helps you to quickly recognise which cable suppliers have been assessed and meet the highest standards of quality and safety, enabling you to make efficient and informed specification decisions.
When quality matters, look for the BASEC Registered Stockist mark.
Committed to quality and safety?
Share this guide with your networks to help educate the supply chain about your commitment to cable quality and safety. Start the conversation that brings the industry together now, from consultant to electrician to end user.
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