CE - Certification Business Rules

1. Introduction

The guidelines for product certification activities performed by NTI are as follows:

  1. The certification activities shall be performed in a just, proper and speedy manner.
  2. The necessary technology and know-how shall be maintained and constantly improved, in order to ensure the reliability of certification.
  3. Efforts shall be made to secure objectivity and equal treatment. In addition to following internal rules to achieve this, the Impartiality Committee will supervise NTIs certification activities.
  4. NTI shall contribute to proper management of the certification system.
  5. NTI shall be responsible for the management of all information obtained or created during the performance of certification activities.
  6. NTI shall follow Forvaltningsloven

2. Office address

Office Address

Norsk Treteknisk Institutt (NTI)
Forskningsveien 3B
NO-0373 Oslo
NORWAY

Postal Address

Norsk Treteknisk Institutt (NTI)
P.O. Box 113 Blindern
NO-0314 Oslo
NORWAY

 

Telephone: +47 988 53 333
E-mail: firmapost@treteknisk.no
Webpage: www.treteknisk.no

3. Certification categories of agricultural and forest products to be covered

 

NTI will carry out the (CE) certification for the following product groups:

  1. Timber structures – Product requirements for prefabricated structural members assembled with punched metal plate fasteners according to NS- EN 14250.
  2. Wood based panels for use in construction – characteristics, evaluation of conformity and marking according to NS-EN 13986.
  3. Timber structures – Glued laminated timber – Requirements according to NS-EN 14080.
  4. Timber structures – Strength graded structural timber with rectangular cross section according to NS-EN 14081.
  5. Structural finger jointed solid timber – Performance requirements and minimum production requirements according to NS-EN 15497

For each Product Group a specific Product Responsible shall be appointed.

Regarding the following two items:

  1. Wood flooring – Characteristics, evaluation of conformity and marking according to NS-EN14342.
  2. Solid wood panelling and cladding – Characteristics, evaluation of conformity and marking according to NS-EN14915.

These items are both part of System 4 and hence involve no certification.

4. The professional duties and ethical codes for persons who are engaged in and perform the certification activities

4.1 Professional duties

The professional duties of persons involved in certification activities include the following:

  • Evaluation of written material and the actual Factory inspection (hereinafter referred to as Evaluation/Evaluators)
  • The judgement activities (hereinafter referred to as Judgement/Judge)

As Product Responsible, Evaluator and Judge, the President should appoint the persons who have the qualifications required for certification personnel.

The Product Responsible, Evaluator and the Judge should perform their duties properly, in such a manner with justice and equal treatment.

NTI does not subcontract any certification work.

4.2 Requirements to members of NTI CE Team

At NTI there is an NTI CE Team headed by the CE Team Manager. The CE Team includes all staff working with certification work (Product inspection, Factory inspection, Evaluation and Judgement), see PCE 003 Liste over produktansvarlige, revisorer og bedømmere. NTI will make sure to employ a sufficient number of personnel in the NTI CE Team having the necessary education, training, technical knowledge and experience for performing certification functions relating to the type, range and volume of the work performed under a responsible senior executive.

The formally required educational standard in order to be a part of the NTI CE Team, is a minimum of 3 years technical education, and a minimum of 2 years work experience. A shorter work experience could be compensated by a longer technical education. The NTI CE Team members must also take part in a CE training course.

The President should organise training for the Product Inspectors, Evaluators and Judges in order to ensure appropriate work activities.

The members of the NTI CE Team shall be competent for the functions they perform, including making technical judgements, framing policies and implementing them.

The NTI CE Team has regularly meetings where certification activities are discussed and distributed between the team members. Relevant knowledge and experiences are shared, and all alterations in the system or any relevant documents are discussed. All NTI CE Team meetings are documented, and minutes are stored for future use or supervision.

The criteria for the competence of personnel are determined with regard to not only experience and educational qualification, but also the necessary knowledge and skill to enforce certifying process. The necessary knowledge and skill are as follows;

  1. knowledge of the evaluation principle, evaluation practice and evaluation technique,
  2. knowledge of specified CEN standards, the technical criteria for certification, etc.
  3. knowledge of the process of the notified body (the way of certifying activities),
  4. knowledge of applicant’s business field,
  5. knowledge of products, process (the way of manufacture and production) and organization of applicants,
  6. skill of report writing,
  7. skill of presentation,
  8. skill of meeting
  9. skill of evaluation management
  10. skill of factory inspection

In order to monitor the performance of the personnel, all relevant reports are signed by two NTI CE Team members.

The CVs of all NTI personnel are being regularly updated, and include all kinds of education, training and work experience.

4.3 Confidentiality and independence

NTI require from all their employees (including the President) that they sign a contract committing themselves to confidentiality and independence from commercial and other interests. The NTI CE Team and its work shall not be influenced by the rest of NTI.

Information about the applicant or the certified factory obtained from a third party shall be treated as confidential.

4.4 Consultancy service

NTI shall not give advice or provide consultancy services to the applicant or the certified factory as to methods dealing with matters which are barriers to the certification requested.

NTI shall not manufacture or sell the wood products NTI intends to certify.

NTI shall not sell products or offer services, in any circumstances, which will compromise the confidentiality, objectivity or impartiality of its certification activities.

5. Authority and responsibility of those engaged in certification activities

5.1 Organisation

The organisational structure of NTI is shown in the NTI Quality Handbook, chapter 4.

5.2 Authority and Responsibility of the President

The President shall have authority and responsibility for the following:

  • to secure impartiality
  • to secure the management resources related to the certification activities,
  • to supervise finances regarding certification,
  • to decide upon policy matters relating to certification, and supervise the implementation of these,
  • to appoint certification personnel, and to supervise them,
  • to provide certification, and make decisions for requests of suspension or revocation of certification.

5.3 Transfer of authority of the President

The President, in his responsibility, can transfer the authority and supervision regarding the actual performance of certification activities to the NTI CE Team Manager.

5.4 Responsibility of NTI CE Team Manager

The NTI CE Team Manager is responsible for the following:

  • to run the day-to-day certification activities,
  • to implement policy matters,
  • to organise the certification work within the NTI CE Team,
  • to manage finances,
  • to be in contact with relevant authorities, and to keep the NTI CE Team updated technically and regarding standards and other regulations,
  • to provide information to certified factories from relevant authorities.

5.5 The authority and responsibility of Product responsible, Evaluators and Judges

The Product responsible coordinates the work within each product group.

The Evaluators shall perform the work of evaluation and inspection related to certification. They shall perform examination of written documents and the actual inspections on-site and, thereby, examine the technical standard to evaluate if the standard is in compliance with the certification standards.

The Judge shall review, judge and make decisions concerning certification, on the basis of the results of evaluation prepared by the Evaluators.

6.The actual performance of the certification activities

6.1 Organising the documentation

NTI shall organise documents used in certification work in such a way that the personnel can make use of them when and where they are needed.

NTI shall organise and properly manage the documents related to certification.

All notifications, conclusions and messages related to certification and surveillance shall be given and confirmed in written form.

The certification record system shall follow the general NTI record system. In addition all records are kept as long as a certified producer has a valid certificate.

6.2 Providing information

NTI shall provide its users with information concerning the organisation, procedures, fees, expenses, time required and other information related to certification.

6.3 Application for certification

The Applicant must sign the specific contract for product group and present the application to NTI.

6.4 Appointment of Evaluators

NTI shall assign from the NTI CE Team a sufficient number of Evaluators for each evaluation. The Evaluators thus appointed should declare in case there is a special relationship with the relevant Applicant.

6.5 Appointment of Judge

NTI shall assign from the NTI CE Team a Judge for each certification. There should be a clear separation between Evaluators and the Judge for each Applicant. The Judge thus appointed should declare in case there has been a special relationship with the relevant Applicant within the past 2 years.

The Judge must have the necessary knowledge and competence to evaluate the technical and organisational solutions described in the factory’s internal procedures. These must be evaluated to judge whether the requirements are fulfilled.

The Judge has the freedom to request the Applicant to correct possible mistakes in the application, or to provide additional documentation if found necessary by the Judge.

6.6 Certification records

In the NTI records, the following items shall be included:

  1. Name and address of applicant
  2. The date on which the application for certification was received
  3. The product groups concerned
  4. Name and address of factory
  5. The date on which judgement was taken
  6. The result of the judgement
  7. Names of Evaluator(s) and Judge

7. Surveillance of producers

The Certified producer shall inform NTI about any changes, such as intended modification of the product, manufacturing process, quality system, etc. that affects the conformity of the product. NTI shall determine whether the announced changes require further investigations. If such is the case, the Certified producer shall not be allowed to release certified products resulting from such changes until NTI has notified the producer accordingly.

In case of change of factory ownership and no other changes, an Audit will be performed to confirm that facilities, personnel and equipment are the same as with the previous owners.

The procedures for Evaluation and Judgement will be performed for Alterations in the same manner as is required for new certifications.

NTI audits the Certified producer in order to ensure the conformance with the certification requirements. This audit shall be performed as stated in the relevant standard for each product group.

8. Correct and fair execution of certification business

8.1 Impartiality

NTI shall identify risks to its impartiality on an ongoing basis and minimize such risk.

Such risks may arise from self-interest, self-review, advocacy, over-familiarity, intimidation and/or competition.

The relevant NTI employee is obliged to declare it if such a relationship exists between her/him and the customer or has existed in the last 2 years.

The President shall call the Impartiality Committee with regard to impartiality of the management of NTI at least once a year according to PJ 012 Impartiality Committee.

Impartiality Committee shall deliberate impartiality of NTI’s certification business and offer an opinion to the President.

Records of Impartiality Committee shall be documented and retained.

9. Issue of Certificate

The President shall inform the Applicant about the result of the Judgement.

When the positive decision for certification is taken, the President shall provide the Applicant with a Certificate. In the Certificate, the following items should be specified:

  1. Name and address of Applicant and Certified factory
  2. Product name(s)
  3. Technical criteria on which the certification is based
  4. Certification number
  5. Date of certification
  6. Name and address of Notified Body

10. Other matters related to NTI certification business

10.1 Appeals, complaints and disputes

Appeals, complaints and disputes brought before NTI by Certified producers or other parties shall be subject to the general NTI procedures. NTI shall:

  1. keep a record of all appeals, complaints and disputes and remedial actions;
  2. take appropriate subsequent action;
  3. document the action taken and its effectiveness.

10.2 Information regarding changes in certification requirements

NTI shall give due notice to all interested parties of any changes it intends to introduce in the certification requirements. NTI is obliged to verify that interested parties make the necessary adjustments within reasonable time.

When Technical Criteria is revised, NTI shall verify the implementation of the changes by the factory.

10.3 Information to DIBK

NTI shall without delay inform DIBK on the following,

  • Refusal, restrictions, suspensions or withdrawal of certificates
  • Circumstances affecting the scope and condition for notification
  • Information received from the marked regarding conformity assessment activities
  • On request, conformity assessment activities performed including cross- border activities and subcontracting.

10.4 Information to bodies notified under Decision No 768 / 2008

NTI shall provide information on negative assessment results and, on request, positive assessment results to bodies notified under Decision No 768/2008 carrying out conformity assessment activities covering products related to the same harmonised standards as NTI.

10.5 Information to the public

The following information shall also be available for the public on request:

  • Information about the authority under which NTI operates
  • A statement of NTI’s product certification system and routines for granting, maintaining, alter, suspend and revoke certifications
  • Routines for certification and for evaluation of applicants
  • Financial status of NTI (as given in the Annual report), and prevailing fees
  • Rights and obligations of applicants, certified factories and of NTI in connection with certification activities
  • Rules considering claims and complaints.