January 2022

· 5 min read

Overview of the Seven-Step Certification Process for Electrical Products

In this video, we provide a high-level overview of the seven-step process to obtaining certification for your electrical products.

Below is a transcript of this video clip.

The roadmap for the certification includes seven broad steps, the first being the application. That's providing basic information about your company and the manufacturing location, and then what product or products you want to get certified to the appropriate nationally recognized standard for the United States or Canada.

Once we have that information, we then move into a documentation review. This in-depth review of the product information asks the questions: What components do you use to make your product? What do your wiring schematics look like? Do you have recognized components or certified components? How does the product fit together? What's the end-use? What's the application that you are trying to sell it to?

And we do this documentation review to determine what model or models do we have to test to verify compliance to the pertinent safety standards? Once we've gone through a documentation review, we've identified which model or models we need to test, maybe which components we need to test, we bring in those models for a construction review. The construction review is an in-depth product design and construction review where we review the actual physical product to see what are the spacings on it? What are the separations between high voltage, low voltage, etc.

We really look at how this product has been designed and structured as a precursor to actually doing a performance test. And that safety test, that test plan, is an output of that construction view because we know exactly what goes into the product. We know exactly then how we need to test this product to verify compliance to these safety standards.

This is where we perform the safety tests from the standard, the norms that are required, any flame rating tests potentially, or any other required tests based on the standard or the components that are being used. Once the safety testing is complete, we move on to the initial production inspection, the audit, the IPI, and that's at each production location being requested for certification.

And then, if we've passed the construction review, we've passed your safety test, we've passed your initial production inspection, we move on to listing your product. Certifying it to the appropriate national standards and your product is then able to bear the NRTL mark. And it would appear on the certification body's website.

All right. We made it through the hard part, but it's not all over. It's not just a one and done thing. You have to then move on to audits. We require annual audits to ensure ongoing maintenance that your product still continues to comply with the standards. That way, if there's something that's been changed, a modification, you're doing the appropriate production line tests, we can capture that information during these annual audits to ensure compliance.