This Bulletin has been issued to clarify the use of external providers and the outsourcing requirements relating to ISO/IEC 17025 and subsequently those relating to the UK Construction Product Regulations and UK Approved Laboratories. It is consistent with UK policy as developed by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). The bulletin applies to new testing and includes testing undertaken in connection with AVCP System 3*.
Laboratories should note that it is permissible under the UKCA System for Approved Laboratories to outsource required testing activities to external providers. In order to do this, it is vital that the UK Approved Laboratory is competent to review the resulting test reports and to take responsibility for that testing. Therefore, the UK Approved Laboratory must hold UKAS accreditation for the scope of testing concerned.
Testing laboratories that have an agreement in place with a UK Approved Laboratory to carry out testing under UK regulations on the basis of a subcontracting arrangement are not required to themselves be UK Approved Laboratories. Equally, there is no requirement for testing laboratories subcontracted to conduct testing to be based in the UK.
In all cases the processes for outsourcing detailed within ISO/IEC 17025:2017 must be met.
*Please Note: this bulletin does not relate to the use of AVCP System 3 Test Reports issued by Notified Testing Laboratories from EU member states, which is a separate issue. Information on this subject shall be included within Government policy being developed by DLUHC and will be the subject of a separate UKAS Technical Bulletin if required.
Test reports in support of CE marking of construction products and issued by Notified Bodies from EU member states will continue to be accepted in the UK for a defined period. When this is no longer allowed, such test reports will need to be issued by UK Approved Test Laboratories unless alternative arrangements are confirmed by DLUHC.
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