ASSE International is pleased to announce the nation’s first and only ANSI- and SCC-accredited One Year Field Test (1YT) program for backflow prevention assemblies. ASSE’s new 1YT certification program was developed for jurisdictions that require both one year field test certification and adherence to the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC)® and/or the International Plumbing Code (IPC)® – both of which require certification bodies to be accredited.
Accreditation is important because certification bodies must be accountable for how they certify products. So, who checks the checker? The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the body that checks certifiers for U.S. listings and the Standard Council of Canada (SCC) checks certifiers for listings in Canada. This checking of certification bodies is a process called accreditation. Because no ANSI- and SCC-accredited one-year field test program existed, manufacturers requested that ASSE, the leader in backflow protection, develop and implement the 1YT backflow certification program.
Products listed under ASSE’s new 1YT certification can be found in ASSE’s public listings database (www.asse-plumbing.org/listed), and ASSE’s 1YT mark appears on the certified backflow assemblies themselves. ASSE has been working with our manufacturers for the past few years to verify their products’ compliance to our 1YT field testing requirements. ASSE estimates that approximately half of assemblies certified to ASSE 1013, 1015, 1047, and 1048 will be 1YT certified by the end of 2021. ASSE has been working with several jurisdictions to secure approval of its 1YT certification program.
Why is ASSE product certification so widely sought?
- For more than 50 years, the ASSE Seal has been proudly displayed on thousands of devices and assemblies throughout North America.
- ASSE is the only ANSI-accredited certification body in the U.S. with a One-Year Field Test (1YT) program for backflow prevention products.
- With a wealth of resources and backflow knowledge gained through developing product and professional standards, ASSE is seen as a leader in the backflow prevention industry.
- The use of ASSE’s trusted mark on products clearly identifies certification.
- ASSE’s ANSI accreditation demonstrates the value placed on impartiality, balanced interests, and competency. ASSE’s directory of listed products is updated daily and available, free of charge, at www.asse-plumbing.org/listings.
ASSE certified products are required to bear the ASSE Seal, which industry regulators recognize as a mark of integrity. The ASSE Seal signifies that products have been thoroughly evaluated to ensure that they comply to industry standards. ASSE monitors and enforces the proper use of their seal and 1YT certification marks.
ASSE’s certification program is a rigorous and fair process that follows documented procedures. Certification of new products to ASSE standards requires laboratory testing and optional field testing evaluation, which is followed by a primary engineering review, an independent secondary engineering review, as well as a final review by the ASSE Seal Control Board – an impartial volunteer review panel. To avoid conflicts of interest, there are no manufacturer representatives on the Seal Control Board.
After a product is certified and marked with the ASSE Seal or ASSE 1YT mark, we continue to engage the manufacturer through annual product evaluations to verify compliance to applicable standards. As part of the evaluation process, factory inspections are conducted and reviewed to verify that listed products remain compliant. Finally, listing data, assembly, and parts information, including drawings used during the factory inspection, are reviewed annually to ensure that ASSE’s files represent current products in the market.
In addition to the continuous compliance requirements discussed above, ASSE 1YT certified products will have successfully completed field-testing procedures found in ASSE 1013, 1015, 1047 and 1048. During the one-year process, products are tested and evaluated by ASSE or ABPA certified backflow assembly technicians.
To apply for 1YT certification, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Tim Reising first appeared in ASSE’s Working Pressure magazine