REC-LAB — Procedure for the Recognition of Foreign Testing Laboratories

Issue 6
March 2018
Amendment (May 2018)

Amendment: The definition of Mutual Recognition Agreement/Arrangement (MRA) has been included in the definition section.

Foreword

This document describes the criteria and procedure for recognition by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada of foreign testing laboratories to test to Canadian requirements for telecommunications terminal equipment, radio apparatus and broadcasting equipment standards.

Change:

This procedure has been revised with new accreditation requirements for radio apparatus and broadcasting equipment standards for testing laboratories located in Mutual Recognition Agreement/Arrangement (MRA) partner, as well as testing laboratories located in non-MRA countries.

Interested parties are requested to provide their comments within 90 days of the date of publication of this notice using the online General Inquiry form. Comments and suggestions for improving this procedure may be submitted online using the Standard Change Request form.

Copies of this document are available electronically on the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website.

Issued under the authority
of the Minister of Innovation, Science and
Economic Development

Martin Proulx
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch

Contents


1. Purpose

This document describes the criteria and procedure for recognition by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) of foreign testing laboratories to test to Canadian requirements for telecommunications terminal equipment, radio apparatus and broadcasting equipment standards.


2. Definitions

Bureau: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's Certification and Engineering Bureau (CEB).

Certification: is the conformity assessment scheme used for Category I radio and broadcasting equipment.

Certification body (CB): a recognized independent organization which conducts certification of radiocommunication equipment to Canadian regulatory requirements.

Conformity assessment body (CAB): a body engaged in the performance of procedures for determining whether the relevant requirements in technical regulations or standards are fulfilled.

Declaration of Conformity (DoC): is the conformity assessment scheme used for telecommunications apparatus that connect directly to the public switched telephone network.

ISED: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Designating authority (DA): a body with authority to designate, monitor, suspend designation, or withdraw designation of conformity assessment bodies under its jurisdiction.

Designation: the nomination by a designating authority (DA) of a conformity assessment body as competent to perform conformity assessment activities under the terms of an agreement or arrangement.

Mutual Recognition Agreement/Arrangement (MRA): an agreement between countries to mutually recognize the other’s regulatory testing and/or certification, including any other equivalent agreement such as, but not limited to, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

Recognition: the process by which ISED accepts a designated foreign testing laboratory as competent to test Canadian requirements.

Testing laboratory: responsible to determine the applicable test procedures and to properly test to those requirements.


3. Related documents

The following documents, as well as other information, can be found on ISED's Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website.

CB-02 — Recognition Criteria, and Administrative and Operational Requirements Applicable to Certification Bodies (CB) for the Certification of Radio Apparatus (This document contains the requirements and conditions which will be evaluated by ISED before recognizing a CB.)

Category I equipment standards list

CS-03 — Compliance Specification for Terminal Equipment, Terminal Systems, Network Protection Devices, Connection Arrangements and Hearing Aids Compatibility (Technical Specifications List – Parts I to VIII, prescribe network protection and other mandatory technical requirements for terminal equipment.)

DES-LAB — Procedure for Designation and Recognition of Canadian Testing Laboratories

REC-AB — Procedure for the Recognition of Accreditation Bodies for non-MRA countries

RSS-Gen — General Requirements for Compliance of Radio Apparatus


4. Criteria for recognition

In order to be recognized by ISED all testing laboratories subject to Declaration of Conformity (DoC) or Certification must:

  1. be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 or ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (valid until November 30, 2020), General requirements for the competence of calibration and testing laboratories, by an accreditation body located in a Mutual Recognition Agreement/Arrangement (MRA) country, or by accreditation bodies appointed by Canada for MRAs, or by a recognized accreditation body for non-MRA countries listed on the Conformity Assessment Bodies webpage
  2. be designated by an MRA partner for testing laboratories located in MRA countries or be designated by a recognized accreditation body for non-MRA countries
  3. include in the scope of designation a list of Canadian standards, specifications, or parts thereof, for which recognition is sought (this list shall be included in the scope of accreditation of the testing laboratory)

5. Accredited testing laboratory recognition procedure

The following procedure is used for all testing laboratories to be recognized by ISED as an accredited testing laboratory and thus is deemed competent to test products subject to DoC or Certification.

Step 1 — Laboratory accreditation

  1. MRA countries: Seek accreditation from one of the accreditation bodies recognized by your designating authority (DA).
  2. Non-MRA countries: Seek accreditation from one of the recognized accreditation bodies listed for your country on the Conformity Assessment Bodies webpage.
  3. Obtain ISO/IEC 17025:2017 or ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (valid until November 30, 2020), General requirements for the competence of calibration and testing laboratories accreditation with a scope covering the applicable ISED requirements and test methods.
  4. Have the recognized accreditation body complete and sign ISED's Testing Laboratory Technical Assessment Checklist.

Step 2 — Designation

  1. Once the accreditation process is complete, a request for recognition is submitted to ISED. For MRA countries, the party submitting the request is known as the DA. For non-MRA countries, the testing laboratory needs to submit its designation request to the accreditation body.
  2. For accreditation bodies in MRA countries, the DA is defined in the MRA. In MRA countries, the DA reviews the accreditation information and determines whether the testing laboratory meets the requirements for designation. Once the DA determines that the requirements have been met, it designates the testing laboratory to ISED by providing the information listed below for review and recognition by ISED.

Step 3 — ISED recognition

  1. ISED will review the information submitted regarding the testing laboratory.
  2. ISED will determine whether to recognize the testing laboratory.
  3. ISED will notify the DA of the decision on request for recognition for laboratories located in MRA countries. ISED will notify the accreditation body of its decision for laboratories located in non-MRA countries.
  4. A list of recognized accredited testing laboratories is provided on the Conformity Assessment Bodies webpage.

6. Supporting information

The following information is required to be included in the request for recognition as an accredited testing laboratory:

  1. name, location, mailing address, and contact information
  2. designation number for non-MRA countries
  3. ISO/IEC 17025:2017 or ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (valid until November 30, 2020) Certificate of Accreditation
  4. scope of accreditation
  5. expiration date of the accreditation (ISED requires that a testing laboratory must be re-evaluated by the accreditation body at least every two years)
  6. a completed ISED Testing Laboratory Technical Assessment Checklist:
    1. a completed checklist shall be provided for the designation of a newly accredited testing laboratory
    2. a statement indicating continued compliance with a previously submitted checklist is acceptable for a renewal of a recognized accredited testing laboratory
  7. a statement that the test laboratory complies with all provisions of this procedure

For testing laboratories located in MRA countries, the required information may only be submitted by the DA, and should not be submitted directly to ISED from the testing laboratory.

Information regarding MRAs and the designation procedures can be found on the ISED MRA webpage.


7. Scope of accreditation

Testing laboratories can be recognized to test to the following scope of accreditation:

Testing laboratories may submit a request for a partial scope of accreditation for a technical standard by using the General Inquiry form. The request must include a justification as to why the technical standard needs to be split. ISED will respond to the testing laboratory after it completes its assessment.


8. Testing laboratory technical assessment checklist

The checklist identifies specific items to be evaluated during the technical assessment of a testing laboratory, in order to determine the capability and competence of that laboratory to perform testing needed to show compliance with ISED regulatory requirements.

The checklist is intended to serve as a guide, and provides a minimum list of items to be included in the technical evaluation of the testing laboratory as part of the complete ISO/IEC 17025 assessment. The checklist is not intended to replace good engineering judgment of the technical assessor(s) or a thorough evaluation of the facility. As such, other related items not shown on the checklist may be evaluated by the assessor(s). The accreditation body shall attest that all responses on this checklist are complete and accurate.


9. Test reports

All test reports shall be generated by the testing laboratory that tested the device. Testing is required to be performed by ISED recognized testing laboratories.

A device must be tested at an ISED-recognized test laboratory. It is not acceptable for an ISED-recognized test laboratory to simply review a test report based on a non-recognized test laboratory assessment; all testing must be completed at the recognized test facility.

If a test laboratory wishes to subcontract part of the testing to another laboratory, the subcontracted laboratory must also be recognized by ISED.

For each test performed, the test report shall specify the location that each test was performed, and the person(s) responsible for each test.


10. List of accredited testing laboratories

A list of recognized accredited testing laboratories can be found on ISED's Conformity Assessment Bodies website.


11. Procedure

The designating authority (MRA countries) or the recognized accreditation body (non-MRA countries) shall provide the standards or specifications for which recognition is sought, along with the following documentation, using the REC-LAB Application for the Recognition of a Foreign Testing Laboratory:

It is important that the information submitted by the applicant matches the ISO/IEC 17025 Certificate and Scope of Accreditation and that the accreditation is valid at the time of application.

The recognition application will be evaluated by ISED on a first-come, first-served basis.

Upon recognition, ISED will issue a confirmation letter to the foreign DA (MRA countries) or a confirmation email to the recognized Accreditation Body (non-MRA countries). The confirmation will state the standards or specifications for which recognition has been granted. The testing laboratory will be added to the list of recognized testing laboratories available on the Conformity Assessment Bodies website.

If ISED requires more information to make a decision, it will contact the foreign DA (MRA countries) or the recognized Accreditation Body (non-MRA countries).


12. Disclosure of information

ISED will not disclose the status of applications for recognition to any third party until the recognition process has been completed.


13. Disclaimer

The recognition of a testing laboratory by ISED does not imply or otherwise suggest approval of a product or that the recognized testing laboratory is an agent or representative of ISED.

ISED does not accept any responsibility for the effects or consequences of services provided by the recognized testing laboratory for users of such services.


14. Retaining recognition

For MRA countries, DAs shall notify ISED, in writing, of any changes that may affect the continued ability of foreign testing laboratories to carry out the activities for which they were recognized. For recognized testing laboratories located in non-MRA countries, the testing laboratory shall notify the recognized accreditation body directly of any changes that may affect the continued ability to carry out the activities for which they were recognized. This includes changes in:

  • business address and contact information
  • accreditation scope and status
  • subsequent reassessments

During operation as a recognized testing laboratory, the testing laboratory shall continue to meet the requirements of this document and shall maintain its accreditation status. The testing laboratory shall provide evidence of its accreditation status and scope upon request by ISED.

The testing laboratory will normally be recognized for the duration of its designation.

Testing laboratories shall not advertise their recognition status that is outside of the scope of their recognition.


15. Suspension or withdrawal of recognition

When a recognized testing laboratory is the subject of an investigation for non-compliance with this procedure, a recognition suspension may be issued upon consultation with its DA. The testing laboratory is required to take immediate corrective action to ISED's satisfaction. Where it is found after formal review that a recognized testing laboratory does not comply with the requirements of this procedure, the recognition may be withdrawn. Such action, however, will only take place after a comprehensive consultation between ISED and the DA.

If a testing laboratory's designation is suspended or withdrawn by the DA, the recognition will also be suspended or withdrawn by ISED.

A testing laboratory whose recognition has been suspended or withdrawn will be removed from the list of recognized testing laboratories.

A testing laboratory whose recognition has been suspended or withdrawn shall stop advertising its recognition.

For testing laboratories recognized in non-MRA countries, the suspension or withdrawal of recognition can be immediate.

A testing laboratory whose recognition has been suspended or withdrawn may reapply for recognition once the causes leading to the suspension or withdrawal have been eliminated to the satisfaction of ISED and of its designating authority.

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