The Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act) allows for the appointment of 'certification bodies'. Certification bodies are specified persons or associations that, in the opinion of an approving body, have the necessary skills and experience to certify that telecommunications products comply with standards.
On 27 February 2017, the ACMA made the Telecommunications (Approving Body) Determination 2017 specifying the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) as an approving body for the purposes of section 410 of the Act. As an approving body JAS-ANZ may determine a specified body or association is a certification body.
Certification bodies fill a ‘gap’ in the telecommunications testing and conformity arrangements in Australia where appropriate testing facilities are not available or where a supplier requires additional assurance that they have met their regulatory obligations.
A certification body may only issue a statement of compliance:
A list of certification bodies is on the JAS-ANZ as an approving body page.
Criteria for certification bodies
ISO/IEC 17065:2012 - Conformity assessment -Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services
This International Standard contains requirements for the competence, consistent operation and impartiality of product, process and service certification bodies. Certification bodies operating to this International Standard need not offer all types of products, processes and services certification.
Conflict of interest
A certification body must not engage in activities (including consultancy) that have the potential to create a perceived or actual conflict of interest. In particular, a certification body must avoid the following activities:
- advising clients how to address non-compliance
- marketing consultancy and certification together, suggesting that the two activities are linked; or giving the impression to a client that use of both business services would bring an advantage
- suggesting that issue of a statement would be simpler, easier or less expensive if a specified consultant was used.
A certification body can carry out the following functions without being considered as a consultancy or having a potential conflict of interest:
- listing standards and parts of standards that are applicable to specific customer equipment and customer cabling
- advising clients that their application for a statement is incomplete and detailing the inadequacy
- making available or publishing on request information regarding the basis of the certification body's interpretation of the requirements of standards.
Resources for certification bodies
The ACMA, in consultation with JAS-ANZ, has developed the Telecommunications Equipment Certification Scheme (the TECS). The TECS is intended to set out the requirements to be met by an approving body for the assessment of applications for a certification body determination. The TECS also contains requirements about the operation of certification bodies.
Application for determination as a certification body
A person or association (who is an Australian permanent resident) may apply to JAS-ANZ for determination as a certification body. Further information is available on the JAS-ANZ website.