Standards – An Overview
All BPF Pipes Group members are committed to supplying top quality products to high standards.
A standard is a published document that contains a technical specification or other precise criteria designed to be used consistently as a rule, guideline, or definition. All standards take the form of either; specifications, methods, vocabularies, codes of practice or guides.
Standards are designed for voluntary use and do not impose any regulations. However, laws and regulations may refer to certain standards and make compliance with them compulsory.
There are many standards bodies involved in the issuing of standards for plastics piping systems, including but not limited to:
British Standards Institute (BSI) - BSI is the UK’s National Standards body producing British Standards and is also responsible for the UK publication, in English, of international and European standards. BSI is obliged to adopt and publish all European Standards as identical British Standards (prefixed BS EN) and to withdraw pre-existing British Standards that are in conflict. However, it has the option to adopt and publish international standards (prefixed BS ISO ).
British Board of Agrément (BBA) - the BBA offers approval (Agrément Certificates) and inspection services to manufacturers and installers supplying the construction industry.
Water Industry Specifications (WISs) - Water Industry standards prepared by the UK water industry for the specification and purchase of products used in the industry. They generally cover products for which there is no suitable European or British standard. Information & Guidance Notes (IGNs) are used to provide additional guidance to a WIS or provide interpretation and additional information to European or British standards.
Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) - is the UK Water Industry's approval scheme. Products approved by the scheme have been shown to comply with the requirements of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and amendments.
There is a good deal of difference between a manufacturer claiming to meet the requirements of a standard and actually having third party approval to that standard. For example, when a product bears a Kitemark (to a BS, BS EN or BS ISO), this means BSI has independently tested it and has confirmed that the product conforms to the relevant British Standard, and has issued a BSI license to the company to use the Kitemark. The manufacturing process is also assessed at regular intervals.
Specifiers and users wishing to ensure that they are using products which meet these standards should always look for the relevant third part approval mark.