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New Version of Scheme Rules for gas equipment certification schemes published

The Scheme Rules that govern gas equipment certifications bodies was revised on 1 July 2022

Compliance with the Scheme Rules, particularly when combined with JAS-ANZ accreditation, is one of the main requirements that an organisation must meet to be recognised as a gas equipment certification body.  These requirements ensure that the certification body has appropriate management, systems, and competency to provide assurance that all certified equipment are actually compliant.

The updated rules improve clarity around marketing, operation and governance of gas equipment certification bodies, and also introduce a new high risk classification for certain gas product types.

All certified gas equipment are required to undergo regular surveillance audits that verify that current production remains the same as the certified design.  This involves the certification body taking a representative sample from the market and comparing it to reference documentation to identify any safety critical variations.  However, some products have safety critical features where compliance is not possible to identify during routine surveillance audits.  An example is the overpressure shut off devices in a butane cartridge cooker, where compliance is not possible to determine by physical inspection, and has serious safety implications if it fails to operate correctly.

A new high risk classification has been established for these product types which requires them to undergo limited laboratory testing every 2 years to assess safety critical aspects of the appliance, in addition to the annual visual inspection.  A list of products that have been classified as high risk, and other relevant documentation is available on the GTRC website http://www.gtrc.gov.au/publications/.

It is important to note that appliances in the high risk category are themselves not specifically high risk when compliant and used appropriately.

The new rules are available on the GTRC website at http://www.gtrc.gov.au/resources/Gas-Scheme-Rules—Version-4.0.pdf and certification bodies will be transitioning existing certifications that fall within the high risk category across to the new safety critical testing process over the next 2 years.