Product Conformity: Foundation to Improve Industry Accountability
NATSPEC have worked with various stakeholders to develop the NCPR Conformity Starter Pack. A multi-staged education package assisting both Australian and the global supply chain to meet the conformity requirements of Australian building practitioners.
The media have focused on fires with combustible cladding – aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core. However, this is not the only example of an inappropriately used building product. Issues with structural steel bolts, glazing and electrical cables have been of particular concern to the building industry. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a mandatory national recall of substandard electrical cables. Glass panels that had not been tested to Australian standards shattered and fell onto inner-city streets in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
What are the conformity regulations?
Both Non-Conforming Building Products (NCBP) and Non-Compliant Products (NCPs) have significant financial consequences for all parties involved, and significant safety consequences for those living in or using the building. This has led a suite of regulatory changes, including the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, Queensland’s Chain of Responsibility legislation, NSW’s Building Products (Safety) Act. Both building product suppliers and building practitioners are faced with an increased accountability.
Defined by the National Construction Code (NCC), non-conforming is different to non-complying. Non-conforming products are products that claim to be something they are not, they do not meet the required standards, or are marketed or supplied with the intent to deceive those who will use them; Non-complying products are products that are used ‘badly’, e.g. not in accordance with the NCC.
Get started with the NCPR Conformity Starter Pack
- Validity, and
The multi-staged education package assists both Australian and the global supply chain, including manufacturers, intermediaries, distributers, suppliers etc. to meet the conformity requirements of Australian building practitioners, including property developers, architects, builders, engineers and building surveyors etc.
Information about the conformity information of different products and their applicable standards are too often spread over different locations. The NCPR has collaborated with the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) to bring suppliers a ‘one-stop-shop’ checklist of the relevant testing standards to their products.
“NATA is pleased to work with NATSPEC and the NCPR to improve building product conformity in Australia. Accredited testing and inspection give assurance of the data used in making conformity decisions,” said Ms. Jennifer Evans, CEO at NATA.
The NCPR on its own does not bring non-compliance to an end, rather it is one part of the effort to rebuild confidence for the building practitioners, “The NCPR is a system that will help designers to specify products with confidence, particularly for products not previously used. This is a small but significant step to assist designers, suppliers and contractors to improve build quality,” commented Mr. Geoff Warn, Founding Partner at With_Architecture Studio.
About NATSPEC NCPR
Developed and maintained by NATSPEC, the NCPR is the National Construction Product Register, a government and industry supported online register of products with authentic evidence of conformity to the relevant Australian and/or international standards.
NATSPEC is not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to improve the construction quality and productivity of the built environment through leadership of information. It is impartial and is not involved in advocacy or policy development.