The Water Regulations Approval Scheme (WRAS), an independent UK certification body for plumbing products and materials, has launched two new services to help speed up the product approval process for manufacturers.

WRAS say it has been listening to its customers to improve its services and help applicants get approvals faster. The company is making progress with its key ambitions to increase the number of recognised testing labs and to give manufacturers choice to access testing capacity. In addition to this, WRAS has been developing two new services, to help speed up the product approval process for manufacturers.

Fast track assessment.

This is a scheme which offers fast-track approval assessments. Up to ten manufacturers a month can have their applications assessed first, with feedback being shared directly with the applicant at the same time as the laboratory – speeding up and improving communication channels. This allows any queries to be raised and resolved quicker. If your approval is time sensitive and you need submission to the next approval meeting – this is the service for you.

While it doesn’t guarantee a product will be recommended for approval, it does allow more time for businesses to consider changes that will need to be made to meet the necessary requirements. Benefits include having queries identified and resolved much quicker and a much faster overall approval process.

Pre-application advice service

This service offers manufacturers pre-application advice, to check a product or material is appropriate to be certified by WRAS and the specific requirements that need to be met during testing before a full application is submitted.

This service speeds up the approval process and identifies any compliance issues before testing begins, saving both time and money. It’s ideal for new product development and identifying potential compliance issues and helping applicants feel more confident in developing their product lines.

Ian Hughes, WRAS’s approvals manager says: “We have been listening to our customers and developing ways to speed up the approval process to improve our customer service. Fast Track and Pre-application advice are just two of the changes we are introducing to help applicants. We will communicate more exciting changes soon.

“We’ve introduced the two new services for several reasons. We want manufacturers to be better informed about regulatory and WRAS requirements, so they can avoid queries and delays in the approval process, so it becomes faster and more cost-effective. We also know that applicants prefer to talk to the WRAS team directly.

“Our research shows that 62% of non-household customers are prepared to pay more for a WRAS-approved product, so we’re keen to ensure that manufacturers have what they need in terms of testing capacity and support in the product development cycle to support their bottom line.”

Further information about the Fast Track Assessment Service can be found on the WRAS website.

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