A recent survey of manufacturers by the UK’s leading approval body for water fittings and related products, WRAS Approvals, has found that 77% of respondents believe that testing new products takes too long.

Nearly 50% of respondents reported lab testing for new products taking up to six months, 34% said it took 6-9 months, and for 10% it took over 12 months.

The survey also found that 63% of respondents would like more choice of testing labs, while 38% said where their chosen testing lab is located matters to them.

WRAS is different to other REG4 certification bodies as they don’t test products. This gives an arms-length relationship with the test laboratories that are recognised, providing greater reassurance to those who rely on WRAS approvals.

WRAS Approvals recognises that the majority of respondents have experienced longer wait times than they want and is working on measures that will increase overall choice and capacity for its approved laboratories. Mechanical laboratory recognition has recently grown to nine laboratories and there are currently two materials laboratories. 

In response to the survey findings, WRAS is working on improvements to help manufacturers. It is:

  • Sharing customer feedback with its recognised test laboratories.
  • Introducing a fast-track service to help applicants achieve certification faster, once testing is complete.
  • Introducing a new streamlined process so WRAS issues test requirements up front. This will be rolled out by product type and water storage was the first category, with WC’s being the next later this year.
  • Working with current recognised laboratories to expand the scope of testing.
  • Working with new laboratories to further expand the number of recognised laboratories.
  • Encouraging manufacturers to seek recognition for their own testing facilities.

“We appreciate the feedback and insights provided by the survey respondents,” said Ian Hughes, Approvals Manager at WRAS. “WRAS is driven to find solutions to reduce testing times, which is why we are constantly looking for more laboratories to recognise. By broadening our network of recognised laboratories, manufacturers gain a wider range of testing options. This should increase testing capacity and improve time to test.”

“We would also like to thank our team at WRAS, who have worked tirelessly over the past year to provide excellent services to our customers and constantly strive to improve.”

WRAS Approvals would like to thank everyone who participated in the recent WRAS testing survey. This feedback was greatly appreciated and will play a vital role in driving improvements that manufactures said they would value.