Why Use Us?

There are of course several compliance consultancies or certification bodies that you could choose to help your company with achieving product compliance related objectives - so why would you choose ours? What makes us different?

There are several things which differentiate us from other product compliance related companies and consultancies:

1. We are fully independent.

Currently, we have no tie-ups with any certification or testing bodies and so we can give completely un-biased opinions and recommendations as part of our advice - for example, we can suggest which compliance route and if applicable, which third-party certification mark we believe may be the best one for your unique circumstances and your target market. We recommend certification bodies and test laboratories based on our knowledge of the market, our experience and feedback, and we monitor the third-party certification compliance market continuously on aspects such as certification costs, timescales and lab abilities.

2. We have a key specialism in facilitating and obtaining third-party product approvals marks and investigating possible approvals routes such as UL approval for the USA, CSA certification for Canada, CB scheme for multiple country market access and other schemes and approvals marks.

We think this alone is a key differentiator from other consultancies. In the UK and other EU countries, many consultancies specialise in providing CE marking assistance for the EU market - and a large number of manufacturers choose to follow a 'self-certification' CE marking compliance route for EU market entry. Consultancies assisting with this do not need to get the product through a third-party certification process, which is much more demanding than a self-certification route because the certification mark can only be awarded at the discretion of the third-party - generally it takes longer and is more costly too. The third-party certification process is demanding, rigorous and challenging - failure at the first attempt is common for companies that are not experienced in the requirements (even those that are can find it challenging!). Whilst we do often provide assistance with the CE marking self-certification route, it really is our experience in obtaining third-party approvals which firmly sets us apart. See towards the bottom of this page for details of some of the projects we have undertaken and are currently working on.

3. How we work together with you.

Another differentiating factor is that we can form a product compliance team to be become a temporary or ongoing extension of your company. You could think of us as your product compliance team - to call on as you need us to advise as required. Whether on an ad-hoc basis or with a regular ongoing compliance support contract as some of our clients do. We now have a team of consultants -either employees of our consultancy or associates, that are able to provide the required compliance expertise and support - right through from concept stage design to ongoing support throughout the product life. This 'outsourced' compliance management type of support is popular with small and medium sized companies that often do not employ safety or compliance specialists, but we also find our services are utilised by large multi-nationals - to supplement or support their compliance departments.

4. The directors are practising consultants and this allows us to understand your unique needs and discuss with you how best to meet your needs both from a technical and commercial standpoint.

Business co-owners and directors John Showell and Mark Lindsay are practising consultants and speak to all prospective and current clients.

We can provide a more comprehensive service and support than a single-person consultancy business, yet we are small enough that the company directors also still work directly as consultants with clients.

5. Adding value to your business.

Compliance is just a cost and a burden and a lot of bureaucracy - right?

Well certainly it can seem that way at times, and some of the rules and regulations we encounter can seem rather opaque, overly bureaucratic, and sometimes there appears to be no discernible reason at all for the rule!

Yes, there can be an element of compliance work that is burdensome and it just has to be done in the most efficient way and preferably at minimal cost. But you can look at compliance another way - as we try to - and turn that burden/cost perception around by looking at opportunities to add value to a business using the compliance process - whether that be by investing in a well recognised and respected third-party certification mark - which can help gain extra sales and larger/better customers - or perhaps for example by adding a new safety feature.

Safety features can really help to differentiate your product offering in the marketplace and can add extra profit margin to the sale price.


So - we are not just compliance experts - we can even help with devising new products, new product features and sometimes suggest new markets - that can all add value to your business. We own another business that sells LED lighting products and is currently developing a new product so this gives us an un-common insight for a compliance consultancy - one that can see the 'bigger picture' issues to do with product development and manufacturing, and how compliance can be used to add value to your product and business.

We know what it is like to run a business and understand the commercial drivers behind the compliance process - time to market is key. Yet products must be designed and made to be safe and comply with several other regulations. Release a product too early and it may create customer complaints because of insufficient development, testing or other factors - conversely if the compliance process is not managed well, the product can be too late to market and a big sales opportunity can be lost.

Why not call us to find out more and to discuss how we may assist you? You will speak to an experienced compliance consultant. If a consultant is not available to speak straight away, then we will get back within 24 hours. You won't have to leave a message on an answer phone within business hours (8am to 6pm UK). One of the customer services team - Hannah, Richard, Elle, James or Rachel - will take details about your enquiry prior to a consultant getting back to you.

Telephone +44 (0)1588 620192 or
email info@productapprovals.co.uk

Give us the chance to be your compliance team!

Examples of third-party approvals we have obtained on behalf of clients:

  • Approvals of variable speed AC & DC motor drives - Canadian and US UL Listing (cULus mark) for a UK client
  • cETLus mark (Canadian and US ETL Listing) of a hair curler - Australian client
  • cTuv Sud us (Canada and US TuV America) mark, CB scheme approval and EMC certification for a range of digital print finishing machines - UK client
  • CSA field evaluation mark for Canada for an electronic roulette wheel - Irish/Slovenian client
  • CSA field evaluation mark for a bath hoist - UK client
  • Canadian UL field evaluation mark for a pharmaceutical machine - UK client
  • Canadian UL field evaluation mark for satellite ground station and antenna equipment - UK client
  • cETLus mark (Canadian and US ETL Listing) of electric radiators - UK client

Consultancy projects:

Examples of general compliance consultancy projects we have undertaken:

  • CE marking safety case review and production line safety testing guidance for a grid-tied wind turbine inverter - UK client
  • Initiation of a project to obtain cETLus certification of a range of grid-tied PV inverters and ongoing support to client's project team - UK client
  • Research and advice on approvals for a parking lot information system for US market launch - Peru client
  • Concept stage design safety review and advice for an electronic kitchen cooking-related appliance - UK client
  • Prototype stage review of a pharmaceutical lab analysis machine to UL USA standard - UK client
  • Safety assessment of a complete production line prior to installation in the USA. Wrote construction review reports based on seven US safety standards and codes identified as applicable including 'Hazloc' (hazardous location) category areas of the line. Advised required design changes. UK client.
  • CE marking of a pharmaceutical production-line machine - UK client.
  • Advised on a route to market and undertook related technical analysis for an audio induction loop application for the US market - UK client.
  • Safety assessment of a laboratory microscope control system to EU and US standards - UK client.
  • Researched and reported on an approvals route for a transformer manufacturer wishing to enter the North American market - UK client.
  • Safety assessment and advice on type-testing for US UL standards compliance for a range of high intensity discharge lighting control products - Barcelona client.

Current projects/on-going contracts include:

  • Combined third-party Canadian and USA UL approval and CE 'self-certification' marking full compliance engineering and project management service for an industrial vacuum cleaner company
  • cMETus mark for Canadian and US approval for an energy monitoring and reporting system
  • cULus UL approval mark for a commercial kitchen cooking related control system
  • Ongoing research and advice on safety, electro-magnetic and environmental global standards for an information technology equipment sector client selling products globally - this is a pro-active service to research upcoming changes to relevant legislation and standards in the EU, North America, China, Japan, Australia and other regions and advise on how upcoming legislation and standards changes may affect the client's product portfolio - they can then implement any necessary changes to the product, in time to be compliant with new regulatory requirements. This is a fixed-price monthly-payment retainer contract with on-tap consultancy support.
  • Ongoing safety consultancy and testing laboratory operations support to a global design & manufacturing client in the industrial automation sector, including training of safety engineers and technicians, advice to electrical and mechanical design engineers, assistance with US and Canadian UL approvals process. Fixed hourly fee, billed monthly to client. On-site and remote support.
  • Ongoing ISO 17025 laboratory quality system compliance support and auditing. Assisting with keeping the laboratory on the UL 'client test data' program (a scheme that allows the manufacturer to submit test data directly to the certification body). Back-up client reviewer signatory for test data-sign-off. Fixed price auditing service for defined work scope.