AHJs Use NFPA 790 & 791 to Qualify Labs for Electrical Equipment Field Evaluations

Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) in the United States have typically used the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70, as the basis for approving electrical equipment installations in the United Sates. Much of the Code relies on having products manufactured and certified by a recognized testing laboratory to consensus-based U.S. product safety standards.

In Canada, the AHJs use the locally adopted Code and rely on products certified to that country’s adopted product safety standards.

However, this approach has historically proved challenging for AHJs, so industry organizations have created additional guidance documents.  Here is a short history of this effort:

2003 – The American Council for Electrical Safety (ACES) publishes the Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment Evaluation.  It became the de facto guide for delivering field evaluations.
2005 – ACES approves the Recommended Competency Guidelines for Third-Party Field Evaluation Bodies.  It uses ISO Guide 65 as its foundation with input from ISO/IEC 17020.
2006 – The International Accreditation Service (IAS), a subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC), issues AC 354, Accreditation Criteria for Field Evaluation of Unlisted Electrical Equipment.
2008 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) forms the Technical Committee for Electrical Equipment Evaluation (EEE).
2011 – The 2012 editions of NFPA 790, Standard for Competency of Third-Party Field Evaluation Bodies and NFPA 791, Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment Evaluation — are adopted.
2013 – IAS adopts an updated AC 354 that references NFPA 790 & 791.
2013 – The 2014 editions of ANSI/NFPA 790 and ANSI/NFPA 791 are issued.

NFPA 790 and NFPA 791 provide AHJs with the ability to qualify who can complete field evaluations for electrical products.  Read more about what is specified in these standards in a previous Compliance Today blog post.  

MET Labs is one of just a few agencies that operates a NFPA 790 & 791 Quality Management System in addition to being NRTL- and SCC-accredited.  Contact us for a free field evaluation quotation.

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