All AFRDI certification programs are based on the results of performance testing of representative sample(s) of product provided by the supplier. If a product meets the certification requirements set by AFRDI it is then eligible to be marketed bearing an “AFRDI” logo or swing tag, or to be advertised as meeting the relevant AFRDI certification requirements.
Suppliers must be prepared to enter into an agreement with the institute that they will comply with the terms of certification. The text of the certification agreement is available upon request. A brief summary follows, where the supplier agrees to:
- maintain quality of the product to at least that of the sample/s tested;
- advise of changes in the product including changes in materials, components and means and place of manufacture, prior to the modified product being brought to the market (and in sufficient time to allow product retesting, if required);
- not use (nor permit its agents to use) the logo to promote goods which are not covered by the agreement or to misrepresent the nature of AFRDI’s endorsement;
- keep and make available a register of complaints arising from the sale of goods covered by the agreement;
- submit goods for audit at least every three years or, if required, retest when standards change;
- agree to random checks (or targeted checks where there is reasonable cause) of the quality of products covered by the licence agreement;
- maintain an adequate product liability insurance cover; and
- pay the required licence fee.
In return, AFRDI agrees to:
- permit the use of the appropriate AFRDI logo to promote goods covered by the agreement; and
- to commend goods covered by the agreement in lists published on our website.
Our institute has clearly defined certification criteria for various items of furniture and furniture components. These are continually being expanded to meet demand.
The criteria generally include requirements for:
- function e.g. fitness for purpose (usually including ergonomic and basic safety criteria);
- ignitability (where appropriate); and
- reasonable finish and workmanship.
The performance criteria adopted for certification are usually based on Australian and New Zealand standards, or AFRDI standards, or – where these are not available or relevant – on other well recognised standards, such as ISO, British, CEN, BIFMA or ASTM, for example. In some instances where none of these exist, we may develop a set of customised requirements. Whichever route to certification is taken each of the requirements listed above must be met to our satisfaction.
Sometimes there are several levels of performance criteria available to the product supplier within the certification classification. For example, office and contract chairs may conform with up to three test levels for strength and durability depending on the severity of the intended final use. Typical performance levels for height adjustable office chairs are:
- Level 4 – basic commercial applications
- Level 5 – heavy commercial and industrial
- Level 6 – severe commercial and heavy industrial
An additional level of certification performance is now available for some products viz., Rated Load. These products have been explicitly certified as appropriate for use by people up to a specified mass (typically toward the upper extreme of the population mass distribution).
Initial Testing & Assessment
AFRDI will undertake all the necessary inspections, assessments and tests. Test reports issued by other laboratories with relevant ISO Guide 25 or ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation may be accepted although it is necessary for the products covered by such certificates to be inspected and undergo some confirmation testing (accepting test reports from other laboratories).
The results of these tests and evaluations are then discussed with the supplier, particularly if some unusual result is obtained. On completion of the evaluation, the supplier will be issued with a report detailing the results of all relevant tests and inspections. All evaluations conducted by us are undertaken in the strictest confidence.
Certification Agreement & Fee
Before an item can be marketed with the AFRDI swing tag or logo, and before it can be advertised as meeting AFRDI certification requirements, the supplier must enter into a certification agreement with us.
The certification/licence fee is used to fund the:
- random audits of the product covered by each list of endorsed products;
- investigation of complaints about quality and deceptive conduct; and
- listing on our website.
Once a product is certified, the supplier is entitled to attach the relevant AFRDI certification logo. Alternatively, licensees may – subject to the institute’s written approval – incorporate the certification details in their own product data. In this case, we would need to see and approve the final printed documentation.
Our institute has registered a number of logos and product certification marks to protect the interests of consumers and of those suppliers making use of the service (use of our product logos and trademarks explained).
Period of Validity
The period of the certification depends upon the product and is specified in the licence agreement. Most typically certification is valid for a period of three years, subject to payment of the licence fee and satisfactory performance in on-going audits.