Testing laboratories

Note: Testing should not begin until a signed contract is in place with the CCMC and the Evaluation Officer has so advised. This is to ensure that the testing protocol meets CCMC requirements.

The CCMC is not a testing organization. Testing is performed by laboratories recognized by the CCMC for that particular test method. The test results provided to the CCMC by the laboratory are examined by a CCMC evaluation officer who compares the results of testing to the performance requirements established in the Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive.

Laboratory recognition

In recognizing laboratories for the purposes of conducting testing either against its customized performance criteria, for innovative products, or against standards, for established products, the CCMC uses the following guideline:

Standardized tests

For products for which standardized tests exist, the CCMC will recognize:

  • laboratories accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC)* for that particular test
  • non-accredited laboratories whose test reports are endorsed by an SCC-accredited laboratory for that test. The non-accredited laboratory must not have previously been refused accreditation for the particular test and is normally expected to start proceedings within six months to become accredited for that test
  • laboratories that are accredited in a related field by the SCC, but not accredited for that particular test. This applies in instances when no laboratory is presently accredited for that test. A self-recognition statement is required from the laboratory indicating that it considers itself capable of carrying out the test to the same quality control requirements as those imposed by SCC accreditation. The laboratory must agree to start proceedings within six months to become accredited for that test.
  • Canadian research laboratories sponsored or funded by federal or provincial governments, where the laboratory has the related expertise.

Non-standardized tests

For products requiring non-standardized tests, the CCMC will recognize:

  • laboratories accredited by the SCC in other areas, and Canadian university laboratories. A self-recognition statement, and an agreement to become accredited if another laboratory becomes accredited to perform that test, are also required.
  • Canadian research laboratories sponsored or funded by the federal or provincial governments, where the laboratory has the related expertise.

Other laboratories may also qualify for recognition to perform certain tests.

* For the purposes of this guideline, reference to SCC-accredited laboratories includes laboratories accredited by foreign accreditation bodies that have entered into mutual-recognition agreements with the SCC. The CCMC retains the right to verify that these laboratories have the capabilities of meeting our needs.

Product sampling

Before testing begins, the CCMC provides the applicant, who could be the manufacturer or Canadian distributor of a product, with a list of recognized laboratories. The applicant contacts the laboratory to determine the number of specimens required for testing purposes. The applicant then arranges, through the CCMC, for a representative to identify random samples before they are sent directly to a CCMC-recognized laboratory. The applicant must also authorize the laboratory to forward an original copy of the test report for each sample directly to the CCMC. If the product is manufactured at several plants, identified samples from each facility are required.

The CCMC representative will undertake the following:

  • randomly identify samples from the primary storage at the manufacturing plant. The samples that are picked should be from the last few production shifts. The samples will be identified with a preauthorized designation; and
  • witness the manufacturing of a similar product type or verify that the plant has the equipment and resources to manufacturer the product in question.

The representative will confirm to the CCMC the date and place of the inspection and the designation used for identification. In situations where it is not possible to identify samples from the primary storage, as is the case for windows and site-manufactured products (e.g., polyurethane foam insulation), the representative will witness the assembly or manufacture of the sample to be identified.

Failure to follow the sampling procedures or have testing conducted at a recognized laboratory will delay the evaluation of the product, since partial or complete retesting may be required.