Product Certifications, Endorsements, Appraisals: What’s the difference?

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When selecting shower systems, it is important to understand the differences between product endorsements, appraisals, and certifications in the context of New Zealand’s construction industry. This is because it helps you in the process of choosing trustworthy and reliable products that meet high standards and ensure the success and longevity of you construction project. So, without further ado, let’s dig into it!

Product Endorsements

Product endorsements are public declarations which are made by either a business or people that support the features and quality of a product.  The endorsement is based on the endorser’s personal experience, expertise, or credibility in a relevant field. It serves as a persuasive tool to build trust and credibility among potential consumers, as they tend to associate the endorser’s positive reputation with the endorsed product.

Product Appraisals

A product appraisal is a technical opinion of a builder’s product or system to determine its suitability for its intended purpose.  For example, BRANZ Appraisals offer assessments of innovative and non-standard building products, systems, and designs. These assessments provide a level of confidence in the performance and suitability of products for specific applications, including wet membrane areas.

Please note that while product appraisals can be used as part of evidence of compliance – appraisals have no legal standing.

CodeMark® Certification Scheme

CodeMark® is a third-party voluntary product certification scheme that provides a robust and independent assessment of building products. CodeMark® is not based on a specific standard, but on the applicable Building Code of Australia (BCA) and/or New Zealand Building Code clauses (NZBC). 

Products carrying the CodeMark® certification mark have undergone rigorous testing and evaluation, giving assurance of their suitability for use in wet membrane areas. Note that in New Zealand, the scheme owner is the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Only accredited certification bodies can issue CodeMark® Certificates. 

In New Zealand, Building Code Authorities (BCAs) are obligated to recognize a CodeMark® product certificate as sufficient proof of compliance with the Building Code. They are not permitted to demand additional evidence of compliance from an applicant, provided that the product is utilized in line with the parameters and restrictions outlined on the certificate. However, not that having a CodeMark® certified product does not eliminate the need for a building consent or building consent authority (BCA) inspections during the building process.

CodeMark® Certification vs Product Appraisals


Product Technical Statements (PTSs)

Manufacturers or suppliers of building products create product technical statements to provide a concise overview of crucial information pertaining to that specific product. This includes vital details relevant to ensuring compliance with the Building Code, presented in an easily understandable format. Product technical statements can help: 

  • They assist designers and specifiers in evaluating and comparing building products, enabling their inclusion in project plans and specifications.
  • Building consent authorities (BCAs) find them useful for granting consent for building work when specific products are specified.
  • Trade merchants rely on them to determine whether or not to stock a particular product. If they do, they can convey essential product information to their customers.
  • Builders and homeowners benefit from clearer information regarding installation, maintenance, and product support.
A well-prepared product technical statement eliminates the need to sift through manufacturer’s technical documents or marketing material to obtain essential information.

Product Building Assurance in New Zealand

In New Zealand CodeMark® stands as the singular ‘deemed to comply’ product certification scheme. There are non-CodeMark accredited third-party certification bodies that evaluate products against specific Standards or Building Code requirements, subsequently issuing product certificates.

It’s important to note that certification obtained through these schemes differs from CodeMark, as such certificates may not necessarily be acknowledged by Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) as conclusive proof of compliance with the Building Code. Nonetheless, these alternative certifications can still be valuable components of your product assurance strategy, aiding in demonstrating adherence to the Building Code. 

Manufacturers and suppliers might discover that for building products with a proven record and acceptance within the New Zealand construction industry, there are less rigorous assurance options available, such as product technical statements (PTS) or independent testing, which suffice.

In Conclusion

Understanding the differences between endorsements, appraisals, and certifications empowers builders and designers to make informed decisions by select shower systems that meet the highest industry standards of the New Zealand’s construction sector.  Therefore, helping in the success and longevity of the construction project.       

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