DES-LAB — Procedure for the Designation of Canadian Testing Laboratories

Issue 8
October 21, 2021
Gazette Notice No. SMSE-011-21

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This document, DES-LAB, Procedure for the Designation of Canadian Testing Laboratories, issue 8, replaces DES-LAB, Procedure for the Designation and Recognition of Canadian Testing Laboratories, issue 7, dated March 2018. It specifies the procedure for Canadian testing laboratories to be designated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to test telecommunications equipment, information technology equipment and radio apparatus (including testing for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)), as applicable under the terms of the relevant Mutual Recognition Agreements/Arrangements (MRAs), to the requirements of foreign regulatory authorities.

The following are the main changes:

  1. This procedure has been streamlined to facilitate the designation of Canadian testing laboratories. No new requirements have been added.
  2. The recognition of Canadian testing laboratories has been transferred to REC-LAB, Procedure for the Recognition of Testing Laboratories to Test/Assess to Canadian Requirements.

Issued under the authority
of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Martin Proulx
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch

1. Purpose

This document specifies the procedure applicable to Canadian testing laboratories for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) designation to test telecommunications equipment, information technology equipment and radio apparatus (including testing for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)), as applicable under the terms of the relevant Mutual Recognition Agreements/Arrangements (MRAs), to the requirements of foreign regulatory authorities.

2. Definitions

A procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks.
Accreditation body (AB)
An authoritative body that performs accreditation of conformity assessment bodies by assessing them against international voluntary standards.
Conformity assessment
A systematic examination to determine the extent to which a product, process or service fulfills specified requirements.
Conformity assessment body (CAB)
A body engaged in the performance of procedures for determining whether the relevant requirements in technical regulations or standards are fulfilled.
Designating authority (DA)
A body with authority to designate, monitor, suspend designation or withdraw designation of conformity assessment bodies under its jurisdiction.
The nomination by a designating authority of a domestic conformity assessment body as competent to perform conformity assessment activities under the terms of an agreement or arrangement to the requirements of foreign regulatory authorities.
Mutual Recognition Agreement/Arrangement (MRA)
An agreement between countries to mutually recognize the other’s regulatory testing and/or certification, including any other equivalent agreement such as, but not limited to, free trade agreements.
Radio apparatus
A device or combination of devices intended for, or capable of being used for, radiocommunication.
The acceptance of a designated conformity assessment body by a regulatory authority.
Recognized accreditation organizations
Accreditation organizations that have been appointed by ISED or by a Mutual Recognition Agreement/Arrangement (MRA) partner as competent to perform accreditation.
Regulatory authority
A government agency or other entity with the power to regulate products within its jurisdiction.
Testing laboratory
A body responsible for determining the applicable test procedures and for properly testing to those requirements.

3. Related documents

All spectrum-related documents referred to in this paper are available on ISED’s Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website.

Requirements for designation are available online as MRA guides.

4. Canadian testing laboratory designation procedure

To be designated by ISED, the following procedure applies.

Step 1: Laboratory accreditation

  1. Obtain a copy of the certificate and scope of accreditation proving that the testing laboratory has been accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) or by an ISED-appointed accreditation body (AB).

Step 2: Online application (new, renewal or scope amendment)

Complete the online Application for Designation of a Canadian Testing Laboratory. The application requires:

  1. a signed covering letter, indicating:
    1. that the applicant meets all requirements of the latest issue of this procedure
    2. that the applicant will provide ISED with information and access to records, personnel and facilities to verify continuing compliance
    3. the MRA country (i.e. foreign economy) and the type of designation being sought (new, renewal or scope amendment)
    4. the standards for which designation is being sought
  2. a copy of the certificate and scope of accreditation obtained in step 1, above
  3. evidence that the testing laboratory is legally identifiable and located in Canada
  4. a list of foreign standards in the scope of designation (using the foreign economy’s terminology)
  5. any other specifications from the foreign economy for which designation is being sought (e.g. the United States’ Federal Communications Commission checklist)

Step 3: ISED designation

  1. ISED will assess the designation application on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. If ISED requires more information to process the application, it will contact the Canadian testing laboratory.
  3. ISED will forward a designation request to the foreign regulatory authority and notify the Canadian testing laboratory of the foreign regulatory authority’s decision.
  4. Upon recognition by the foreign regulatory authority, ISED will assign a unique CAB ID and issue a recognition letter to the testing laboratory (stating the standards or specifications for which recognition has been granted).
  5. The testing laboratory will be added to ISED’s list of recognized Conformity Assessment Bodies.

5. Disclosure of information

Canadian testing laboratories shall indicate which information and documents provided in support of an application for designation are confidential. The provisions of the Access to Information Act apply.

ISED will not disclose the status of designation applications to any third party until the assessment process is completed.

6. Disclaimer

The designation of a testing laboratory by ISED does not imply or otherwise suggest approval of a product, or that the designated testing laboratory is an agent or representative of ISED.

ISED does not accept any responsibility for the effects or consequences of services provided by the recognized testing laboratory for users of such services.

7. Retaining designation

Designated testing laboratories shall notify ISED, in writing, of any changes that may affect their continued compliance with this procedure and ability to carry out the activities for which they were designated. This includes changes to:

  1. contact information, including business address
  2. accreditation scope (amendments) and/or status
  3. recognized accreditation body’s assessment of the testing laboratory

A designated testing laboratory shall continue to meet the requirements of this procedure and shall maintain its accreditation status. The designated testing laboratory shall provide evidence of its accreditation status and scope upon request to ISED.

A testing laboratory shall not advertise its designation status for testing activities that are outside of the scope of its designation.

8. Suspension or withdrawal of designation

When a designated testing laboratory is the subject of an investigation for non-compliance with this procedure, or in situations where a formal review process exists, such as in MRAs (through a joint committee), a designation suspension may be issued to the testing laboratory until the formal review process is completed. The testing laboratory is required to take immediate corrective action to ISED’s and the foreign economy’s satisfaction. Where it is found that a designated testing laboratory does not comply with the requirements of this procedure, the designation may be withdrawn. Such action will, however, take place only after consultation between ISED, the affected testing laboratory and the foreign regulatory authority.

If a testing laboratory’s recognition is suspended or withdrawn by the foreign regulatory authority, the designation will also be suspended or withdrawn and removed from the ISED’s list of Conformity Assessment Bodies.

A testing laboratory whose designation has been suspended or withdrawn shall cease advertising its designation.

A testing laboratory whose designation has been suspended or withdrawn may reapply for designation once the causes leading to the suspension or withdrawal have been eliminated to the satisfaction of ISED and of the foreign regulatory authority.