Frequently Asked Questions
What is a field evaluation?
Similar to testing or certification, field evaluations are a conformity assessment activity that verify a product’s compliance with relative code and product standard requirements. Unlike testing and certification, field evaluations are performed on-site where products are installed and operated. Field evaluations are commonly required for unlabeled products which aren’t covered by any sort of product certification.
What’s the difference between a field evaluation and product certification?
Field evaluations are performed for site-specific installations of uncertified equipment that are often unique, one-of-a-kind products manufactured in limited quantity. They’re also performed for products with dimensions that wouldn’t allow, or be practical, for testing in a traditional laboratory setting. Product certifications, or product listings, are typically sought after by manufacturers for mass-produced, off-the-shelf equipment.
What does a field evaluation consist of?
Field evaluations consist of construction reviews and various on-site tests (e.g. continuity, insulation, temperature) that verify conformance with relevant product safety standards and confirm the installation meets the requirements of the National Electric Code. After a field evaluation is completed, a report is issued by a Field Evaluation Body (FEB) to its client and the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and a Field Evaluation label is affixed to the equipment.
Who requires field evaluations?
Field evaluations are required by AHJs, or Authorities Having Jurisdiction. Often electrical inspectors responsible for code enforcement will identify unlabeled equipment during the permit process and determine that a field evaluation is required. FEBs then become involved and initiate the evaluation process.
What does it mean when you say field evaluations are site-specific?
Field evaluations are “site-specific” in that the conformity assessment qualifies the unlabeled equipment at that installation only. Unlike a product that is certified or listed, the Field Evaluation label is only valid for that particular equipment at that particular location. Should the equipment be relocated to another facility, another field evaluation would need to be performed.
What standards apply during a field evaluation?
Applicable standards are determined following a preliminary review of product and site details and are typically determined by product category. Requirements from NFPA 70 (NEC) are also taken into consideration. Different requirements would apply for evaluations performed in Canada such as the CEC and SPE-1000.
Who can perform a field evaluation?
AHJs make the final determination on the recognition and acceptability of Field Evaluation Bodies. Many AHJs recognize organizations that are OSHA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories. The National Electric Code specifically refers to “FEBs” and their qualification and operational requirements as defined in NFPA 790 – Standard for Competency of 3rd Party Field Evaluation Bodies and NFPA 791 – Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment Evaluation. NFPA 790 and 791 were both published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in 2013 and are increasingly being adopted as the standard criteria for Field Evaluation Activities.
Our field inspection services are fully compliant to NFPA 790, Standard for Competency of Third-Party Field Evaluation Bodies and NFPA 791, Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment Evaluation. In addition, we are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to act as an inspection body for product safety field inspections in Canada and to assess electrical equipment to SPE-1000-13 – Model code for the field evaluation of electrical equipment.
How long do field evaluations take? How soon can you start?
The length of each evaluation depends on the complexity of the product and number of units involved. Upon receipt of a Field Application, We will work with its clients and the authority having jurisdiction to determine a schedule that best fits the situation.
What kind of products can we support?
We can service many different types of equipment including: electrical installations, solar panel installations, wind turbine installations, electrical high and low voltage substations, industrial electrical plants, consumer products, electrical installations in hospitals, alarm systems, hazardous-location equipment, machine equipment, power plants, robotics, automotive lifts, electric signs, laboratory equipment, refrigeration equipment, and more.
How much do they cost?
We determine fees for Field Evaluations based on a daily rate which can be modified depending on the anticipated duration and volume of products. Once a field application is sent to us, we can often deliver a quote either the same or the next day.
Our field inspection services are fully compliant to NFPA 790, Standard for Competency of Third-Party Field Evaluation Bodies and NFPA 791, Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment Evaluation. In addition, we are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to act as an inspection body for product safety field inspections in Canada, to assess electrical equipment to SPE-1000-13 – Model code for the field evaluation of electrical equipment.