Ironbark a NATA Accredited Inspection Body: FAQs

Ross McKirdy and Paul Brown

Ironbark has sought and obtained National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation as an Inspection Body, which means that we have been assessed by NATA and found to comply with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17020 (the International Standard governing the requirements of inspection bodies) and to be technically competent to inspect street lights against those requirements of AS/NZS 1158.6 outlined in our Scope of Accreditation. 

What does this mean for councils?

It means more approved energy efficient street lighting alternatives. As an Accredited NATA Inspection Body we can facilitate the approvals process much quicker. There is essentially now a clear one-stop-shop for energy efficient lighting technology seeking approval. As an Accredited NATA Inspection Body the approvals process will be further streamlined. 

It also reinforces that we will never push a technology or supplier or manufacturer onto a council. It always has been and always will remain each individual council’s choice to determine which approved technology they wish to purchase and install.

It means that we’ve been given the gold-star (well, orange and blue logo) of independence and impartiality. Ironbark will always represent the best interests of councils. We were born out of the desire of councils wanting assistance to save money and energy in street lighting. We do not work for, or represent distribution business. We do not represent lighting suppliers or other providers. 

What are the implications for DNSPs, Suppliers and Designers?  

Our NATA accreditation has major implications for lighting suppliers and approval authorities as we are now essentially a one-stop-shop for energy efficient lighting technology suppliers seeking approval. As an Accredited NATA Inspection Body Ironbark can now produce NATA-endorsed reports that cover all relevant clauses of AS/NZS 1158.6 as well as assess for the requirements of the approval authorities associated with PLAN.

When Ironbark was assessed by NATA we were found to satisfy the requirements of what is known as a Type A Inspection Body. This means that Ironbark is “considered completely impartial (i.e. performs third party inspections) and is not linked to any party engaged in the design, manufacture, supply, installation, purchase, ownership, use or maintenance of street lights”.

This means we are completely at arms length from suppliers. We don’t make lights; design lights; sell lights; maintain lights and do not want to make or sell or maintain lights.

This means you can simply contact us if:

  • You want to understand which products are of high quality
  • You want to understand the road lighting approval process
  • You want to choose between different products for an installation
  • You want to have your product assessed to AS/NZS 1158.6

Ironbark will also be contacting lighting suppliers and approval authorities in the coming weeks to provide further information and outline our NATA services in more detail.

Who or what exactly is NATA?

NATA is the authority that provides independent assurance of technical competence through a proven network of best practice industry experts for customers who require confidence in the delivery of their products and services. NATA provides assessment, accreditation and training services to laboratories and technical facilities throughout Australia and internationally. 

NATA's role is to serve the national and public interest by ensuring that member facilities comply with relevant international and Australian standards and so are competent to provide consistently reliable testing, calibration, measurement and inspection data to government, industry and the wider community. As part of Australia's standards and conformance infrastructure, NATA facilitates international trade by reducing barriers such as technical barriers to trade.

How does NATA carry out accreditation?

NATA accreditation provides a means of determining, formally recognising and promoting the competence of facilities to perform specific types of testing, inspection, calibration, and other related activities. NATA's accreditation is based on a peer-review process made possible by some 3000 volunteer experts who assist with the assessment of facilities and sit on NATA's various technical committees. To maintain accreditation, facilities must be re-assessed regularly.

The criteria for determining a facility's competence are based on the relevant international standard (e.g. ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 15189, ISO/IEC 17020) and include: the qualifications, training and experience of staff; correct equipment that is properly calibrated and maintained; adequate quality assurance procedures; appropriate sampling practices, and so on.

Is Ironbark accredited to inspect/test against all clauses of AS/NZS 1158.6?

Ironbark’s Scope of Accreditation permits us to perform inspection/testing against the following clauses of AS/NZS 1158.6:
- 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.2.1, 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.3, 2.5.1, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 3.7, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, and 6.2.
Mainly due to the need for specialist testing equipment (e.g. vibration testing), testing against the following clauses of AS/NZS 1158.6 will be subcontracted:
- 2.2.2, 2.3, 3.8, 3.12, 3.13, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, and 6.3.
Ironbark will produce NATA-endorsed reports that cover all relevant clauses of AS/NZS 1158.6. 

Who should I contact if I want to know more?

Contact Ross McKirdy on 1300 288 262 or ross@realaction.com.au.

*Please note as of June 2017 Ironbark is no longer NATA accredited.