If you’re in the business of manufacturing products used in building and construction, at one time or another, you may have been told “you need to get an ICC Report!” or you may have been asked, “Where’s your ES report?”.
When a buyer or code official asks for your “ICC Report” or “ES Report”, what they are generically referring to is an evaluation report or code report. It is not uncommon for people to substitute a brand name in place of a generic descriptor. The brand name can become synonymous with a general class of product or service. For example: Kleenex for facial tissues and Band-Aid for bandages.
Whatever terminology, obtaining an evaluation report, code report, or research report is crucial in proving your product complies with the International Building Code (IBC), the International Residential Code (IRC), and/or industry-adopted standards.
Evaluation reports are accessed often by regulatory agencies, authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs), architects, specifiers, contractors, engineers, and others involved in the construction process so they can ensure the products meet code requirements and project specifications for construction. These requirements and specifications address a group of criteria, including, but not limited to fire and life safety, product effectiveness, strength, and durability.
When discussing evaluation reports, many fail to differentiate between the entities that write the model building codes or I-codes (ICC) from the companies that write the evaluation reports themselves. The International Code Council (ICC) is the most well-recognized name in the development of model building codes, but the International Code Council (ICC) does not actually write evaluation reports. A subsidiary of the ICC, called ICC-ES, writes evaluation reports (ES Reports) but there are many credible independent, third-party, certifying organizations that also offer code evaluation reports to building product manufacturers.
Companies that issue evaluation reports demonstrate their competence by obtaining accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065 – which lists the “minimum requirements for bodies certifying products, processes, and services”. An agency accredited to ISO/IEC 17065 is often referred to as a certification body.
Obtaining accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065 demonstrates a high level of quality, competence, and impartiality when writing evaluation reports. It is crucial that the source of an evaluation report is a trusted source with a solid reputation.
In the case of NTA, Inc. we are accredited by another subsidiary of ICC called the International Accreditation Service (IAS) as a certification body. The scope of accreditation provides detail on the categories and product types for which NTA, Inc. is deemed competent to issue evaluation reports or code reports.
The above ISO 17065 accreditation gives peace of mind to AHJs, architects, specifiers, contractors, and engineers who will refer to the accreditation in the context of specifying and/or approving a host of building products utilized in construction.
Are they all the same?
Apart from the ISO standards, a certification body can do many things to differentiate themselves from others in the marketplace. In the case of NTA, Inc., our value comes in the form of a deep understanding of the needs of our clients. Here are just a few examples:
- Experienced: Our dedicated account managers are highly trained and are available to patiently and accurately assess the needs for a product category. If you’re unsure about your specific needs, this is the place to start.
- Fast: NTA understands that the certification process needs to run parallel to your business operations, marketing, and sales departments in order to get your product to market faster. Our in-depth understanding of building codes and standards places us in a unique position to help you meet or exceed the applicable codes and regulations.
- Turnkey Solutions: Very few third-party agencies can boast turnkey solutions. At NTA, Inc., we offer evaluation reports, product testing, QA surveillance inspections, and certification services all in one place. Having all these services allows a process that is simple, seamless, and efficient for our clients.
- Innovative: The expertise of our professional engineers helps position us above the competition. Whether you need product testing, a product listing, or a code evaluation report, our team will be there to ensure that your products get to market while meeting the requirements of the building code.
- Accredited: NTA, Inc. holds the following accreditations and memberships:
- ISO/IEC 17065 Accredited (IAS PC-102) as a certification body
- ISO/IEC 17065 Accredited (SCC CBAP 10067) as a Certification Body in Canada
- ISO/IEC 17025 Accredited (IAS TL-259) as a Test Lab
- ISO/IEC 17020 Accredited (IAS AA-682) as an Inspection Agency
- ICC Member
So, the next time you are asked for an “ICC report” or an “ES Report”, know that NTA, Inc. is a name that you can trust in providing a code evaluation report that is properly vetted and held to the highest standards in the industry.
For more information on NTA, Inc. and how your company may benefit from our evaluation reports, product listings, testing, inspections, and other services, please call us today at 574.773.7975.
Senior Director – Building Products