What Does Certifying a Product with DrJ Mean for Me?

The following is based on our rules and procedures document which includes additional and more specific information.

What’s the purpose of a Technical Evaluation Report (TER)?

DrJ TERs are intended to show code officials that the subject of the TER (usually a newly developed product) complies with model building codes. DrJ gathers and analyzes data about the product and then evaluates it according to applicable building codes and industry standards. If the product complies with the codes and standards, DrJ certifies it by issuing a TER that affirms and demonstrates its compliance. The TER can then be presented to code officials to gain their approval to use the product in a given project (always according to the application and installation directions specified in the TER). However, TERs are not an endorsement or recommendation of the product addressed. Further, only a code official can approve the product for use – DrJ does not and cannot assume that prerogative and responsibility.

What kinds of information does DrJ need in order to certify a product?

To evaluate and ultimately certify a product, DrJ first needs supporting information from a TER applicant. This includes:

  1. One complete set of plans, details, calculations, and other supporting data, which fully describe the product and demonstrate its compliance with the applicable model codes and/or standards.
  2. Details about the applicant’s quality control program, showing how the manufactured product will not change from its original design.

What are the fees associated with obtaining and maintaining a TER?

Fees are assessed using DrJ’s yearly updated fee schedule. Using this schedule, TER applicants/holders are billed:

  1. Upon the completion of a new TER, which will then be valid for one year from the date of issue.
  2. Upon the renewal of a TER, extending its recognition for another year. Notice is sent to the TER holder in advance of the TER’s renewal date.
  3. Upon the completion of any revisions to the TER requested by the TER holder. The fee for such revisions is based on their extent and is assessed according to the fee schedule.

Can a product certified in a TER be modified?

TER holders must notify DrJ before modifying products covered by TERs (modifications would include, for example, significant changes in the formulation, manufacturing process, or quality control program). In addition, TER holders must notify DrJ when a significant change occurs with respect to the TER holder (such as a company name change, change of address, change of ownership, change in legal status, or addition/deletion of a listee). If a change affects the product or the TER holder, the TER report holder must discontinue use of the TER, with reference to the product in question, until the TER holder has applied for and secured a TER revision.

What happens when there is a change in the building codes or industry standards that affects a TER?

When there is a change in the conditions under which a TER was originally issued (e.g., a change in code requirements, acceptance criteria and/or DrJ rules or policy) that affects the TER, the TER holder will be notified. DrJ will then work with the TER holder to address any changes that need to be made to the TER.

What quality control (QC) measures must TER holders implement?

As a condition of holding a TER, the applicant grants DrJ staff (or authorized representatives of DrJ such as ANSI or IAS accredited third-party inspection agencies) the right to conduct inspections of the TER holder’s manufacturing facility. This is done to verify compliance with the TER and applicable DrJ Rules of Procedure. When required in accordance with the scope of the TER, reports will be issued only after a qualifying inspection of the manufacturing facility has been conducted. The purpose of the inspection is to determine whether the manufacturer’s quality system has been successfully implemented and provides assurance that, after the TER is issued, the manufactured product will not change from the product described and recognized in the TER. In addition to the qualifying inspection, either ongoing follow-up or annual inspections are required. The inspections are intended to verify the effectiveness of the quality system and continued compliance with the TER. All inspections are performed by ANSI or IAS certified third-party inspection agencies or other agencies approved by DrJ to conduct such inspections. When a DrJ representative or third-party inspection agency is required to witness tests, conduct field investigations or investigate complaints related to a TER, all relevant travel expenses and time shall be reimbursed by the applicant.

Can a TER be revoked? If so, for what reason?

Any TER, and the authorization to use the TER number and DrJ mark, may be revoked or modified for the following reasons:

  1. Repeated failure of the material, method of construction, or equipment to conform with the specifications upon which the TER was based.
  2. Repeated failure of the material, method of construction or equipment to perform properly while still meeting the specifications upon which the TER was originally based.
  3. Failure to comply with any condition of TER issuance.
  4. Any intentionally or unintentionally made misstatement in the application or in any data submitted in support of it.
  5. Failure to comply with any provision of the application form or failure to pass any test required by DrJ.
  6. Any other grounds considered as adequate cause in the judgment of DrJ. Before DrJ revokes or modifies any TER, the report holder shall be given reasonable notice and an opportunity to file an appeal pursuant to the DrJ Rules of Procedure for Appeals Concerning TERs.

Can a TER holder cancel a TER?

DrJ will cancel a TER upon receiving a written request to do so from the TER holder. A file for a new TER may be closed upon receipt of a written request from the applicant.

How does DrJ handle proprietary information?

Data in any TER or TER application is considered proprietary. The data is only disclosed externally by DrJ upon written consent of the applicant or, with notice to the applicant, pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or other governmental agency of competent jurisdiction. Proprietary data may also be disclosed internally to a staff member of DrJ or an authorized representative of DrJ who has a legitimate interest in it. Data may also be disclosed to a duly identified or authorized representative, employee, or principal of any testing agency or similar organization that initially prepared the data. From time to time, DrJ records and files are audited by national and international bodies on a random basis to establish conformance with international accreditation and conformity assessment standards. It is understood that, by executing a TER application, report holders grant DrJ the authority to allow such access.