- RCM Applicable Standards
- What is the RCM?
- Is the RCM accepted by regulatory bodies?
- What are the technical requirements for products?
- How is the RCM controlled?
- Is use of the RCM mandatory?
- Can anyone use the RCM?
- Who is the supplier?
- Do I need to have the product tested to use the RCM?
- What about differences in Electrical Safety regulation?
- Is independent 3rd party certification required?
- Why have a common RCM?
- Why does the RCM look like the "C Tick" mark?
- What about other areas of regulation?
- Is the RCM like the European CE mark?
- Does the RCM indicate high quality products?
- Can the RCM be used for other purposes? (eg with voluntary standards)
RCM Applicable Standards [top]
The following notes provide a general overview of the RCM. For full understanding it is necessary to read the Standard, AS/NZS4417. The individual parts of AS/NZS4417 are shown below. To check for the latest editions or amendments to these parts, check the Standards Australia On-line Catalogue:
AS/NZS4417.1: General rules for use of the mark
Provides general requirements for the use of the RCM on electrical products to indicate compliance with regulations. Also provides specifications and proportions for the RCM.
AS/NZS4417.2: Specific requirements for electrical safety regulatory applications
Sets out requirements that apply to the use of the RCM to indicate that a product complies with electrical safety regulations in Australia and New Zealand. Includes appendices giving lists of electrical regulators, Standards, regulatory definitions and approvals procedures.
AS/NZS4417.3: Specific requirements for electromagnetic compatibility regulatory applications
Sets out requirements that apply to the use of the RCM on electrical and electronic products to comply with EMC regulations in Australia and New Zealand.
AS/NZS4417.4: Specific requirements for radio apparatus regulatory applications
Sets out requirements that apply to the use of the RCM to indicate that a product complies with radio apparatus regulations in Australia and New Zealand.
What is the RCM? [top]
The RCM is a graphic symbol indicating a supplier's claim that a product meets applicable regulatory requirements (eg electrical safety under State Electricity Acts, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and radio communications requirements under the Australian Radio communications Act and New Zealand Radio communications Regulations).
Is the RCM accepted by regulatory bodies? [top]
Yes, provided the conditions for its use are met, electrical, EMC and radio communication regulators will accept the RCM as the supplier's claim of compliance, avoiding the need to have a different mark for each regulator.
What are the technical requirements for products? [top]
For electrical safety, EMC and radio communications, these are generally found in joint Australian/New Zealand Standards, (mostly based on IEC international Standards).
How is the RCM controlled? [top]
The RCM is a registered trademark, owned by Australian and New Zealand regulators. The conditions for its use by suppliers are set out in a Standard, AS/NZS4417. Basically (and unsurprisingly) the requirement is that the supplier must ensure that the product complies with applicable regulations, by the means required by the regulator.
It must be remembered that the supplier of a product not meeting regulatory requirements would be subject to penalties under the relevant Act or regulation. However, any misuse of the RCM may also be controlled via trademarks legislation.
Is use of the RCM mandatory? [top]
No, EMC and radio communication regulators require marking of products with either the "C Tick" or the RCM. Electrical safety regulators will accept the RCM as one of several options to indicate electrical safety compliance (others include certificate numbers and manufacturer codes). However the RCM is the only mark commonly acceptable to more than one regulator for the same product, and it is in the interests of suppliers to use this single mark.
Can anyone use the RCM? [top]
No, its use is only available to the supplier who places the product on the market in Australia or New Zealand.
Who is the supplier? [top]
Generally, this is the manufacturer if the product is made in Australia or New Zealand or the Australian/New Zealand importer or agent for overseas manufacturers. Retailers may also be the suppliers where they are direct importers of products or where they sell products under their own brand name.
Do I need to have the product tested to use the RCM? [top]
This depends on the regulator's requirements, and the nature of the product. General requirements, are given in AS4417, and the regulators will provide full details in relation to specific products.
What about differences in Electrical Safety regulation? [top]
There are differences in the electrical safety regulatory requirements between Australia and New Zealand (and detail differences between Australian states).
However, the part of AS4417 dealing with electrical safety regulation provides a harmonized framework for suppliers to establish a basis for claiming compliance with regulations that is equally acceptable in both countries. Until regulatory requirements are fully harmonized between Australia and New Zealand it is necessary to comply with the requirements of both countries if the RCM is to be used in both. Naturally, each electrical regulator may also accept claims of compliance based on criteria outside the `common core' provided by AS4417.
Is independent 3rd party certification required? [top]
No, product certification by external agencies is not a requirement in regulations against which the RCM may currently be used. However some regulators will accept 3rd party certification to appropriate Standards as sufficient evidence of compliance with regulatory requirements.
Why have a common RCM? [top]
The concept of the RCM was created by industry, importers and regulators to reduce the variety of markings used to show regulatory compliance. A common mark accepted and used by several regulators has advantages to industry in simplifying marking requirements, and advantages to regulators in helping to achieve a higher level of understanding by industry of regulatory requirements and processes. Also, management of a common mark encourages enhanced consultation between different regulators whose requirements affect a given industry.
Why does the RCM look like the "C Tick" mark? [top]
Because it is related to it. The "C Tick" is used by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA), and the Ministry of Economic Development New Zealand in relation to specific regulatory activities. These agencies will accept the RCM as equivalent to the "C Tick" where the supplier wishes to use the RCM in relation to EMC.
What about other areas of regulation? [top]
The committee responsible for AS4417 (which includes regulators and industry) is examining the use of the RCM in other fields relevant to electrical products, eg telecommunication equipment, medical electrical equipment and energy and water usage. In all cases the standard can only cover these areas if the relevant regulatory bodies agree to the use of the RCM as part of their conformance requirements or processes.
Is the RCM like the European CE mark? [top]
In broad terms it serves a similar function, in that the RCM is a common mark of regulatory compliance used by suppliers and accepted by regulators for a range of regulatory applications.
However the legislative and regulatory framework in Australia and New Zealand is significantly different from the European Union, and thus the RCM cannot be considered as directly parallel to the CE mark.
Does the RCM indicate high quality products? [top]Legislators generally leave quality to be determined by the marketplace and thus the RCM indicates only that the supplier says that the product meets applicable legal requirements.
Can the RCM be used for other purposes? (eg with voluntary standards) [top]
No. It is a mark of regulatory compliance. If a requirement or Standard is not regulated or mandatory by law, the RCM is not relevant (there is a range of 3rd party certification marks available in the marketplace to help suppliers establish strong claims of compliance with Standards generally).