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  • EN 1090 – 1 – The standard is the law!

    With the introduction of EN 1090, a series of standards has been created which regulates the manufacturing and placement on the market of structures made out of steel and/or aluminium at European level in three parts. It is oriented on execution and counterpart to the design rules of EN1990ff (Eurocode) and is part of a series of product standards which have a legal character via the Construction Products Ordinance when placed on the market of the Union (more precisely: EEA).

    Who is affected?

    EN 1090-1 regulates the conformity verification procedure for load-bearing components made of steel and/or aluminium. This is not about the manufacturing of these structures themselves, but about the necessity of certification of the WPK (“werkseigene Produktionskontrolle”, which means “factory intern production control” (FPC)) by a recognized certification body, the correct intervals of inspection and the documents “CE-mark” and “declaration of performance” required for a placing on the market. This part of the standard is relevant for organizations that:

    • Manufacture construction products (including kits) and place them on the market of the union under their own name
    • Let others create construction products (including kits) and place them on the market of the union under their own name
    • Modify already existing products in ways that (could) change their characteristic of performance

    The situation is slightly different for the design standards EN 1090-2 for steel and EN 1090-3 for aluminium and their amendments for thin-walled and cold-formed applications (EN 1090-4 and EN 1090-5). These standards represent the current state of the art. Therefore, they have to be used not only when components are created which will later be marked according to EN 1090, but also when:

    • Single production steps of these products (cutting, modelling, welding, coating) are executed
    • Load-bearing structures are built
    • Already existing load-bearing structures are repaired

    The need to comply with the design standards EN1090-2 and -3 does not imply that the organization has to be certified according to standard EN 1090-1. These criteria only apply to products meant for the installation within the EEA, even though other countries might also contractually require the execution according to EN 1090-1, -2, -3, -4 and -5.

    You may contact us with questions regarding the classification of your company!

    What does the way to a certification according to EN 1090-1 look like?

    As a certification body, we are obliged to independency and cannot take on advisory tasks, but the following options are available:

    • You create your own system of “factory intern production control” (FPC)
    • You consult an advisor who will assist you with the creation of the manual and other technical questions.
    • - We execute an audit in two steps, whereas the pre-audit carries out a stocktaking.

    Professional handling by SystemCERT:

    In addition to certification according to EN 1090-1 we can offer a wide range of services that are directly related to the standard requirements due to our comprehensive activities in the field of welding technology:

    • Certification of your organization by SystemCERT, an accredited and notified body
    • Auditing in Austria by a regionally well distributed network of auditors
    • Auditing within the EU and other external countries in German or English
    • Combined audits with other standards (EN ISO 3834, ISO 900, etc.) are possible
    • Competent partner for other related services:
      • Evaluation of procedures which cannot be covered by a certification (static calculations, thermal cutting, etc.)
      • Welder’s examinations according to EN ISO 9606-1 or -2, etc
      • Non-destructive testing methods
    • Welders' examinations according to EN ISO 9606-1/-2 can be taken within the scope of certification audits.
    • Transparent and fair prices

    What does the way to a certification according to EN 1090-1 look like?

    The first steps are the acquisition of the relevant regulations and the creation of a factory intern production control (FPC). The effort of documentation is directly related to the selected level of certification (design classes 1-4). The company now approaches SystemCERT to request an offer. If the offer is accepted and the certification assigned, SystemCERT sets up a team of auditors and a date for the audit. During the first audit, it is checked whether the factory intern production control is effectively implemented and whether the internal specifications are implemented in the daily work. The results are documented in the audit checklist and the audit report. If the results are positive, the certificate is issued. The certificate is valid as long as the surveillance audits are successfully performed and there are no greater changes within the organization (e.g. chance of welding supervisor, introduction of new welding processes, etc.). The surveillance intervals depend on the design class of the producer.

    What is the price of the certification?

    The effort of the audit and its costs for a certification according to EN 1090-1 depend on the following factors:

    • The size of the company and the number of employees
    • Already existing certificates (EN ISO 3834-2,-3,-4; ISO 9001, etc.)
    • Design class

    Gladly we create you an individual offer! !

    Individual and personal support are a matter of course for us! Due to many years of experience in the field of certification, we are the optimal contact for the series of standards EN 1090.

    Gerne stehen wir Ihnen für Fragen zur Verfügung!

    DI Elias Glantschnig, BSc.

    +43 (0) 680 1200458

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    Patricia Stockreiter

    +43 3842 48476-22

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  • FAQS EN 1090-1

    Q: How ist he appropriate design class for steel and/or aluminium structures determined?
    A: The design class is determined according to the requirements of EN 1090-2, attachement B informative - (Guideline for determining the design classes; EN 1090-3, Annex A - normative - (Necessary specifications, alternatives to be specified and requirements for the design classes). In addition, there are national regulations: ONR 21090 and DVS RL 1711.

    F: Are there any documantation requirements EN 1090 series of standards?
    A: Within the documentation of the EN 1090 series of standards, there is no difference between documents and records. The term „records“ refers tot he documentation of execution. The manufacturer documentation is divided into quality documentation, quality management plan (if required), work safety during assembly and execution documentation.
    There are some requirements:
    • The assignment of responsibilities and authorities
    • The work processs, procedures and applied work instructions
    • An examination plan adapted to the working processes
    • Procedures for changes, modifications, deviations and exemptions
    • Handling of the production test stops or the required presence of a two or third party

    Q: Basic and additional tolerances are determined in EN 1090-2 and EN 1090-3. The compliance of which tolerances is examined during the first audit?
    A: Both tolerances must be observed. The basic tolerance refers to the characteristics „mechanical strength and stability“, the additional tolerance refers to characteristics such as appearance and accuracy of fit).

    Q: When must the initial inspection include a basic calculation (ITC initial type calculation)?
    A: If steel and/or aluminium structures are declared according tot he declaration methods 2 or 3b. The manufacturer has to carry out the design and the calculation. It is possible to assign the design to a subcontractor. The subcontractor must be appropriately qualified, the evidence of qualification must be presented at the initial inspection.

    Q: Can a company be certified according to EN 1090-1 without basic calculations for steel and/or aluminium structures?
    A: A certification is possible, but the steel and/or aluminium structures can only be declared according to the methods 1 or 3a.

    Q: Do subcontractors have to be present during the audit for a certification according to EN 1090-1 if they carry out calculations?
    A: During the certification audit, the evidence of the subcontractor’s qualification to carry out calculations has to be presented. If the subcontractor is licenced as a relevant technical office, a civil engineer or a civil engineering office, these documents are sufficient. If these documents are not available, subcontractors must provide evidence of the qualifications of the personnel carrying out the measurements, the data on which the measurements are based and how they are transmitted, the calculation method (software) and the calculation itself.

    Q: : During the initial inspection, there was no evidence of basic calculations as the declarations are made according to 1 or 3a. Does the certification body has to execute another inspection if steel or/and aluminium structures are declared according to declaration methods 2 or 3b?
    A: : An on-site inspection is necessary as this is a new so-called "production unit" (hardware and software for dimensioning are regarded as production units). The effort for such an inspection is considerably lower, since only the new "production unit" has to be audited.

    Q: How long and in which way must inspection certificates be kept?
    A: Within the EN 1090 series of standards they have to be kept for five years. This period of time applies to the results of the initial assessment, the declaration of conformity and other records regarding executed controlls. There is no specific retention period for test certificates, but they can be seen as a part oft he relevant documentation oft he produced structures. With the existing test certificates, it is also possible to check that the correct semi-finished products have been used. How the records are to be kept is not regulated, it lies within the responsibility of the manufacturer.

    Q: Which qualifications must the person responsible for the FPC be able to prove?
    A: The EN 1090-1 does not define any special requirements for the qualification of the person responsible for the FPC. It requires that the definition of the responsibilities and powers of the senior staff. Due to the area of responsibility of the person(s) responsible for the FPC, technical knowledge and knowledge of the EN 1090-1 series of standards and their implementation in the company must be available. With a proven qualification as a master in the metalworking industry and additional knowledge related to the EN 1090 series of standards (separate training certificates are not required), the required qualifications are proven.

    Q: : Ist he internal welding supervisor allowed to issue certificates?
    A: A: Welding certificates may only be issued by certification bodies accredited according to EN ISO 17024. If the internal welding supervisory authority has the EWE/IWE qualification, welder test certificates in accordance with EN 287-1 or ISO 9606-2 may be issued. These welder test certificates are only valid for the respective manufacturer.

    Q: Are certified welders allowed to carry out the visual inspection of the seams they have welded?
    A: Visual inspections may be performed by certified welders who have passed an additional examination. The welders who perform visual inspections may be questioned about the performance of visual inspections and the applied regulations during initial inspections or ongoing monitoring.

    Q: : Does the certification body have to label the components before the initial inspection?
    A: : During the initial inspection, the manufacturer must demonstrate to the certification body that he is able to issue the appropriate label for the component to be labelled. The manufacturer must also be able to issue a declaration of conformity for the entire structure.

    Q: : Is it enough to apply only one label for the entire structure or to include it in the additional documents?
    A: : Based on the labelling, components must be clearly assignable regarding the component specification and manufacturing data at the construction site where the supporting structures are to be erected or assembled.

    Q: Can the CE mark be applied to products not covered by the Construction Products Directive or Construction Products Ordinance?
    A: The CE marking may generally be affixed to products for which there are applicable harmonised standards, e.g: EN ISO 10025-1 for hot-rolled semi-finished products of structural steels; EN 14399-1 High-strength prestressable bolt connections for metal construction; EN 13479, Welding consumables - General product standard for consumables and powders for fusion welding of metallic materials.

    Q:May the CE mark be affixed to products according to EN 1090-1 that do not comply with the Construction Products Directive or Construction Products Ordinance?
    A: No.

    Q: What is the meaning of the CE mark affixed to products?
    A: A CE mark affixed by the manufacturer to a steel or aluminium structure indicates that this steel or aluminium structure conforms to all relevant applicable standards (for steel structures EN 1090-2, for aluminium structures EN 1090-3). The manufacturer issues a CE declaration of conformity for this steel or aluminium structure.

    Q: How many manufacturers can an external welding supervisor oversee?
    A:There are no specifications in the EN 1090 series of standards.The possible number of manufacturers to be supervised is limited because it is not possible to fulfil the tasks of EN ISO 14731 for a large number of manufacturers.

    Q: What is an initial inspection and how is it executed?
    A: With the initial test, the manufacturer proves that he can deliver (design, manufacture and assemble) load-bearing components and kits according to EN 1090-2 and/or EN 1090-3. The assessment for the initial test is divided into the basic calculation (ITC) - the ability to carry out measurements and the initial test (ITT) - the ability to manufacture components and kits.

    Q: Do test certificates have to be available for the fittings used?
    A: : According to EN 1090-2, Table 1, a value certificate 2.1 must be available for fittings. Inspection certificate 3.1 may be required.

    Q: Who determines the degree of preparation of surfaces for an upcoming coating?
    A: The degree of preparation applies to steel surfaces for paints and related products and must be determined by the customer or the manufacturer in accordance with EN ISO 8501-3.

    Q: : Is it allowed to order coatings used for corrosion protection of steel components (e.g: Zinc) if no degree of preparation of the surface has been specified by the customer?
    A: The requirements must be specified in the execution documents (performance specification or performance requirements). The requirements can also be specified by the coater, but these details must be checked with the details in the execution documents.

    Q: : Who is allowed to issue and sign the declaration of conformity of a structure?
    A: It can be issued and signed by the manufacturer or his legal representative.

    Q: : Is the manufacturer obliged to notify the certification body about a change oft he welding supervisor within the company?
    A: Yes. A change of the welding supervisor leads to a change oft he surveillance intervals. (Paragraph B.4, B.4.1 and B.4.2 of the EN 1090-1)

    Q: Can a manufacturer who only carries out assembly work be certified according to EN 1090-1?
    A: No, because no structures are manufactured.

    Q: A manufacturer is already certified according to EN ISO 3834-3 and would like to be certified according to EXC4. To what extent can this certification be taken into account when determining the time required for the initial inspection?
    A: EXC4 requires certification as a welding company according to EN ISO 3834-2. A reduction is allowed and the extent of this reduction must be determined by the audit team leader. The already existing certified areas are considered to be compliant.

    Q: : Non-destructive testing is assigned to a s subcontractor, does the subcontractor have to be present during the initial inspection or an ongoing monitoring?
    A: If they are accredited inspection bodies for this scope, they do not have to be present during the initial inspection or the ongoing monitoring. During the audit, the contractual conditions and the documents regarding the inspections are to be inspected. External qualified auditors, who do not work on behalf of an accredited testing body, must be present during the audit if possible. The decision of attendance is made by the audit team leader. As of EXC3, these external auditors must be present at the initial inspection. If they are working for the manufacturer, the audit team leader shall decide if they have to be present or not.

    Q: : Are employees which are audited and not able to answer the questions oft he audit allowed to ask their superiors for advice?
    A: : The employees must be able to answer the questions of the audit which are related to their assigned area of work. The leader of the audit team or the auditor may decide if the employee is allowed to ask the superior for help. If the employee is not able to understand the language or cannot formulate the correct answer, conformity can be proven by observing the individual work steps which he or she carries out.