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Technical Approval both at national and at European level (by way of the Construction Products Directive) is very similar to the process of Agrément in that a performance based specification has to be written and then the products and/or systems are evaluated against the specification. Being performance based the procedure is different from conformity to a Standard, which is usually prescriptive. However, and under the Construction Products Directive, the scope of European Technical Approval is somewhat constrained in prioritising compliance with National Building Regulations as well as health and safety matters. The Agrément process is more comprehensive.
European Technical approvals are the business of EOTA (European Organisation for Technical Approvals), which consists of all member states in the European Union as well as observer members from EU candidate countries. The issue of a European Technical Approval, coupled with what is known as ‘attestation of conformity’ appropriate to the product or system, results in a CE marking. However, notwithstanding a product possessing a CE mark, the information underlying the mark in relation to the National Building Regulations will still have to be satisfied.
Acknowledgement: British Board of Agrément