HC Deb 21 December 1967 vol 756 cc526-7W
Mr. Chichester-Clark

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will now make a statement on the progress on the Agrément Board since its inception.

Miss Harvie Anderson

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works (1) how many new materials, products and components, have been submitted to the Agrément Board for appraisal; how many certificates have been awarded; how many have been refused; and how many applications are still under consideration;

(2) what is the present number of permanent staff employed by the Agrément Board; what was the equivalent number in April, 1966; how many of these are professionally or technically qualified; and how many are in the clerical grades.

Mr. Mellish:

In April, 1966, the staff of the Agrément Board consisted of the director only. It now employs, in addition to the director, four professional and technical, three executive and six clerical staff.

The Board has received a large number of inquiries from manufacturers. Three certificates have been issued, eighteen products are under assessment and thirty-nine under preliminary examination. It is contrary to the Board's policy to publish information about products which fail to pass its tests, but the manufacturers are told the reason for failure. This usually leads to improvement of the product and its re-assessment.

The Board has, with my approval, joined the European Union of Agrément. This will enable holders of British Agrément Certificates to obtain certificates in other countries belonging to the Union, subject to confirmation by the local authority.

The Board has set up a subscribers scheme and circulates publications. These include, in addition to Agrément Certificates a news sheet, papers on methods of assessment, and translations of European documents. It has also published an annual report which is available on application to its office.