Environmental Laboratory

International Acceptance of MCERTS

Feb 01 2013 Read 2938 Times

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MCERTS – the Environment Agency’s Monitoring Certification Scheme, ensures good quality robust monitoring data that can be trusted by both the Environment Agency and the public.  It allows for real time, continuous measurement to monitor trends and to improve process efficiency.  MCERTS underpins Operator Self Monitoring (OSM), acting as the delivery tool for environmental monitoring compliance in England and Wales.



MCERTS is based on International accreditation Standards:

Product certification ISO/IEC 17065

Personnel certification ISO/IEC 17024

Management systems  ISO/IEC 17021

Testing Laboratories ISO/IEC 17025

UKAS accreditation throughout these areas demonstrates competence, impartiality and performance capability internationally, as UKAS is a member of the IAF (International Accreditation Forum). 

Development of MCERTS

The first MCERTS performance standard was published in 1998, for Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS).  Since this point a great deal of time, resource and expertise from both the Environment Agency and Industry has led to the development of over 10 MCERTS standards encompassing emissions to air, land and water.

CSA-Sira have issued over 200 product conformity certificates, 500 certificates for personnel competence for stack monitoring, and have issued 4000 site conformity certificates under the effluent flow monitoring scheme. 

International Acceptance of MCERTS

MCERTS Certified Products

Manufacturers of MCERTS Certified Products are located globally, as can be seen by the map (below):

European Standards

Emissions to Air

The MCERTS performance standards are fully aligned with the European Standard EN15267 (comprising of EN15267-1, EN15267-2 and EN15267-3), for air emissions. The standards were published 5 years ago, also aligning MCERTS with the German UBA scheme.  MCERTS certificates for Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS) are to the MCERTS and EN standard resulting in acceptance throughout Europe.

Discharges to Water

Looking to the future, the development of MCERTS is set to continue.  A CEN Water group has been established in the UK, comprising of a mixture of interested parties including manufacturers and process operators.   With this support and a great deal of effort from CEN TC 230 WG4, the current MCERTS performance standards for water samplers (pr EN 16479-1) and online and portable monitoring analysers are being developed into European Standards.  

The publication of European standards in this area will benefit all stakeholders involved.  It will eliminate the need for repeat testing and approvals across Europe, provide commercial benefits and improved marketing opportunities for manufacturers of equipment, and facilitate increased acceptance of equipment that meet these new Standards by European regulatory authorities.  

MCERTS - a badge of quality

As MCERTS is an independent, accredited approval, it is viewed as an indicator of good quality. As a result, it has been specified as a requirement in tender documents internationally.

CSA-Sira has certified personnel in Hong Kong, Ireland, Spain and New Zealand to the Manual Stack Monitoring Scheme, with enquiries also being received from South Africa.  The self monitoring of effluent flow scheme has also been of great interest to Abu Dhabi.

Paul Wiggins, Environment Agency, commented “A contributor to the success of MCERTS is the flexibility that the scheme allows. A certification committee is assigned to each project, ensuring the evidence submitted by the manufacturer is technically robust. This route allows for the use of existing test data and for in-house data to be used when witnessed and verified by CSA-Sira. Field trials can also be conducted on existing installations reducing timescales and cost.”

The Environment Agency’s MCERTS scheme, operated by CSA-Sira, has been a success due to a number of factors, including support from industry and manufacturers of monitoring equipment. It provides a framework for process operators and the regulator to work within, and a clear benchmark of acceptability for monitoring data.

All MCERTS standards are freely downloadable from www.mcerts.net  



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