How it works

Watermark Certification scheme administrative structure

The ABCB is responsible for the management and administration of WaterMark. The Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) accredits Watermark Conformity Assessment Bodies (WMCABs), who in turn, evaluate and certify plumbing and drainage materials and products.

WMCABs are responsible for evaluating new products to an approved specification for inclusion on the WaterMark Product Database (WMPD). If a new product cannot be evaluated to an approved specification, the WMCAB can submit a new or amended specification for the ABCB to review and approve. Once approval is obtained, the WMCAB can undertake an evaluation of the new product.

The WaterMark flowchart details the relationship of the stakeholders and their role in the scheme.

Which products require certification?

It is important to note that not all plumbing and drainage materials and products require WaterMark certification and authorisation. All materials and products proposed to be used in a plumbing and drainage installation require a risk evaluation to be undertaken.

A risk evaluation has already been undertaken for several materials and products. A comprehensive listing of materials and products predetermined to require WaterMark certification - including product types and application, specifications and exemptions - is contained on the WaterMark Schedule of Specifications (WMSS). Likewise, the WaterMark List of Exempt Products (WLEP) details materials and products that have been predetermined as not requiring WaterMark certification. The ABCB will keep the WMSS and WLEP updated as new products undergo risk evaluation and as specifications are approved for use or suspended.

Materials or products not included on the WMSS or WLEP, which are proposed to be used in plumbing or drainage installations, require evaluation in accordance with the ABCB Manual for the Assessment of Risks of Plumbing Products. This risk evaluation is used to determine a consequence score and the level of certification required under WaterMark. Products with consequence scores less than 3 do not require certification, those with consequence scores of 3-4 require Level 2 certification, while those with consequence scores greater than 4 require Level 1 certification.

WMCABs can review a material or product to determine if WaterMark certification is necessary.

How to have a product certified

In order to achieve certification, the material or product must:

  • be tested by a recognised testing laboratory;
  • comply with an approved specification (either an existing standard or WaterMark Technical Specification);
  • be manufactured in accordance with an approved Quality Assurance Program; and
  • carry a warranty.

Materials and products complying with these requirements may be certified and authorised for use upon the granting of a WaterMark licence. Licensed materials and products are to be listed on the WaterMark Product Database identified by the WaterMark trade mark, which must be displayed on the material or product.

Organisations seeking WaterMark certification for their product should apply directly to a WMCAB. A flow chart illustrates the WaterMark Certification Process. Further information is provided in Notice of Direction 2013/1.0 WaterMark Certification Process.

A series of documents that outline requirements for product evaluation and certification, risk assessment and the drafting of a technical specification, which include procedures and guidance, govern WaterMark.

Any organisation that can satisfy an approved WMCAB that its product meets these requirements can have its product WaterMark certified. Individual WMCABs may have specific application and engagement processes.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission govern the use of the WaterMark trade mark by approved Trade Mark Rules, which include the WaterMark Approved Certifier Agreement and at Schedule 3 of the Approved Certifier Agreement, the Approved User Agreement.

WaterMark Brochure

Information brochure relating to the WaterMark Certification Scheme.

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ABCB Manual for the Assessment of Risks of Plumbing Products

Provides guidance in the process of risk management of plumbing and drainage products, appliances and equipment in a plumbing and drainage installation, in or around buildings. Read More

Trade Mark Rules

Outlines the rules that govern the use of the WaterMark Trade Mark. Read More

WaterMark Certification Process flow chart

The WaterMark Certification Process flow chart outlines the steps in the process for WaterMark certification of a new plumbing or drainage material or product to be used in a plumbing installation.

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Schedule of Specifications

A list of plumbing and drainage materials and products that are included in the WaterMark Certification Scheme and nominated certified specification. Read More

Approved Certifier Agreement

Details the agreement entered into between the WMCAB and the ABCB for the use of the WaterMark. Includes Schedule 3, Approved User Agreement of the use of WaterMarks. Read More

List of Exempt Products

Contains a list of plumbing and drainage products that are exempt from the WaterMark Certification Scheme. Read More