The British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) has announced it will now provide low and medium voltage cable testing to all International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) cable standards.

It was a common misconception that BASEC only tested cable to British or European cable standards, however the testing and certification body serves reputable cable manufacturers and standards authorities across the world. When selling cable product worldwide, cable manufacturers need to ensure its product is in accordance to the cable standards set by that country regulator which could be British, European or international standard requirements, and even private or sector standards.

Dr Jeremy Hodge, chief executive at BASEC said: “As our service has become recognised in more territories, we have experienced an increase in the demand for testing to IEC cable standards and therefore we have expanded our cable testing scope to include all low and medium voltage IEC cable standards where previously this was limited to a few key types. The benefit to cable manufacturers is where they require multiple testing to cover British and European (BS EN) standards and IEC standards, we can test to both standards at the same time where this is permitted. We can then provide a double test report for one cable, and potentially award two certificates.”

One of the most common IEC cable standards BASEC tests to is IEC 60502 which is cable intended for fixed installation indoors, outdoors, underground or in the presence of water. When a certificate has been issued, a cable manufacturer can list the standards it has been awarded against the cable product it is selling. In this instance, a cable manufacturer may describe its cable product to potential customers together with the equivalent British Standards it has achieved, for example: Low voltage power cables with XLPE insulation and PVC sheathing to IEC 60502-1, BS 5476, and BS 7889 or medium voltage power cables to IEC 60502-2 up to 18/30 (36) kV and to BS 6622 up to 19/33 (36) kV

“Our message to cable buyers is always specify a recognised standard and an independently approved cable, check the cable markings on delivery and before installation to ensure it meets the criteria for its intended use.  If suspicious cable is found, contact BASEC or your local regulatory authority for advice,” concluded Jeremy.

BASEC was recently awarded ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation for its cable testing laboratory based in the UK. This is one of the highest levels of recognised quality any testing or calibration laboratory can attain.