In general, a person has a right to access information which is not otherwise publicly available. However, certain NSAI certification records are not subject to the FOI Act under S.I. No. 127 of 2001. The exempt records are those related to certification carried out on request of a client in return for payment other than certifications carried out on behalf of a public authority which itself is subject to the FOI Act.
NSAI records subject to FOI include:
- Making of contracts of or for service with any person, company or other body
- Making and development of policy
- Certification (other than the exempt records)
Requests for information may be made by contacting the FOI Officer, 1 Swift Square, Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9, D09 A0E4 or by downloading the FOI Request for Access to Records form. Return the form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Access to Information on the Environment - AIE Requests
NSAI is a public authority under the AIE Regulations (Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007 to 2014). Requests for access to relevant records may be made by contacting the AIE Officer, 1 Swift Square, Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9, D09 A0E4 or by email email@example.com [MB1].
NSAI complies with the requirements of Data Protection legislation. Requests for access to personal data for which NSAI is responsible may be made by contacting the FOI Officer, 1 Swift Square, Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9, D09 A0E4 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Re-use of Public Sector Information
NSAI complies with the requirements for Re-use of Public Sector Information and encourages the re-use of the information it publishes. Information and documents obtained from the NSAI website may be reproduced and/or re-used once in compliance with conditions and the latest PSI licence.
Further information can be found here.
Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
The primary functions of the NSAI are to develop and promote written standards, provide conformity assessment services for products, management systems and processes, realise and maintain physical measurement standards for the State traceable to international standards and enforce legislation related to measuring instruments and measurements in trade use.
The Authority was established under the National Standards Authority of Ireland Act, 1996. NSAI operates under the aegis of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and is a public body for the purposes of the FOI Act. Accordingly, its records may, subject to certain exceptions, be accessed by an FOI request.
2. Roles, Responsibilities and Functions
The role and responsibilities of the NSAI are to fulfil the functions set down in the NSAI Act 1996, the Metrology Acts 1980-1996 and the provision of technical services on behalf of various government departments. The services provided by NSAI are delivered through the following core activities:
NSAI develops, publishes and promotes Irish, European and International Standards with the aim of improving the efficiency, quality, design, performance, safety and the environmental impact of goods and services produced. NSAI participation in standards development through the national consultative committee network or international standards committees gives Irish businesses access to a network of national and international stakeholders (standards researchers/experts, potential customers, competitors, suppliers, consumers and users), thereby shaping the future standards applicable to their own industries.
In addition to its standardisations functions under the NSAI Act, NSAI is also notified as the national standardisation body for Ireland under Article 27 of EU Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 on European standardisation taking up the functions and responsibilities assigned under the EU Regulation.
NSAI is member of the European standardisation bodies CEN, CENELEC and ETSI and the international standardisation bodies ISO and IEC. Through its membership NSAI engages with European and international standardisation.
According to the membership rules of the European and international standardisation organisations as well as European law, domestic standards may only be developed provided there is no overlap with European or international standards.
2.2 Scientific and Industrial Metrology
Through the National Metrology Laboratory (NML) facility, NSAI discharges the role of the national metrology institute for Ireland which is to provide industrial and scientific metrology to Irish industry, through access to internationally traceable measurement standards and an accompanying high precision instrument calibration service. These activities support businesses who have requirements for the highest measurement accuracy throughout their development, manufacturing and control processes.
The NML is member of Euramet the European cooperation on scientific and industrial metrology and is signatory to the mutual recognition agreement on measurement standards (CIPM MRA) of the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures).
2.3 Legal Metrology
As the NSAI’s regulatory function, the Legal Metrology Service, is charged with the oversight of measurements and measuring instruments used in trade and has the powers to investigate and prosecute for breaches of metrology legislation. Legal Metrology operates on a risk-based assessment model covering 40,000 traders and 75,000 trading instruments deployed across a wide range of industry sectors, from food production, including export enterprises, to local retailing. These protections underpin trade equity and consumer confidence, which contribute significantly to the stability of the economy closest to the public.
The LMS is member of WELMEC the cooperation of European authorities responsible for legal metrology and represents the State at the OIML (International Organisation of Legal Metrology).
2.4 Conformaty Assessment (Certification)
Through internationally recognised schemes, NSAI provides an independent, third party conformity assessment service that enables businesses to demonstrate to their customers, stakeholders and the wider public that their products or services meet the appropriate standards. A comprehensive suite of schemes is provided to meet industry requirements for:
- Mandatory certification – in certain sectors such as medical and automotive, products or services cannot be placed on the market without approval or certification by an approved designated body.
- Voluntary certification – this is utilised by businesses to improve their efficiency or to demonstrate that their products and services meet the requirements of standards.
NSAI is appointed by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as the Irish Type Approval Authority for Passenger and Commercial vehicles, 2/3 Wheeled Vehicles and Quadricycles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery. Additionally, it carries out functions related to the transport sector as competent authority for approval and monitoring of Tachograph Workshops and Plating and Speed Limitation Devices Workshops, conformity assessment of ADR tanks and vessels, type approval of transport equipment for international carriage of perishable foods and conformity assessment of receptacles, tanks and containers for equipment used to transport dangerous goods by road.
NSAI is a notified body for conformity assessment related to European CE marking for:
- Construction products
- Medical devices, active implantable medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic medical devices
- Measuring instruments and non-automatic weighing instruments
NSAI is member of the International Certification Network (IQNet), the European Organisation for Technical Assessment (EOTA) and the European Union of Agrément (EUAtc).
2.5 Information Services
NSAI is the Irish contact point for:
- Notifications on Prevention of Technical Barriers to Trade - Directive 2015/1535/EU
- Information about Technical Rules on Non-harmonised Products (Mutual Recognition) - Regulation (EC) 764/2008
- ISO International Numbering Schemes for Automotive Manufacturers Vehicle Identifier (VIN numbers) and Credit Card/Debit Card Numbers
3. Records Held by the NSAI
The range of records held by the NSAI falls within the following broad categories (some overlap may occur)
Internal Administration Records:
- Personnel Records
- Accounts Records
- Assets Register
- Client records, applications, certifications, audits etc. for NSAI conformity assessment services
- Enforcement records for statutory inspections - Records of standardisation committees and work groups
- Civil/Public Service Guidelines and Circulars - Published media coverage, including press cuttings
- Speeches and presentations made by CEO/staff of the NSAI
- Contact with public bodies including the names of officers in those public bodies
- Notes and minutes of management meeting and associated documentation
- Records relating to publication of reports e.g. annual reports, including records relating to translation, tendering, designing and printing
- Management of the website
- FOI requests for access to records held by NSAI
- Data Protection Act requests for access to personal records held by NSAI
- General enquiries and correspondence
4. Governance and Management Arrangements
The NSAI is committed to best practice structure, processes and systems that support the successful operation of duties in an ethical, accountable, transparent and effective manner. NSAI has a documented quality assurance system and is certified to ISO 9001 standard throughout its operations.
The NSAI Board is made up of a maximum of 13 members including the CEO, two staff representatives and one Departmental official.
The Board is responsible for governance of the Authority and guiding NSAI’s strategic direction. The Board reports to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Further information on the current Board can be found on the NSAI website at NSAI Board.
5. Corporate Plan and Strategies
NSAI has published its 2016-2020 strategy which can be downloaded from the website here.
6. Annual Reports
7. Management - Structure and Contact
NSAI's management structure and contact details are available here.
8. Organisation Numbers and Pay Ranges
9. Location of the Office
NSAI Headquarters is located at 1 Swift Square, Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9, D09 A0E4.
The NML facility is located in Dublin at Griffith Avenue Extension, Glasnevin, Dublin 11, D11 E527.
The NSAI Inc. office in the US is located at 20 Trafalgar Square, Suite 603, Nashua, USA, NH 03063.
NSAI Regional Offices are located in Galway, Limerick, Cork, Sligo, Dundalk and Waterford.
Full details, contact phone and fax numbers for all our offices can be found at NSAI Office Locations
1. Our Services
Our key activities are development and publication of written standards, traceability and enforcement of measurement standards, and certification of products, processes and services.
For written standards we can assist you with:
- How to search the standards catalogue
- Whether a standard is being developed and, if so, what stage the work is at
- How to become a participant of a standardisation work group
- How to see and make comments on draft standards
- How to buy a standard
- How to view a standard abstract
- What professional bodies or government bodies/agencies might be able to help you to look at a standard in more detail
For physical measurement standards we can assist you with:
- Whether we provide traceability or a calibration service for a measurement unit
- How to get a quote for calibration
- How to interpret the information on the calibration certificate
- About the topics and dates of the metrology training programme
- What your obligations and liabilities are as a user of a measuring instrument in trade use
- What your obligations and liabilities are as a packer of pre-packaged products
- What your obligations and liabilities are as a manufacturer, importer or distributer of measuring instruments used for regulated purposes
- About the inspection of measuring instruments in trade use and manufacturers of pre-packaged products
For conformity assessment (certification) services, we can assist you with:
- What products, processes and services we certify
- How to get a quote for certification
- What your obligations are as a certified business or provider of certified products
- What products must be certified in order to comply with CE marking requirements
- How to find a certification body for your product if we do not provide that service
- What government departments or agencies are responsible for market surveillance of CE marked products
2. Fees for NSAI Services
Fees are charged for standards publications sold through the NSAI web portal at Standards Sales. Each standard publication is priced separately, additional sales features are available for tailored packages and regular updating for standards of interest.
The Irish standards catalogue of domestic, European and International standards is available to browse at no cost in NSAI Headquarters. A member of the customer service team is available by appointment to assist in searching the database.
Fees are charged for conformity assessment services, calibration, measurement training courses and legal metrology verifications. Quotations for services are available in advance by contacting NSAI Headquarters or submitting a request for quotation through the NSAI website.
3. Complaints and Appeals Handling
NSAI is committed to providing a quality service to its customers and strives to continuously improve its services.
Complaints about NSAI services may be made through the NSAI Complaints and Appeals Handling Procedure.
NSAI is a technical services and legal enforcement organisation and does not make public policy. NSAI activities enable the delivery of policies of other State bodies (government departments, offices and agencies) by providing the technical support infrastructure for developing standards, codes of practice etc. and providing conformity assessment, measurement calibration, inspection and verification services.
NSAI works closely with other State bodies, businesses, consumers and other interested stakeholders to achieve workable solutions that deliver on public policy objectives.
NSAI charges fees on a cost recovery basis for its fee charging activities and is part funded by grant from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation vote. The most recent Financial Report is given in NSAI Annual Report [MB2].
NSAI has a documented Corporate Procurement Policy in compliance with Department of Finance public services procurement requirements. The current thresholds for procurement procedures, exclusive of VAT, are set down in the following table.
- Less than €5,000: informal quote(s) - verbal will suffice; written is favourable.
- €5,000 - €25,000: seek at least 3 written quote(s); 5 preferrable; consider advertising on e-tender
- €25,000 - EU threshold: e-tender (excludes IT purchases - Note 2)
- EU threshold - supplies and services: €200,000 + advertise on OJEU*
- EU threshold - Works: €5,000,000 + advertise on OJEU*
*Official Journal of the European Union.
Note 1: Re EU thresholds - These levels do not preclude the NSAI Purchasing Officer from seeking formal tenders below these thresholds.
Note 2: All purchases of ICT requirements above the value of €10k are advertised on www.etenders.gov.ie/, except for those covered by an OGP framework agreement/ contract.
NSAI publishes an annual list of public contracts awarded over €25,000 for both ICT and other contracts here [MB4].