The concept

Gütesicherung Kanalbau RAL-GZ 961

Prior to awarding contracts for the assembly and maintenance of drains and sewers, clients and network operators verify the eligibility of the bidders. Agreed between clients, engineering firms and contractors, Gütesicherung Kanalbau RAL-GZ 961 offers a basis for assessing technical eligibility. Companies with a Sewer Construction Quality Mark have demonstrated their technical performance capability, experience and reliability for particular execution areas. Verification of technical eligibility by the RAL Quality Committee in cooperation with the commissioned test engineers saves clients and contractors the need for costly individual inspections and evidence gathering.
The minimum requirements on the technical eligibility of executing companies are laid down in the Quality and Test Specifications RAL-GZ 961. These requirements are drawn up and updated jointly by clients and contractors and so represent a consensus among the experts involved. Under the RAL recognition procedure the technical and commercial experts (local authorities, associations, ministries) concerned are also involved in agreeing the Quality and Test Specifications. 

The task of the Gütegemeinschaft Kanalbau is to assess at regular intervals whether applicants or quality mark holders meet the requirements of the Quality and Test Specifications. Companies that have submitted such evidence and continue to do so regularly thereafter document this using the RAL Sewer Construction Quality Mark. The special activity for which the qualification is demonstrated is indicated by the name of the appraisal group underneath the quality mark. 

Members of the Gütegemeinschaft Kanalbau include contracting authorities, engineering firms and contractors from the industry. As a not-for-profit organisation, the Gütegemeinschaft offers a comprehensive range of training and consulting services for clients, engineering firms and quality mark holders, performs fundamental work on quality aspects and provides a platform for technical discussions through knowledge sharing. Its services thus extend well beyond pure certification.  

The form of a RAL quality association was chosen in order to allow the highest possible degree of autonomy for the participating companies. At the same time, however, care was take to ensure that the needs of clients as the operators of drains and sewers were also considered with regard to the requirements profile. This led to the creation of a well-structured organisation that is neutral under competition law.  

Excerpt from the Statutes of the Association:

The purpose of the Association, 
  1. is to improve the environmental compatibility of drains and sewers and thereby counteract the contamination of groundwater and soil through leaking sewers,
  2. to protect the public against danger from inexpert works.

To that end the Association has the duty, 
  1. to ensure the quality of the assembly and maintenance of drains and sewers. This includes measures for the construction, renewal, repair, rehabilitation, inspection and maintenance of drains and sewers;
  2. to identify those services whose quality is assured with the Sewer Construction Quality Mark;
  3. to create quality mark statutes and implementing regulations;
  4. to monitor compliance by quality mark users with the quality mark statutes;
  5. to obligate quality mark users only to identify with the quality mark those of their services the quality of which is assured;
  6. to encourage and where necessary itself to conduct training and professional development, seminars and events with the aim of improving the assembly and maintenance of drains and sewers;
  7. to perform public relations work.