New Cylinder Testing Regulations
Dive Centres that test cylinders must now have their facilities and staff assessed after tighter regulations came into force…
Previously, British & European Standards required that the testing of cylinders should be carried out by a “competent person”. But after the Dept for Transport took over responsibility from the HSE on 1st July , it announced the “competent person” was subject to a third party assessment. The Inspectorate for Diving Equipment Servicing and Testing (IDEST) is so far the only body accredited by UKAS to carry out such certification. To meet the UKAS criteria, a test centre must employ appropriately trained staff, have regularly maintained equipment , work to an approved code of practice, have written procedures, and keep full records.
IDEST/UKAS- approved centres must also only use cylinder- test technicians approved by the same body and centres given approval will receive a unique IDEST cylinder stamp.
The testing of the individual technician is based on the approved code of practice and the quality procedures system of the particular test house, therefore once they have received approval it is only applicable to the company they work for as it is based on their procedures, and if they move to a different company they would need to obtain further approval. Therefore be warned, if you travel on the highway, with a cylinder in the charged condition that was due for test after the 1st July 2006, if it was not tested by an approved technician, to meet the new standards, you will be breaking the law.