RAL quality mark – Procedure

RAL Quality Assurance – how it works

Below, you will find an explanation, in a nutshell, of how the RAL Quality Assurance procedure works. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Step 1: Approval procedure

If producers wish to obtain quality assurance for their product, their application will initiate a six-month approval procedure. During this period, a specified number of extensive analyses must be carried out depending on the type of product. The regulations require both sampling by the facility and external sampling by an external sampler who is to be appointed by Gütegemeinschaft Substrate für Pflanzen e.V. (GGS). People in charge of sampling will be specifically trained for this responsibility. The analysis programme may only be carried out by independent labs that are appointed by the relevant GGS quality commissions. The testing methods to be used in the analyses are precisely defined. The laboratory sends the analysis results directly to the GGS office to be evaluated by the relevant quality commission.

Step 2: Awarding the quality mark

If after the above-mentioned approval period, the product registered for quality assurance is found to meet the quality regulations, the quality commission may award the quality mark.

Step 3: Monitoring

Monitoring starts once the quality mark has been awarded. Again, a specific number of samples must be inspected in independent laboratories under the quality commission’s control depending on the type of product. A specific number of external samplings is required. This external monitoring is a key mainstay of the quality assurance. The facility is also required to monitor and keep record of the production process at all times, as well as check each charge on site for key production parameters of the substrate produced, such as salinity and pH value (self-monitoring). If a product fails to meet the quality assurance requirements, the quality commission is entitled to order repeat inspections to be made and to suspend or withdraw the quality mark if necessary.