March 2022 – Applicants are strongly advised not to register anything other than the production build standard of a product. Whilst a lot of valuable information can be gathered from prototypes and beta versions, any testing that is undertaken on these may be partly or fully invalidated by changes made before the production standard is arrived at.
Technical Assessors are required to ensure that all the content of the Technical File relates to the same product name or names, same build standard, and same version number throughout the entire file. It is therefore vital that your product is at a stable final product build standard before undertaking testing and Registration.
CE/CA Marking – Feb 2021 – All specifications referencing CE marking will be presumed to include CA marking when applicable. Specifications will be amended to this requirement during their review process.
Cyber-security – Dec 2020 – Manufacturers and users are advised to be aware of the Network and Information Systems Directive in respect of cyber-security.
Radio Agency Test – August 2020 – Appendix Z on earlier specifications refers to Radio Agency testing. This testing has been superseded by RED (Radio Emissions Directive) and the UK Radio Emissions Regulations 2017 and this should be understood as the current testing requirement. All specifications will be amended to this requirement during their review process.
Update of DMRB – August 2020 For all references in TOPAS specifications to TA/84 Code of Practice for Traffic Control and Information Systems for All Purpose Roads – please refer to The following HE documents : TA101; TS 101; TM 101 and TD 101.
Frameworks ask for TOPAS Registered products. If a product does not appear on the register, or cannot be validated by TOPAS on request, it is not registered.
A “compliant” product is a statement by a manufacturer stating that they believe the product would be compliant ‘if’ it were to be put through the TOPAS process – this means, that it has not been put through the TOPAS processes.
A TOPAS Registered product means that the product has been through the processes of independent technical assessment and accepted by the TOPAS Body to be registered as compliant to the requirements of the specification(s) which it states. Where there is more than one specification, the product may appear on the register several times, under each specification. As a procurer you are advised to check the register under the required specifications, since there may be different caveats included for different specifications.
Registration affirms compliance with the TOPAS specifications for road traffic control at signalised junctions and pedestrian crossings but does not make any recommendations about the use of equipment in other situations and in these cases the user should satisfy themselves in conjunction with their supplier of the suitability of equipment.
TOPAS recognises that BS/EN, Elexon and other requirements can be changed. Whilst TOPAS makes every effort to keep these up-to-date in our specifications, the onus is on the manufacturer to ensure that they comply with the latest regulations specified under any BS/EN or other statutory requirement, regardless of whether they are listed in TOPAS specifications. You are advised to refer to the TSGRD 2016 and other statutory resources for further guidance on these matters.
Requirements for variable message signs are prescribed in the Traffic Signs Rgulations And General Directions 2016.
Schedule 16 states that a discontinuous variable message sign must meet the relevant performance classes from BS EN 12966:2014 National Annex as set out in part 7. This refers to clases ‘B1 or B3’ as being the permitted classes for beam width and includes all types of mobile and permanent VMS for highways use.
Manfacturers have a responsiblity to ensure their products offered for sale meet the relevant legislation.
VMS may only be used to display traffic signs as defined in the Road Traffic Regulation Act. All messages must be displayed on a single sign aspect. It is unlawful to display messages that require the use of multiple displays (“paging”) or scrolling text.
TSRGD Schedule 17 includes the permitted alphabet for VMS in part 5 – shown as all CAPS, similarly in Schedule 16. This means that they must be displayed as such.
Regulation 5 states that letters and numerals be in the proportions shown in the relevant schedule. In addition letter height is governed by the required x-height for the speed of the road.
VMS (which includes vehicle activitated VMS) not confirming to TSRGD or displaying messages not defined in the Road Traffic Regulation Act may be deemed to be unlawful. It is for local authorities and other users to ensure any VMS they place on their roads coply with all legislation.
Placing an unlawful VMS on a public road may expose the local authority to litigation in the event of an incident.
TOPAS will consider applications for product registration by third parties other than the manufacturer, provided that the applicant has the permission of the original equipment manufacturer/design authority to submit such an application, or a degree of ownership of the design to fulfil the manufacturer’s role, and is also able to supply the necessary technical file and documentation for such registration.
Manufacturers who have registered a product with TOPAS may request a “TOPAS registered product” logo from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once Registration is completed you will receive a Certificate of Registration. This document will serve as your proof of satisfactory compliance with the specfication and version and you will need this document to show to your customers as part of the procurement process.
A body may apply to TOPAS to be an approved Technical Assessor. Such body will need to show that they have sufficient and demonstrable experience, knowledge and expertise in electronics, optical and traffic technologies within the traffic control sector.
Technical Assessors will need to be fully independent of any applicant with whom it works, and be able to provide independent test or audit facilities. Any body may apply to become TOPAS approved for this purpose and there is no charge for this.
TOPAS welcomes bodies who have UKAS accreditation but will consider those with substantial experience and expertise. We are hopeful that manufacturers’ current external assessors will look to provide this service in addition to those already required by manufacturers.
Technical Assessors do not enter into a contract with TOPAS, all agreements are carried out independently between applicants and Assessors throughout the TOPAS process to registration. Please direct any enquiries to email@example.com
Anyone developing new equipment within the traffic control sector should refer to TOPAS 0600 and TOPAS 0601A for guidance and information. Where a manufacturer believes their new or innovative product does not appear to fit an existing specification, they may wish to contact TOPAS for further guidance. In the event that the Board considers the product will not be covered, the manufacturer is invited to subject a new specification draft in accordance with TOPAS 0601A for this purpose.
Please note, the process under TOPAS 0601 is intended to run in parallel with the trials assessment process described in TOPAS 0600.
An independent third party body competent to assess the Technical File to ensure that it provides adquate evidence that the product has been designed and tested to meet a relevant TOPAS procurement specification. This may be a European Notified Body as defined in Clause 2.6 of TOPAS 0600 or another body recognised by TOPAS as competent to undertake the assessment.
TOPAS has been established to coordinate the management and development of technical specifications for traffic control equipment, and to offer a straightforward means of customers verifying manufacturers’ compliance with the associated product testing through a registrations system. Whilst TOPAS registration is not mandatory it is recommended, with increasing numbers of purchasing specfications from Local Authorities and other organisations requiring tihs.
The TOPAS website provides the most up-to-date register for the purchasing authorities to use in the procurement of products.
TOPAS registration is only intended to provide assurance that manufacturers products have undergone sufficient internal testing against the relevant equipment specifications, with third party independent verification of test certificates (by nominated bodies/UK Approved bodies). TOPAS registration is based on manufacturers self-certification in the same way as Type Approval, but potentially provides a more robust assurance as, unlike Type Approval, TOPAS registration requires independent verification of internal testing.
It is important to remember that neither TOPAS registration or Type Approval guarantee that equipment is defect free, and purchasers should undertake such factory and site testing as they consider necessary to ensure products work as required for the specific installation. Purchasers should also ensure products are used only for their intended function.
TOPAS Ltd has been established with the aim of continuing the benefit of national agreement of equipment specifications, supported by an approvals system, so that purchasers can buy equipment with confidence that it complies with the relevant technical specification. TOPAS registration may be withdrawn if testing is considered unreliable, but purchasers should deal with the individual manufacturer over complaints that a product supplied by that manufacturer does not work. Where a product is intended to be used in an innovative way, purchasers are advised to check with the manufacturer before purchasing equipment that it will operate in the intended way, particularly where there may be installation interface requirements.
No. TOPAS does not cover all equipment installed on public roads, but only equipment manufactured to a limited number of technical specifications relating to traffic control and associated equipment [see list of specifications for details].
Additionally, TOPAS registration by manufacturers is voluntary and a manufacturer may offer a product to a particular technical specification within the TOPAS range without registering that product. Purchasers considering purchasing such equipment are advised to assure themselves that sufficient testing has been undertaken.
The removal of the need for Type Approval by the Secretary of State means that purchasers have more freedom over the equipment they install provided that it conforms with the Traffic Sign Regulations and General Directions. Purchasers considering using such equipment are advised to satisfy themselves that it is fit for the purpose and that it will not adversely affect the operation of connected equipment.
When a specification is up-issued, existing product registrations remain in place registered under the assigned specification version. However, buyers may require products registered to the latest specification and therefore manufacturers may wish to consider re-registratration for this purpose. Because of the registration fees and other costs involved, TOPAS will only up-issue a specification in the event of a significant change in policy or technology. Please refer to the TOPAS Registration Process TOPAS 0600, Section 4.15 – 4.18.
TOPAS currently does not cover registrations for Arrow Signs but would advise local authorities/suppliers/manufacturers that should they wish to use arrow signs on networks other than HE then they must have DfT authority to do so.
Manufacturers MUST ensure their product conforms with all requirements necessary, not just those required by TOPAS.
Manufacturers need to demonstrate that products put forward for TOPAS registration have been designed and tested within an effective quality management system. Offering evidence of a certified ISO 9001 is one way of achieving this. For non-UK manufacturers, certification from a national certification body is also accepted. Where an organisation has an effective QMS but which is not formally certified, this will also be accepted by TOPAS, provided evidence of its existence and effectiveness is provided to the Technical Assessor as part of the Registration process, in lieu of formal certification. Any registration request without evidence of QMS would need to be reviewed by the Board.