WHAT IS THE AUSTRALIAN CABLE INITIATIVE?
ACI is the Australian Cable Initiative.
The ACI was established to promote the safety and compliance of electrical cables used in buildings. The ACI is a not-for-profit organisation, administered by a Board of Directors. Our product testing and surveillance program monitors electrical cables manufactured, sold, used, or distributed in Australia to ensure compliance with Australian Standards.
We operate and fund a surveillance scheme to acquire cables at random from the marketplace and have them independently tested. Both member and non-member cables are sampled and tested for compliance and for safety.
Members of the Australian Cable Initiative sign up to our constitution requiring each member to continuously monitor the quality and compliance of the cables they sell or install.
The ACI Board of Directors works closely with the State Electrical Safety Offices and industry groups such as the Master Electricians Association and the Australian Industry Group to share our findings and advocate for better specifications and intensified surveillance regimes.
Electrical cable must comply under all circumstances
In 2017, the Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme (EESS) expanded to include building cables. We welcomed this inclusion, but more rigorous action is required.
To gain product registration under the Electrical Equipment Safety System, products are tested by a third-party laboratory, then certified by an accredited certification body. However, the risk of non-compliance still exists under this model. Changes during the manufacture of subsequent cable, i.e.: materials, manufacturing process, manufacturing location, etc, may cause the product to become non-compliant, yet it may still be classed as certified.
A more comprehensive monitoring model must be rolled out to prevent cases like these from slipping through the cracks during the manufacturing process.
Responsible suppliers using best practice operate internal testing programmes to ensure that their products continue to comply under all circumstances.