The FCOGP represents a commitment to demonstrating process control over the production of textiles to meet the requirements of the FFR.
The FCoGP is based on a process control approach to manage the production of items where:
The standard conformance test is a destructive test that can only report on the sample tested.
The standard conformance test is performed after a durability test that is not present in home use circumstances (except where e.g. home cleansing procedures may be applied as a result of accidental soiling).
The standard conformance test requires a time scale to perform that is well outside the normal process control quality management needs.
All the tests used by the processor to achieve process control therefore play an important role in ensuring consumer safety.
It is a principle objective of the scheme to promote traceability, not only to prove transparency in operation but also to allow all the different test and checks on production to be joined together so that the broadest possible view of the process control in operation can be easily seen and demonstrated.
In this context 2 points are crucial:
In this way the overall maintenance of the best levels of good performance becomes the focus of the scheme rather than spot checks and isolated adverse results.
It is an important principle that sampling represents what is produced and that production is not something more or less than the sample tested.
Enhanced sampling methods are contrary to the principles of the scheme.
The production of safe products is based upon ensuring that process control is applied to all goods produced. Identification of goods in process must be available at all stages of the supply chain. Control data must be recorded accurately. A variety of different tests are employed throughout the production process leading to fully conformant testing made by an approved laboratory as the final confirmation of performance.
All testing results including any made by a third party must be added through the traceability information to that collected during processing. This will add an extra key component in building confidence in the reliability of process control. The correlation of all testing into a complete set of production data is an objective of the scheme.
The FCOGP is designed to bring about reliance on proven quality through process control and develop the direct relationship between what is tested and what is produced as demanded by modern production control systems.
The FCOGP will audit every process used to produce compliant goods. This includes additional treatments and post processing in particular. The emphasis on testing within production is important for consumer safety because added treatments are often made without fully compliant testing of the treated goods.
Furthermore, the process control tests are the only tests made that assesses the textile in the form it will be present in the home of the consumer. Additional treatments are made within process control conditions and most critically can then be further tested in exactly the form they will appear in the home.
Auditing is used to prove a company’s capability to operate in an approved way. Third party audits will be made on annual basis with the prime objective of determining that complete and competent systems are in place. Adverse testing results in the period between audits may require further auditing. The ability of a member company to continually prove their operation systems through traceability is a prime requirement to be allowed to use the scheme.
This FRETWORK Code of Good Practice was written by members of the textile processing community to set out the best way to produce textiles that comply with the Regulatory requirements and prove compliance in fully conformant testing. Independent audit of their process and its controls provides proof of their commitment to working to the highest standards in producing safe products for the consumer.