Vince Shiers, MD of RQA Group, Calls for Free Access to Recall Code of Practice

Product Recall Code of Practice – PAS 7100. We are calling for this to be made freely available without charge or copyright restrictions. Time to contact the UK Government…

Following the launch of the “Publicly Available Specification” or Code of Practice on Product Recalls, whose development was sponsored by the UK Government, we published a short review in March 2018. (link to https://www.rqa-group.com/product-recall-code-launched-for-consumer-products/). Within that, I mentioned that charging £90 for a “publicly available” document that should help industry improve product safety and recall effectiveness was “disappointing”. After all, other PAS documents are freely available. Since then we noticed that the price has been reduced to £45. This is a step in the right direction, but unless it is freely available, the flow of this document through open transmission over the internet will be restricted and awareness within the general public will be limited. The version we bought is copyright protected by the BSI and states “Not to be distributed/networked”. Following further engagement of my posts on LinkedIn, I felt we need to push for this PAS to be made properly publicly available and so it was time to contact the UK government.; but first some background…

In December 2016 The Working Group on Product Recalls (which was established in October 2016) recommended that a Code of Practice on managing effective correction action (including recalls) was developed. Their full report was published in July 2017 and in January 2018 the UK Government published their response to the Working Group’s recommendations. Andrew Griffiths MP, the Minister responsible for consumer safety wrote the foreword to the Government response which fully supported development of the Publicly Available Specification – Code of Practice. As this PAS was sponsored by the UK Government, I have written to Mr Griffiths to express my concerns that this “Publicly Available” document is being sold commercially and protected by copyright to prevent distribution. I explained to Mr Griffiths that cost was not mentioned at any stage of its development. In fact the Working Group recommended that the Code of Practice should gain wide acceptance; something that I don’t think is possible without free document sharing. I have asked him to consider making it freely available without copyright restrictions. If he is unable to do that, I have asked who I should contact next. I am currently awaiting his response…

Vince Shiers, RQA Managing Director, May 22nd 2018