New test house approval and accreditation process announced

In August 2019, we reported on the UK Gambling Commission’s consultation on proposed changes to the existing framework for test houses that play a key role in ensuring that games are suitable to be released to market and offered to consumers. That consultation closed on 30 October 2019.

The Gambling Commission has now published its “Test House Framework Development” Consultation Responses document (that you can download below).

It has also published on its website the following explanation (that you can also download below) of how the proposed changes will affect operators:

Updated Test House Framework – what this means for operators

Following the test house framework consultation the Commission has worked with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and test houses to implement changes aimed at raising standards in the industry.

Although the new framework is focussed on the way in which the Commission approves test houses, we recognise that this might impact on operators and how they gain game approval.

Below are a number of Questions and Answers which operators may find useful

In a nutshell, what are the main changes the Commission are bringing in?

  • New accreditation requirements.
  • New approval process, meaning all existing test houses having to re-apply.
  • Introducing immediate notice of and yearly reporting requirements.
  • Introduction of revocation of test house approval.

Please see the test house framework consultation responses document for more detail.

When does the new approval regime start?

  • Application process goes live on 6 April 2020.
  • Application deadline is 15 June 2020.
  • End of old test house approval occurs on 30 September 2020.
  • Start of new test house approval begins on 1 October 2020.

Are we changing the testing process?

The Commission is only changing the approval and accreditation process of test houses, not the testing regime of remote and non-remote games.

Can we see a copy of the new approval and accreditation documents?

The Commission will be publishing new application documents along with guidance for how test houses can apply. However due to copyright requirements the full accreditation document is only available to test houses upon application.

What will test houses now be accredited too?

The new Test House Framework requires approved test houses to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 which has not changed. In addition, the approved test houses will now have to be compliant with other requirements taken from ISO/IEC 17065 and ISO/IEC 27001.

What happens if my test house does not seek or gain approval?

You should all contact your test houses to gain assurances that they are continuing to be approved to test games within Britain.

If they are not continuing to be approved by the Commission, you should find a new approved test house to ensure all of your games are continuing to be tested beyond 1 October.

In the meantime, your games will be tested in the usual way but please make plans for any changes far enough in advance should your current provider be leaving the GB market.