About us

The Test & Research Centre started life in 2018, as a joint project between PASMA and the Ladder Association. These not-for-profit organisations have long dedicated themselves to reducing falls from height and their support of this facility is part of this mission. They invested the initial funds needed to establish the centre, which operates independently with the backing and support of subject matter experts from both associations. After a search for the perfect premises (it isn’t easy finding a big building with a really tall roof…) followed by extensive renovations, the Test & Research Centre officially opened for business in January 2020.

Our services

Step stool testing

Send us your products for testing or certification

Ladder testing

We can manage a certification scheme on your behalf

Users on PASMA tower training course

Hire our training facilities in Soham (including a 25m tall tower that’s ideal for work at height training)

Our team

John Darby

John Darby​

General Manager

John has worked in the access industry for almost his whole career. He spent over 10 years with the Youngman Group, latterly WernerCo. Where he led the development of ladders and towers, with a view to improving their quality and safety, and their manufacture, either by hand or on automated machinery.  

He has most recently been working as Head of Technical Support at PASMA and the Ladder Association. Due to his background and experience, John is an expert member on many British and European standards committees for portable ladders (EN 131 family) and towers (EN 1004 family). 

John oversaw the purchase and renovations of the Test & Research Centre building and is responsible for the day-to-day running and management of the business.

Our board


Peter Bennett OBE​

PASMA Managing Director

Gail Hounslea

Gail Hounslea

Ex Officio Director
Ladder Association Chairman

Richard Fairfield

Richard Fairfield

Ex Officio Director
PASMA Chairman

The Test and Research Centre is supported by