ISO describes conformity assessment as ‘a set of processes that show your product, service or system meets the requirements of a standard’. (Source: ISO website)
Conformity assessment has a range of strands, all of which contribute to giving people confidence and assurance in using and buying products and services. These strands include testing, inspection, certification and accreditation.
There are many cases where standards and accredited conformity assessment help businesses of any size and sector reduce costs, increase productivity and access new markets.
They can help to:
- Build customer confidence that your products are safe and reliable
- Meet regulation requirements, at a lower cost
- Reduce costs across all aspects of your business
- Gain market access across the world
This site includes case studies, research papers, and supporting materials that confirm these benefits for the business community. The examples published on the site cite tangible financial data to evidence the cost savings achieved whether through resource efficiency or meeting regulation at lower cost, the value of accessing new markets , or savings achieved through recognition from organisations such as insurers, regulators or purchasers.
This site has been developed by organisations from across the conformity assessment community, notably:
- IAF – International Accreditation Forum. The IAF is the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programmes of conformity assessment. Its primary function is to develop a single worldwide program of conformity assessment which reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring them that accredited certificates may be relied upon. Accreditation assures users of the competence and impartiality of the body accredited.
- IIOC – Independent International Organisation for Certification – is a trade association of international certification bodies who deliver certification to a range of management system schemes.
- IQNet – International Certification Network– is a trade association of certification bodies from around the world who deliver certification to a range of management system schemes.
- ILAC – ILAC is responsible for: the development of laboratory and inspection body accreditation practices and procedures; the promotion of laboratory and inspection body accreditation as a trade facilitation tool; the assistance of developing accreditation systems; the recognition of competent test and inspection facilities around the globe.
- ISO – International Organization for Standards – is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards.
- BIPM – The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) – an international organization established by the Metre Convention, through which Member States act together on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards.
- IEC – International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) – an international organization responsible for the preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.
- ITC – International Trade Centre (ITC) – an international development agency that is dedicated to supporting the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
- ITU – International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – an international agency for telecom/ICT of the United Nations, whose members include 193 Member States as well as some 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations. It allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
- OIML – International Organizations of Legal Metrology (OIML) – an intergovernmental organisation to promote the global harmonization of the legal metrology procedures that underpin and facilitate international trade.
- UNECE – United Nations Economic Cooperation for Europe (UNECE) – one of the five regional commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It was established in order to promote economic cooperation and integrations among its Member States.
- UNIDO – United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) – a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
- World Bank Group (WBG) – an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of poorer countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.
- WTO – World Trade Organization (WTO) – a global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments.
We are always seeking the best examples to post on this website of conformity assessment benefiting businesses. If you have a great example, please send it to us at email@example.com.
Recent Case Study
ISO/IEC 17029 helps Swedish manufacturer prove sustainability
Summary The ISO/IEC 17029 conformity assessment standard helps organizations verify the correctness of statements made by their customers – a truly valuable service in what’s increasingly referred to as our “post-truth” world. In this pioneering case, Swedac accredited a verification body, which itself authenticates sustainability and social responsibility claims made by others. Following its […]
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MSPO certification scheme provides numerous benefits to certificate holders
Summary Through the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC), the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification programme runs under the Department of Standards Malaysia accreditation programme. MSPO Standards are the national sustainability certification standards for the oil palm industry. To ensure effective implementation of sustainability efforts at the national level, the MSPO scheme operated […]
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Improving quality in Ghana’s cocoa industry
Summary The provision of world class inspection services is key to the consistent delivery of quality agricultural produce to local and international markets, and in ensuring compliance to customer and regulatory requirements. Building the capacity of conformity assessment bodies, particularly in developing countries, is therefore extremely important, if they are to remain competitive in […]
Recent Case Study
Strengthening the quality of essential and vegetable oils exports from South Africa through accreditation of testing laboratories
Summary The Global Quality and Standards Programme South Africa (GQSP-SA) project, a SECO-funded, UNIDO-implemented project, has the objective of strengthening quality and standards compliance capacity in order to facilitate market access for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the essential and vegetable oils value chain destined for the food, health and cosmetic markets. One […]
Recent Case Study
Improving the quality and safety of cassava derivatives in West Africa through accreditation of product certification bodies and testing laboratories under the ILAC MRA/IAF MLA
Summary The cassava value chain is one of the priority value chains of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region. Cassava producers and processors rely greatly on accredited conformity assessment services to demonstrate the compliance of their products with regional and international standards. However, a study conducted by the United Nations Industrial […]