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Conformity Assessment

Conformity of products through testing, inspection, certification, validation and verification
CE Konformitätsbewertung / CE conformity assessment
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Wherever an object is characterised or specified by requirements, it can be assessed for its conformity with these specifications. For instance, consumer products, working processes, management systems, persons, or full organisations are subjected to conformity assessment, resulting in an attestation that the specified requirements are fulfilled.

There are various types of conformity assessment established by international standards, providing for suitable approaches to the individual objects in question:

  • Testing is the application of a test procedure, for example to materials, samples or even assembled products. The result is a test report.
  • Inspection involves the examination of the object and either comparison with detailed requirements on the basis of a specification or comparison with general requirements by means of professional judgement. Therefore, the inspection report contains statements of conformity.
  • Certification is performed by parties, who are independent of the provider as well as the user of the object. Certification always covers evaluation of the object, review of the results, and attestation of conformity.
  • Validation and verification is applied to assertions of greenhouse gas emissions and results in an opinion of the assessing party, whether the reported data are reliable.

The application of these conformity assessment types is further differentiated according to the relation between the involved parties. First parties are considered the least independent and are usually the producer. A second party keeps a relationship with the first party, for instance as customer or supplier. Only the third party fulfils the criteria of the highest independence with no engagement in design, manufacture, supply, installation, purchase, ownership, use or maintenance of the objects under assessment.

The principles and requirements of conformity assessment are specified by International Standards (see ISO/IEC 17000 ff. and ISO 14065) and implemented in various commercial and legal frameworks, e.g. the Single Market.

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