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 instances around the world where the public sector has embraced conformity assessment as a means of delivering public policy objectives. This site illustrates this with a range of case studies which demonstrate:
- Government can improve its own performance by the use of conformity assessment by its own departments
- Government can help improve the performance of business by encouraging the use of conformity assessment
- Conformity assessment can help government deliver its policies
- Conformity assessment helps regulators regulate.
By showcasing the policy areas conformity assessment is used, such as economic development, healthcare and environmental protection, the intention is to provide inspiration so more conformity assessment tools can be used by central government, local government and regulators to deliver positive benefit.
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 – International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation. 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.