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What Is Product Certification?
Product certification or product qualification is the process of certifying that a certain product has passed performance tests and quality assurance tests, and meets qualification criteria stipulated in contracts, regulations, or specifications (typically called "certification schemes" in the product certification industry).
Most product certification bodies (or product certifiers) are accredited to ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996, an international standard for ensuring competence in those organizations performing product certifications. The organizations which perform this accreditation are called Accreditation Bodies, and they themselves are assessed by international peers against the ISO 17011 standard. Accreditation bodies which participate in the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Multilateral Agreement (MLA) also ensure that these accredited Product Certifiers meet additional requirements set forth in "IAF GD5:2006 - IAF Guidance on the Application of ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996".
The process for certification of a product is generally summed up in four steps:
- Application (including testing of the product)
- Evaluation (does the test data indicate that the product meets qualification criteria)
- Decision (does a second review of the product application concur with the Evaluation)
- Surveillance (does the product in the marketplace continue to meet qualification criteria)
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Application (including testing of the product)