Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics of a product, person, or an organization.
This confirmation is often provided by some form of external review, assessment, or audit.
Certification provides an assurance of conformity to the specifications.
ASPECTS OF CERTIFICATION
- Management system Certification
- Personnel Certification
- Product Certification
- Mutual Recognition Agreements/Arrangements & Peer Assessment
- Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity
Types of Certification
First Party Certification (Self Declaration)
This is the process by which a manufacturer or supplier declares that the product meets one or more standards based on:
(1) The manufacturer’s confidence in the quality control system
(2) The results of testing or inspection the manufacturer undertakes or authorizes others to undertake on his/her behalf.
This process is known as a manufacturer’s or supplier’s declaration of conformity. The manufacturer’s capability, integrity, and reputation determine the degree of confidence that can be placed in this type of certification.
Second Party Certification
Here, it is the buyer who requires and certifies that the products he/she wishes to purchase from suppliers meet one or more standards.
These certifications are generally only available to and mandatory for those companies wishing to become suppliers to that buyer.
Third Party Certification
Producer’s claim of conformity is validated by a technically and otherwise competent third party (a body not controlled by or under the influence of the producer or buyer).
The sponsor of the third party program (the certifier) may be responsible for collecting the required data, generating test results or conducting inspections, in addition to reviewing the results of such activities and making a final determination on the product’s conformance or lack of conformance.
The certifier may also delegate all or part of the data collection and review activities to another party or parties. The degree of confidence that can be placed in third party certification programs varies greatly depending on:-
- the number and types of testing/inspection methods used within the program to ensure product conformance,
- the adequacy of the manufacturer’s quality control system
- the competence of the body that conducts the testing and/or inspection and evaluates the test results.