The process of conformity assessment demonstrates whether a product, service, process, claim, system or person meets the relevant requirements. Such requirements are stated in standards, regulations, contracts, programmes, or other normative documents.
Certification is the provision by an independent body of written assurance (a certificate) that the product, process, service, or system in question meets specific requirements. Certification is also known as third party conformity assessment. ISO doesn’t provide certification or conformity assessment. You’ll need to contact an external certification body for that.
Read more about certification and how to find a certification body.
Testing helps determine one or more characteristics of an object or product. The process is usually performed by a laboratory. For example, blood tests rely on the analysis of a number of characteristics such as the presence of a disease or genetic disorder. CASCO has developed a number of standards for laboratories to help ensure that their results can be trusted.
Inspection is the regular checking of a product to make sure it meets specified criteria. For example, fire extinguishers need regular inspections to ensure they are safe to use. CASCO has developed a set of standards that help inspection bodies carry out their work in a trustworthy manner.
A Mutual Recognition Agreement or Arrangement (MRA) increases confidence in conformity assessment between countries as it formally recognizes the results of each other’s testing, inspection, certification or accreditation. Read more about MRAs in : ISO/IEC Guide 68.
ISO has produced standards to help harmonize conformity assessment activities across the world. This reduces the need for duplicate testing when importing or exporting goods. It is a key factor in increasing the efficiency and scale of global trade.
ISO’s commitment to facilitate trade