IEC Conformity Assessment Systems
How the Systems operate
The IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems run Schemes (programmes) for specific fields within electrotechnology. Each System has its own rules and procedures.
Participants in a given System are assessed by their peers and candidates are subjected to strict scrutiny, which in turn results in a high level of trust towards all accepted members of the System.
This trust is the basis for the mutual recognition of certificates and test reports that are issued by any of the other members of the System.
Free to choose any member country
A company which needs to obtain certification by an IEC CA System for a given product can contact any member of the System in or outside its home country. The company has total flexibility and is not bound to its home market.
Fully portable certificates
Certificates issued by one member are fully portable: each member of the System is obliged to recognize them and may not redo tests that have already been done. Only when national differences apply may it be necessary to run some additional tests. However, in most cases this extra certification step will be unnecessary and the product can enter the market directly.
This significantly lowers the cost of doing business and allows products to enter markets much faster. And because many countries, including many developing countries, accept products that carry an IEC CA Systems certificate without import hurdles, this will give companies access to a much broader global market.
The ultimate goal of the IEC is to achieve that any product that is certified by an IEC CA System should be tested only once and then receive a certificate that is valid everywhere. For many countries this goal has already been reached but there is still much to do.
In line with the IEC policy on CA, non-IEC-member countries may also participate in the Systems, and may sit on the management committee of the System in which they participate, under certain conditions.