International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
conformity assessment

Conformity
Assessment

What we do

Types of conformity assessment

There are basically three types of CA (conformity assessment):

First-party CA

The manufacturer or supplier declares on his own responsibility that tests and other CA activities, which are needed to show that a product is conformant, have been carried out. Generally the company will carry out typical CA activities, including testing and inspection, in-house. It then delivers an SDoC (Supplier's Declaration of Conformity).

 

This form of CA is quite common for products that don’t represent any great danger and where the aim is to provide commercial partners with the reassurance that a standard has been followed. It’s basically a form of information. Some national regulators will accept SDoCs for low risk products.

 

This is the cheapest and easiest form of CA because no independent checking is applied.

Second-party CA

This designates a CA activity that is performed by a person or organization that has a user interest in the object, the purchaser for example.

 

A very large, important or demanding customer - typically a government, or a major manufacturer - will put in place its own CA for products or services it purchases. This may include test facilities and special assessment procedures that are conducted to guarantee the quality of the supplied goods.

 

The aim is usually to obtain better assurance that a supplier has carried out a first-party CA. This kind of CA is applied when mandated by law but is today not very common and often replaced by 3rd-party CA.

Third-party CA

This denominates a CA activity that is performed by a person or body that is independent of the seller and the buyer. It is usually called certification and provides the highest level of confidence. Certification is an independently-provided unbiased assurance of the safety of products and processes.

 

This CA is applied where a major market makes it cost-effective or where it is mandated by legislation. Since CBs (Certification Bodies) are usually for-profit companies it is also more expensive than first-party CA.

 

While the IEC supports all three forms of CA, the IEC CA Systems are based on 3rd-party CA. They provide independent testing and certification to ensure the safety, reliability and performance of products and systems.