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Encyclopedia > Product certification

Product certification or product qualification is the cornerstone of all bounding and the process of certifying that a certain product has passed performance and/or quality assurance tests or qualification requirements stipulated in regulations such as a building code and nationally accredited test standards, or that it complies with a set of regulations governing quality and/or minimum performance requirements. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... A building code is a set of rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for constructed objects such as buildings and nonbuilding structures. ...

Contents

Certification of products

Certification of products may indicate their established suitability for a specified purpose (e.g. a computer system might be certified as being fully compatible with a large software package).


The widespread availability of the Internet has led to a new kind of certification for websites. Website certifications exist to certify the website's privacy policy, security of their financial transactions, suitability for minors, etc. A privacy policy is a disclaimer placed on a website informing users about how the website deals with a users personal information. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A financial transaction involves a change in the status of the finances of two or more businesses or individuals. ... In law, a person who is not yet a legal adult is known as a minor (known in some places as an infant or juvenile). ...


Products, once certified, may be endorsed with a quality mark or be eligible to display a certification mark. A certification mark is a type of trademark whereby a trader uses the mark to indicate the origin, material, mode of manufacture of products, mode of performance of services, quality, accuracy of other characteristics of products or services. ...


Product Certification enables bounding of safety related articles and systems. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Process

Everything starts with a national authority that can accredit the following:

  • national standards
  • standards writing organizations
  • certification organizations
  • testing organizations

An example of a national accreditor is the Standards Council of Canada [1] The word standard has several meanings: Classically, standard referred to a flag or banner; especially, a national or other ensign carried into battle; thus standard bearer indicates the one who bears, or carries, the standard. ...


An example of an organization that fits all of SCC's accreditation categories listed here, is Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC) [2], an affiliate of Underwriters Laboratories. ULC is accredited in Canada to not only conduct tests, but also to provide certification, and to author national standards, through the use of consensus committees. UL Mark with C and US Underwriters Laboratories (Inc. ...


Germany's equivalent of Canada's SCC, where it comes to the products used in the construction sector is Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt) [3], which translates to German Institute for Building Technology. In large construction projects, such as skyscrapers, cranes are essential. ...


Accreditors routinely audit those whom they have accredited, meaning that the maintenance of the accreditation level such an organization has achieved must continue, in theory, be earned. An audit is an evaluation of an organization, system, process, project or product. ...


The idea is that there is documented compliance on the part of accredited organisations to do what they are supposed to do.


Accredited Testing Organisation can theoretically be relied upon to conduct tests in accordance with nationally accredited standards. Test reports that are only based on testing and not on certification are merely for the interest of the submittor, but hold no value whatsoever in establishing the all important bounding. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Accredited Certification Organisations: Earning a certification mark involves an entirely different regime. First of all, a submittor (usually a manufacturer of a product) is required to turn over his entire process standard to the certification organisation. This includes all information necessary to make the product, including descriptions of the equipment, how to run it, purchasing specifications for ingredients or components and quality control measures for the ingredients and components as they arrive in the factory or are made there, as well as the entire product, once assembled or otherwise made. With a process standard, one has all required knowledge about how to manufacture the product. This document in hand, the certification organisation dispatches an inspector or an engineer to witness the manufacture of the product that is intended to be tested. A certification mark is a type of trademark whereby a trader uses the mark to indicate the origin, material, mode of manufacture of products, mode of performance of services, quality, accuracy of other characteristics of products or services. ... Inspector is a rank in many police forces. ... For the Technical Symposium of NITK Surathkal Engineer , see Engineer (Technical Fest). ...


The product intended to be tested is packaged ready for transit, officially sealed and then sent directly to the laboratory where the testing will be conducted in accordance with the nationally accredited standard, by the subject organisation that is accredited nationally both for testing and for certification.


While in North America, certification organisations are typically trusted with confidential process standards, in Germany, the accredited laboratories only typically receive quality control information, whereas the process standards themselves are submitted to DIBt[4]. There have been no known cases of misappropriations of process standard information on the part of the German government. Certification organisations in North America however, which are typically private sector companies, have been known to have staff members with security clearances for process standards leave and then work for private sector manufacturers, where product offerings were soon expanded. As a result of the hesitancy this has caused some submittors, some North American certifiers have had to offer "fingerprinting" methods that bypass the usual process standard regime, in the case of products that are not protected by patents. World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which...


Once the product has landed in the laboratory, the seal that was previously applied by the inspector is officially broken and assembly of the item in a test rig may commence. This is a crucial phase. Certifiers must observe the construction of test specimens to avoid any possible cheating on the part of the submittor or parties affiliated with the submittor. The allure for an unethical submittor is to have a product certified that may be less expensive than what he or she actually had tested. As a result of documented abuses in this field, certifiers typically reserve the right to re-test as a cautionary measure to ward off such behaviour. While de-listing of a submittor is not an everyday occurrence, it has happened many time, the world over, which is the cause for having strict and mandatory certification regimes in place. De-listing has, at times, occurred, not necessarily as a result of deliberate wrongdoing, but, at times, because of a deterioration in the quality of certain product components or ingredients, particularly natural ones, such as mined ores.


If the test passes and achieves a rating, for instance a fire-resistance rating, in the case of a firestop or an electrical safety rating in the case of a toaster, a test report is issued, which will include a CERTIFICATION LISTING. The listing is the cornerstone of all bounding in actual use. It is a legal document against which the product's use or installation is compared to aid approvals by an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), such as a municipal building inspector or fire prevention officer, or electrical inspector. A firestop is a passive fire protection system of various components used to seal openings in fire-resistance rated wall and/or floor assemblies through bounding. ... A classicly-styled chrome two-slot toaster A toaster is a small electric kitchen appliance designed to toast bread, an act also known as making toast. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Only "active" listings matter at the point of purchase or use, as products and companies can become "de-listed" as a result of improprieties.


An active certification listing indicates three things:

  • The product is being made under a certification, or follow-up agreement that exists between the manufacturer and the certification organisation, such as ULC [5]. This means that the certifier will conduct up to 4 unannounced factory audits per year, for the purpose of ensuring that the product being made and sold is still identical to that which was tested.
  • The product's packaging, literature and the manufacturer's promotional information is authorised to use the certification mark.
  • The listing is a matter of public record, not proprietary, and is listed in the certification listings directory of the certification organisation

In the case of Germany, the accredited testing organisation routinely audits manufacturing locations and submits quality control test results to DIBt[6]. While the German laboratories do not possess process standards, their methodology can uncover changes in the nature and quality of ingredients, as DIBt establishes very clear tolerances for performance. De-listing can occur in the case of non-compliance. Trends in quality are identified very early and brought to the attention of all stakeholders to enable the prevention of problems. An audit is an evaluation of an organization, system, process, project or product. ... A certification mark is a type of trademark whereby a trader uses the mark to indicate the origin, material, mode of manufacture of products, mode of performance of services, quality, accuracy of other characteristics of products or services. ...


The certification marks are easy to see and enable users to track down the certification listings, the tolerances that guide field use and whether or not the listing is still active. As an example, fire extinguishers, toasters and fire door frames and door-leaves are all clearly labelled. One must not obscure such a label. For instance, someone may replace a fire door-leaf with another door leaf that has no fire protection rating. This fact would be obvious from the missing label. If the wrong door-leaf has been used, a quick check will determine if the door-leaf has been tested together with the door frame. If not, there is no bounding and the perpetrator has just collapsed the fire protection plan for the whole building. A certification mark is a type of trademark whereby a trader uses the mark to indicate the origin, material, mode of manufacture of products, mode of performance of services, quality, accuracy of other characteristics of products or services. ... Fire extinguisher A fire extinguisher is a device used to put out a fire, often in an emergency situation. ... A classicly-styled chrome two-slot toaster A toaster is a small electric kitchen appliance designed to toast bread, an act also known as making toast. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Fire protection is the prevention and reduction of the hazards associated with fires. ... For other uses, see Building (disambiguation). ...


Countries and industries without mandatory certification

North America's nuclear industry is exempt from mandatory certification. This fact has led to large remedial work, especially for fireproofing of electrical circuits (circuit integrity) between nuclear reactor and control rooms in the US. In this case, submittors were permitted to dictate not only their test procedures, but also to construct test specimens in their own facilities, prior to fire tests on the part of laboratories. The primary example of this status is the Theromo-Lag Scandal, which came about as a result of disclosures by whistleblower Gerald W. Brown to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as well as watchdog groups, members of US Congress and the press. World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Fireproofing, a passive fire protection measure, subject to bounding, refers to the act of making materials or structures more resistant to fire, or to those materials themselves. ... Method 1: fire-resistant cables: PVC-sheathed MICC cable. ... United States may refer to: Places: United States of America SS United States, the fastest ocean liner ever built. ... A whistleblower is an employee, former employee, or member of an organization who reports misconduct to people or entities that have the power and presumed willingness to take corrective action. ... Whistleblower Gerald W. Brown. ... NRC headquarters in Rockville, MD. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (or NRC) is a United States government agency that was established by the Energy Reorganization Act in 1974, and was first opened January 19, 1975. ...


The United Kingdom is also unique among western industrialised nations, as product certification is entirely optional.


Where product certification is optional, one must rely on the ethics of the manufacturer that the item being sold is identical to the item that was tested, and that the item that was tested was in fact installed the way the test report reads. The test report by itself also does not afford its bona fide interpretation in terms of the tolerances that a certification listing would provide, the authoring of which follows strict guidelines. Ethics (from the Ancient Greek ἠθικός (ethikos), meaning theory of living), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of values and customs of a person or group and covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right, wrong, good, evil, and responsibility. ...


See also


 
 

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