Conformity Assessment

The ISO Committee on conformity assessment (ISO/CASCO):

  • prepares standards relating to the practice of testing, inspection, and certification;
  • studies means of assessing the conformity of products, processes, services, and management systems to appropriate standards; and
  • promotes mutual recognition of national conformity assessment systems.

“Conformity assessment” is the term given to the processes that are used to demonstrate that a product, service, management system, or body meets specified requirements. These requirements are contained in ISO standards and guides.

The use of ISO standards in conformity assessment procedures allows for harmonization throughout the world and this, in turn, not only facilitates international trade between countries, but also facilitates trade within countries by giving the purchaser of the product or service confidence that it meets the requirements.

For more information on conformity assessment, see this ISO web page.

The current status of conformity assessment standards in development by the CASCO working groups is shown below:

WG 29, Certification of products
ISO/DIS 17065, Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes, and services. The working group will meet at the end of February for what will probably be its last meeting as the expected outcome is to process the document to the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) stage.

WG 30, Certification for persons
ISO/DIS 17024, Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons. The standard is expected to be published in mid-2012.

WG 31, Inspection
ISO/FDIS 17020, Conformity assessment – Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection. The standard is planned for publication early 2012.

WG 32, Fundamentals of product certification and certification scheme
ISO/WD 17067, Conformity assessment – Fundamentals of product certification. The ballot for ISO/CD 17067 opened mid-November for a four month period. The group will meet at the end of April 2012 to address the members’ comments.

WG 33, Third-party audit report
ISO/CD TS 17022, Conformity assessment – Requirements and recommendations for the content of a third-party audit report on management systems. The TS is planned for publication early 2012 and is intended for incorporation in ISO 17021 at its next revision.

New WG 34, Third-party environmental management system certification
ISO/NP TS 17021-2, Conformity assessment – Requirements for third party certification auditing of environmental management systems – Part 2: Competence requirements. The new WG 34 will develop requirements for third party certification auditing of environmental management system for conformance to ISO 14001. The document is based on Annex 1 of ISO 17021:2011.

For more information on ISO 17021:2011, Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems, see this newsletter article.