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ISO standards "€œsimplify matters for international players"

by Maria Lazarte on
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Conformity assessment

"Harmonized global guidelines or quality agreements, like those included in ISO standards, simplify matters for international players," says Paul Hesselink, CEO of Kiwa – carrying out certification, testing and inspection in some 40 countries – in an exclusive interview in the October 2012 issue of ISO Focus+

Mr. Hesselink continues, "Products and services no longer have to undergo an approval process for each market, but can be made available simultaneously in multiple countries. For Kiwa's customers, this results in enormous efficiency gains as barriers to trade disappear. International Standards also provide advantages for Kiwa, as they allow us to offer our services internationally, without having to apply supplementary or deviating local specifications."

The October issue of ISO Focus+ looks at how standards increase confidence through conformity assessment. Recognizing that more and more organizations, regulators, consumers and other stakeholders rely on International Standards to ensure quality, efficiency and safety, the magazine asks how we can ensure that these standards are correctly applied? As regulatory, purchasing and other decisions may be made on this basis, it is crucial to get this right.  

That is the job of conformity assessment, the process to show that a product, service or system meets specified requirements. Including inspection, testing and certification, conformity assessment is one way of providing consumers with added confidence, giving companies a competitive edge, and helping regulators ensure that health, safety and environmental conditions are met.

To ensure that certifications, inspections and testing are carried out in a consistent manner and that results are comparable around the world, the ISO Committee on conformity assessment (ISO/CASCO) published a series of standards known as the ISO/CASCO toolbox.

The toolbox now features new and improved standards, and the Special Report of the October issue of ISO Focus+, looks at the latest developments, focusing on what’s new, and the way forward.

Among the standards highlighted are:

  • ISO/IEC 17065:2012 for bodies certifying products, services and processes (previously ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996)
  • ISO/IEC 17021:2011 for bodies certifying management systems
  • ISO/IEC TS 17021-2:2012 on environmental management auditor competence (part of a series of technical specifications complementing ISO/IEC 17021)
  • ISO/IEC 17020:2012 for inspection bodies.
  • ISO/IEC 17024:2012 for bodies certifying persons
  • ISO/IEC 17022:2012 for the content of third-party certification audit reports

ISO Focus+, October 2012

ISO Focus+, October 2012

Confidence - Conformty assessment