CASCO Toolbox

Regulators in many sectors specify the use of conformity assessment by referring to relevant International Standards and Guides, known as the CASCO toolbox. Most of them are developed and published jointly by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

They have a broad geographical reach because the experts that have contributed to their development are nominated by many national standards bodies around the world. Those experts also come from a range of stakeholders and perspectives, including regulators, industry, consumer groups, scheme owners, standards officers, testing laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies and accreditation bodies.

This combination of broad geographical reach and development with a multi-stakeholder environment mean the CASCO toolbox is widely supported and used.

Responsive image
Click to enlarge
Schematic overview of the toolbox

What are the benefits of using the CASCO toolbox?

Using the CASCO toolbox benefits many stakeholders:

For regulators, it provides a tool for managing compliance and providing an objective and defensible means to implement public policy and enforce national health, safety and environmental legislation. The CASCO toolbox provides a means for organisations to take responsibility for their own compliance, and can reduce costs for governments when regulatory schemes utilise recognised private sector conformity assessment providers.

For manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and service providers, they can make sure that their products and services meet specified requirements and deliver on customer expectations. Assessing their products and services in accordance with the CASCO toolbox helps them to meet the current best practice and avoid the financial costs and reputational damage of product failure in the market, including subsequent activities such as product recalls, product returns and destruction of unsuitable product.

Consumers also derive benefit from the CASCO toolbox because it provides them with a basis for selecting products or services in the market, including matters such as quality, price, safety, reliability, compatibility, interoperability, efficiency and effectiveness, and even the colour of a product. Consumers may have more confidence in products or services that are supported by a formal mark or certificate of conformity that attests to quality, safety or other desirable characteristics.

And finally for traders, importers and exporters the CASCO toolbox are the recognised International Standards and Guides for conformity assessment procedures under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT Agreement). Application of the CASCO toolbox can be a basis for mutually accepting trading partners’ products and services, and avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade.

image description

Terms and definitions

ISO/IEC 17000:2004 specifies general terms and definitions relating to conformity assessment, including the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies, and to the use of conformity assessment to facilitate trade.

image description

Accreditation bodies

ISO/IEC 17011:2004 specifies general requirements for accreditation bodies assessing and accrediting conformity assessment bodies (CABs). It is also appropriate as a requirements document for the peer evaluation process for mutual recognition arrangements between accreditation bodies.

image description

Testing and calibration laboratories

ISO/IEC 17025:2005 specifies the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods.

image description

Proficiency testing

ISO/IEC 17043:2010 specifies general requirements for the competence of providers of proficiency testing schemes and for the development and operation of proficiency testing schemes.

image description

Inspection bodies

ISO/IEC 17020:2012 specifies requirements for the competence of bodies performing inspection and for the impartiality and consistency of their inspection activities.

image description

Management systems certification

ISO/IEC 17021:2011 contains principles and requirements for the competence, consistency and impartiality of the audit and certification of management systems of all types (e.g. quality management systems or environmental management systems) and for bodies providing these activities

ISO/IEC 17023:2013 provides guidelines for determining the duration of management system certification audits, to the bodies providing audit and certification of management systems and to those that develop and maintain certification schemes.

image description

Person certification

ISO/IEC 17024:2012 contains principles and requirements for a body certifying persons against specific requirements, and includes the development and maintenance of a certification scheme for persons.

image description

Product certification

ISO/IEC 17065:2012 contains requirements for the competence, consistent operation and impartiality of product, process and service certification bodies.

ISO/IEC 17067:2013 describes the fundamentals of product certification and provides guidelines for understanding, developing, operating or maintaining certification schemes for products, processes and services.

image description

Suppliers' declaration of conformity

ISO/IEC 17050-1:2004 specifies general requirements for a supplier's declaration of conformity in cases where it is desirable, or necessary, that conformity of an object to the specified requirements be attested, irrespective of the sector involved.

ISO/IEC 17050-2:2004 specifies general requirements for supporting documentation to substantiate a supplier's declaration of conformity, as described in ISO/IEC 17050-1.

image description

Peer assessment

ISO/IEC 17040:2005 specifies the general requirements for the peer assessment process to be carried out by agreement groups of accreditation bodies or conformity assessment bodies. It addresses the structure and operation of the agreement group only insofar as they relate to the peer assessment process.

image description

Mutual recognition

ISO/IEC Guide 68:2002 provides an introduction to the development, issuance and operation of arrangements for the recognition and acceptance of results produced by bodies undertaking similar conformity assessment and related activities.

image description

Audit reports

ISO/IEC TS 17022:2012 contains requirements and recommendations to be addressed in a third-party management system certification audit report based on the relevant requirements in ISO/IEC 17021.

Complete list of all the standards in the CASCO toolbox