There are three main components of conformity assessment standards, and when applied correctly, these components use specific testing procedures to assure that the products are performing as they should, and for their intended purposes.
In fact, there are three tiers or groups involved with the conformity assessment process.
Conformity assessment is designed to ensure that products meet or exceed standards, regulations or specifications that will vary depending on the type of product in question. The first tier is made up of individuals who are directly involved with the product manufacturing process. In simple terms, it can be thought of as a process of self-assessment. Formerly termed as the supplier’s declaration of conformity (or SDoC), this part of the procedure can eliminate or cut down on the costs involved with carrying out a third-party assessment or test. Essentially, such a declaration demonstrates the commitment to the fact that a product can perform as promised. Furthermore, the declarer must be able to show this evidence if requested.
The second tier is made up of customers who are linked to the manufacturer in some way. In essence, it requires the manufacturer to make the specific requirements of the product known to the customer, and allow the customer to test the product to the best of their ability to ensure that such requirements are met or exceeded.
The third and final tier is made up of parties that are completely independent of the manufacturer, and are also not consumers of the product. An example might be an independent certification organisation that is ultimately responsible for ensuring that exact standards are indeed met. In the event that they are, the independent regulatory body would issue a certification to designate that the product has complied with all testing procedures and passed them in a satisfactory manner.