Conformity assessment is the process of standardizing the output of goods and services in the marketplace. This type of regulation pertains to both the overall quality of products as well as the process involved in creating those goods and services. Thus, conformity assessment to ISO standards maintains that goods and services will remain consistent in terms of their quality and method of of production. These standards are guaranteed to ensure the quality of goods and services in addition to generally harmonizing business practices. Conformity assessment achieves this directive in three fundamentally distinct ways: testing, inspection, and implementation.
The purpose of testing is to determine whether or not the product or service complies with specified ISO/IEC requirements. These standards merely seek to enforce a reasonable minimum level of quality for many types of goods and services. Though many businesses share similar ideals with regard to quality control, some products my not meet these requirements. The purpose of testing is to ensure that providers of goods and services are actually producing goods and services of a reasonable, standardized level of quality.
Inspection evaluates the processes involved in producing goods and services. This ensures that goods are produced in a safe manner. It also may apply to certain types of services, as there are several regulations pertaining to safety and procedure. Thus the inspection process ensures that proper business practices are taken by all certified organizations. In many cases, the inspection process will ensure the safety of both consumers and employees alike.
Implementation ensures that there is some form of management system with which to hold businesses accountable for their practices. Ideally, this management system would be responsible for effectively monitoring business products and procedures. It would ensure that the business organization consistently produces products of a quality that meets or exceeds the expectations of consumers. It will also ensure that goods and services are rendered in accordance to ISO/IEC standards and regulations.