Conformity assessment is a comprehensive term defined as “measures taken by manufacturers, their customers, regulatory authorities, and independent, third parties to assess conformity to standards” . Similarly, the joint ISO/IEC 17000, of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) defines the term as “a demonstration that specified requirements relating to a process, system, person or body are fulfilled” . However, ISO itself does not undertake such work. Conformity assessment and standardization differ from each other, although they are closely related.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), though established by the United Nations, is a key non-governmental institution. It supports the progress of industrialization, as well as regulates production and consumption .
Conformity assessment and standardization need to be mutually supportive in order to promote economic growth and sustainable development . Conformity Assessment and the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) are considered to be at opposite ends of the technical infrastructure business .
Manufacturers frequently have their own internal testing sytems to ensure that their work meets the required standard. However, in the private economy, increasingly there is third-party certification of inspection. “In fact, many national standard setting bodies now make such third-party certification a major part of their own business” . The national bodies provide “accreditation” certification on the qualification and eligibility of third-party inspectors to do their job. While ISO neither accredits nor certifies, ISO members “certify the certifiers”.