Should conformity assessment bodies be better run as public or private entities?

There are different organisational forms of conformity assessment bodies (CABs). [1] Public institutions claim to provide common goods, whereas private organisations are commercially oriented. In addition, there are mixed forms, such as certification bodies of business associations or providing conformity assessment services under a common umbrella with a national standards institute.

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Internationalisation of laboratory services

We know laboratories as service providers to other sectors in the same economy. Testing laboratories check compliance, e.g., whether foodstuffs meet the requirements of hygiene standards or do not contain excessive loads of heavy metals. Clinical laboratories test people and animals for certain diseases. Calibration laboratories ensure that business partners can rely on each other’s measurement results.

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Quality: compliance or competitive strategy?

A critical factor in moving towards sustainable development and innovation

Higher standards are often associated with better consumer protection and quality of life. However, this correlation is not unequivocal, as neither markets nor government regulation work perfectly. This observation is especially true for developing and emerging countries. In this sense, we wonder how a country’s quality infrastructure can best be aligned to contribute to economically sustainable development and the quality of life of its citizens in challenging contexts.

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Data on international standards

QI Data Series

What are the differences between countries using international standards?

For decades, the United States, Western Europe and Japan have led international standard development. Representatives of these countries chaired most international standards committees and led standard making through agenda-setting and the know-how of national companies and scientific institutions. Representatives from other countries also participated in standards committees but chaired only a few technical committees. Standards takers are those countries that adopt standards but do not participate in developing those standards.

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