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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Is market power a problem for conformity assessment?

Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC)

The Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) sector consists of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CAB) who provide services ranging from auditing and inspection to testing, verification, quality assurance and certification. The specificity of the functions of the TIC sector is that it is independent of the person or entity providing the object, and of user interests in the object. We therefore also speak of third-party conformity assessment.

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