Products and services are like promises. Customers in the commercial world, consumers, users and civil servants have expectations about certain characteristics of products and services such as quality, ecology, safety, economy, reliability, compatibility, interoperability, efficiency and effectiveness. The process of demonstrating that these characteristics meet the requirements of standards, regulations and other specifications is called "conformity assessment". This process helps to ensure that products and services deliver on their promises. Standard ISO / IEC 17000 define conformity assessment as the demonstration that specified requirements for a product, process, system, person or organization are met. Source: ISO / UNIDO Publication “Bâtir la confiance" 211 pages, ISBN 978-92-67-20511-3. The main forms of conformity assessment are testing, certification and inspection.

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