Certification is the action carried out by an independent body, which manifests that an organisation, product, process or service meets the requirements defined in certain standards or technical specifications.
Certification is intended for any type of company, irrespective of size, location or activity. These do not necessarily have to be large companies and certification may even be more useful for SMEs that are not so well known on the market, as it is possible that these types of companies will have a greater need to gain the trust of interest groups. Although in some cases it is an essential requirement in order to sell, whether due to legal considerations, or because a product's shoppers always request it, it is an entirely voluntary process.
Certification is the colloquial term used to refer to what is technically called a "conformity assessment". A conformity assessment is any assessment that is performed in order to determine whether or not a product, process or management system complies with certain requirements. In addition to certification, there are also other types of assessments that establish conformity or that provide evidence or vouch for the accuracy of something in a broader sense.
Thus,verification of conformity involves checking that products conform to national and international standards. Certification also helps importers and exporters understand the need for compliance and the advantages of it.
inspections are intended for organisations that wish to demonstrate responsibility by ensuring that their equipment, products and services comply with essential quality, safety, environmental and social responsibility requirements (which may be of a mandatory or voluntary nature, or based on the company's own systems, standards or needs). Conformity assessments often require that
tests be performed in order to monitor and self-regulate products that are subject to any type of certification. The most advanced analytical methodologies are used to perform physicochemical, microbiological and sensory analysis of food and hygiene products, cosmetics and detergents (among others).
As well as providing certification and widespread assessment services, AENOR is also involved in innovation on an ongoing basis in order to develop schemes in response to new business requirements. Thus, AENOR marks prove this 'certification' andconstitute a distinguishing factor that gives confidence in the market, improving the image of the products and services offered, and building trust among customers and consumers.
The AENOR team comprises more than 900 specialist auditors from all economic and industrial sectors and is able to tackle and manage global certification, verification, inspection and training projects in any geographical area. AENOR has permanent delegations in 12 countries, chiefly in South America and Europe. In Spain, AENOR has delegations in all Autonomous Communities via its 19 offices.