Requirements for Third Parties (Conformity Assessment Bodies)
Within the scope of the harmonization of the European market, testing, inspection and certification has to satisfy high requirements in terms of independence, neutrality, and organisation. A Certification Body and its internal or external sub-contractors shall satisfy the criteria and requirements established in the Internal Regulations Part 4 in order to be able to operate a KEYMARK Scheme. These criteria and conditions by no means prejudice the commercial competition between the conformity assessment bodies.
To ensure this, the third parties have to demonstrate their competence and be accredited to perform
- testing according to EN ISO/IEC 17025
- inspection according to EN ISO/IEC 17021 and
- certification according to EN ISO/IEC 17065.
Only Certification Bodies can be empowered to grant KEYMARK certificates. All other conformity assessment bodies shall act as sub-contractor of the Certification Body (bound by contract). Certification Bodies which seek to award the KEYMARK must also undertake a formal empowerment process and receive authorization to do this by KMO (KEYMARK Management Organization) on behalf of CEN.
European standards within the scope of an application, shall have been implemented in the country of the Certification Body.
Each Certification Body, and where appropriate its internal or external sub-contractors shall:
- participate in meetings relevant to the operation of the KEYMARK Scheme
- not receive any financial subsidy to support their certification, testing or inspection/assessment activities, in order to avoid unfair competition
- maintain confidentiality of the information obtained in the course of conformity assessment procedures, unless explicitly agreed upon in writing in advance.