What is first, second and third-party certification?

First-party certification means that the individual or organisation providing a product or service offers assurance that it meets certain claims. CE marking is an example of first-party certification. A CE mark is often needed to bring a product to the European market. By marking a product, a producer assures it has been tested and meets basic criteria regarding safety, health and the environment.

In second-party certification, an association to which the individual or organisation belongs provides the assurance. An association can, for example, create a quality mark for a certain market segment. Individuals or organisations can obtain it by meeting the requirements set. Thus, such a mark may improve quality level.

Kiwa provides third-party certification. This kind of certification involves a fully independent assessment declaring that specified requirements pertaining to a product, person, process or management system have been met. The requirements have been independently drawn up by Boards of Experts representing a certain market segment or an association. The advantage of third-party certification is that you nor your association, but an independent third party assures you and your customers that objective requirements have been met.