The testing, inspection and certification (TIC) industry consists of testing laboratories, inspection agencies and certification bodies that perform assessments on products and quality systems. Some of the best-known providers are SGS, Intertek, Bureau Veritas, DEKRA, TüV-Rheinland, TüV-Süd, VDE, DN, UL, CSA, Eurofins, QIMA (AsiaInspection). Typical services that they provide are product compliance testing, factory inspections, pre-shipment inspections, quality system audits, consultancy and trainings.
The services provided by the TIC industry are often referred to as “third-party” assessments, underlining the fact that an independent party, not the supplier or manufacturer, carries out these activities.
Notified bodies are specific TIC companies appointed by national authorities to perform mandatory conformity assessments within the framework of EU legislation, for instance certification of medical products. Notified means that a member state has informed the European Commission and the other member states, that a body has been designated to carry out conformity assessment according to a directive. All notified bodies can be found in the NANDO (New Approach Notified and Designated Organizations) database.