IEEE Conformity Assessment Program (ICAP)
Standards Conformance Solutions Enabling Market Implementation
What is ICAP?
IEEE provides a legal and operational umbrella for testing and conformity assessment programs focusing on IEEE standards. ICAP is not a Test Laboratory but will partner with industry leading test laboratories to deliver robust conformity assessment programs. ICAP collaborates with industry to develop conformity assessment programs based on IEEE standards. It will engage test laboratories with established quality systems that have expertise and knowledge in the areas to be tested.
What is Conformity Assessment?
Conformity assessment is regarded as the industry-accepted method of demonstrating a product adheres and conforms to a standard. Conformity assessment includes testing, inspection, certificate issuance and registration.
Conformity assessment testing which results in compliance, is the industry-accepted process by which an end-user or purchaser, is provided the assurance and desired level of confidence, a device conforms to an identified standard or test specification. ICAP seeks to engage in all aspects of the conformity assessment process.
Who are Potential Candidates for Conformity Assessment?
Conformity assessment produces tangible benefits for many players including vendors, corporations and telecom operators. ICAP develops and implements conformity assessment programs that meet and address industry requirements. ICAP was formed to address the needs of broad-based constituents including:
- Vendors / manufacturers wishing to demonstrate conformance,
- Corporations or telecom operators requesting a certificate in order to assure and procure,
- Alliances or working groups who want to ensure their standard is widely implemented in the market,
Testing laboratories that want to ensure that their test reports are endorsed with the IEEE stamp of approval.
What Signifies a Product has Successfully Completed Certification?
Successfully completing all required testing requirements, as required by the program, results in the issuance of a certificate. Upon agreement with the customer (product manufacturer) the product is placed on a registry.
Standards Represent Conformance, Why the Need for Certification?
Standards have value to many constituencies including those who use standards in the production of goods and those who purchase those goods. Standards are developed to ensure a product or device will operate as intended providing a certain level of quality and reliability.
However, while the benefits associated with a standard are clear, the implementation of the standard is often open to interpretation. There is a need for customers to rely on and trust the fact that a product, which states conformance to a standard, actually does. Industry looks to address this concern through activities such as interoperability events, vendor assertions and finally certification.
How does Certification Help My Business?
For manufacturers prepared to embrace and exploit the upsurge in requirements for conformity assessment, the case is compelling. An established conformity assessment program delivers a level of assurance to the end-user and peace of mind their devices operate consistent with industry standards.
Certification gives manufacturers an agreement that represents verifiable conformance with IEEE standards in the areas of functionality testing against industry developed test suites. In addition, the issuance of a certificate can be considered an indication of technical competence for the product completing certification testing. Such benefits may be seen as a competitive advantage in a highly competitive environment. Certificates, as facilitated by ICAP, helps to remove technical barriers during product deployment and implementation.
What Industries Can Benefit From a Certification Program?
Conformity assessment resulting in the issuance of a certificate provides tangible benefits to diverse communities. The power and energy, telecommunications, food safety, toys and healthcare are some industries that actively participate in conformity assessment programs. Beneficiaries of a conformity assessment program includes, consumers, manufacturers, businesses and service providers.
Consumers benefit from conformity assessment, as it provides confidence and assurance that the products they purchased meet standards of quality and safety. It can also provide a basis for a purchaser’s buying decision.
Manufacturers need to ensure that their products meet the declared specification while delivering on customer expectations. Conformity assessment may also enable the manufacturer to realize a competitive advantage through product differentiation.
Service Providers can use conformity assessment to identify products that conform and are in compliant to industry standards. Certified products ensure key functionality is implemented while providing interoperability across multiple vendors? solutions.
For additional information on ICAP and how we can assist in the development of a certification program for your specific needs, contact the ICAP Team.