Industry Terms & Acronyms


Product Certification “Scheme”

This is the European phrase to identify the listing and labeling procedure. To the U.S. ear, it sounds like a plot. We use Product Certification “Programs.”

Qualitative Testing

For the purposes of the kind of fire testing we are talking about today, qualitative testing is used for fire door and other building product assemblies. The results of this testing to acceptable test standards are pass/fail or they take the form of indices. The test specimens are made up of component parts and are tested as they would be installed in real circumstances. They are exposed to flames in test equipment built for fire endurance testing (time, temperature, flame­through circumstances) or flame spread testing (time vs. flame forward movement).

Quantitative Testing

As indicated by the phrase, results of such testing take the form of numerical formulas of measurement. Calibration laboratories conduct quantitative testing as do metrology labs. These labs also may be accredited to ISO 17025 for testing.

The new edition of 17025 emphasizes the use of “sampling”: procedures, defined as testing procedures, based on metrology, to show that a product (singular, not an assembly), for example, does not ignite during ignition testing and then can be shown through production sampling to be identical to the test specimen, thus it can be “certified.” Whether that meets the requirement parameters of ISO 17065 for product certification is a question to which we do not know the answer.

Processes, procedures, services performed by laboratories, inspection and product certification organizations.
Review Activity
For example, checking required documentation for listing and labeling as it is received by personnel knowledgeable about the requirements of ISO 17065.
Accreditation Body (AB)
Entity performing assessments of testing laboratories and certification bodies as meeting the requirements of the relevant ISO standards for their activities.
Certification Body (CB)
Entity audited by an AB who is a signatory member of the mutual recognition arrangements issued by the: International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC); Asian Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC); International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
In the field who decide on acceptability of test standards, test labs, product certification bodies per content of Building Codes such as the International Building Code (IBC).


AB – Accreditation Body. Government agency or recognized organization that is a signatory member of an MRA or an independent member such as ANAB/ANSI, A2lA, or IAS.

APLAC – Asian Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation. Refer to goals listed for ILAC. The operational procedures are the same for APLAC. Signatory Members of their MRA are ABs assessed for adherence to ISO 17020 and 17025:2017 as explained for ILAC.

CB – Certification Body. The owner of a certification “program” or “scheme” that meets the requirements of ISO 17065 as assessed by a signatory member of the MLA.

IAF – International Accreditation Forum. Sets up Mutual Lateral Arrangement for member Accreditation Bodies who accredit product Certification Bodies to the requirements of ISO 17065; mutual recognition by members of each other’s accreditations avoid expensive and unnecessary duplication of review for acceptance into a certification program. This reduces the effort of obtaining global acceptance while ensuring product quality internationally. Members undergo regular peer assessment to ensure they are meeting the requirements of ISO 17001.

IBC – International Building Code. The reference document for Authorities Having Jurisdiction. It cites the acceptable test and code standards to be used when acceptability criteria are required for a decision.


ILAC – International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation. Sets up Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for member Accreditation Bodies (ABs) who Accredit Test Labs to ISO 17025 and Third Party Inspection Agencies to ISO 17020. Mutual recognition by signatory members of each other’s accreditations avoids expensive and unnecessary duplication of test and inspection services. This reduces the effort of obtaining global acceptance while ensuring product quality internationally. ABs are assessed for their adherence to conformity requirements by ILAC per ISO 17001.

ISO – International Organization for Standardization. Based in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO provides committees of experts from a wide spectrum of fields who write the standards for stated goals for safety and quality. ISO provides global standards for quality, safety and efficiency for products, services and management of natural resources. Representatives are from National Standards Bodies from over 160 nations.

MLA – Mutual Lateral Arrangement. Issued by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) for continuing peer assessments by ABs who are signatory members. They agree to recognize the others’ accreditations. This avoids unnecessary duplication of expensive accreditations in a global economy.

MRA – Mutual Recognition Arrangement. Issued by ILAC as described in the ILAC listing statement above.

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