In principle, the vast majority of Canadian and international standards are voluntary.
In practice, the demands of the marketplace make many standards mandatory. A bolt manufacturer whose products do not fit a standard nut, for example, will probably not have many customers.
Buyers who want to assess whether their suppliers provide goods that conform to standards have a number of options. They may take supplier’s word for it. They may check the products themselves. They may also insist that the supplier ask an independent third party to verify the products conformity. These third parties often indicate conformity by putting their own label, or mark, on the product.
Government regulators make a standard mandatory by referring to it in legislation. Provincial and territorial electrical codes, for example, require electrical products to conform to Canadian electrical safety standards. Under these regulations, products cannot be sold unless they have been tested and certified by a recognized conformity assessment body.
One way of recognizing conformity assessment bodies is through accreditation. SCC is Canada’s national accreditation body for organizations that provide standards-related conformity assessment services.
For more information visit SCC’s orientation module, Accreditation: Where Standards, quality and conformity meet about the value and importance of accreditation. SCC also has a searchable directory of accredited certification bodies.