Product certification or product qualification is the process of verifying that a certain product has passed performance tests and quality assurance tests or qualification requirements stipulated in contracts, regulations, or specifications.
For example, it may relate to a building code, nationally accredited test standards, or a set of regulations governing quality and minimum performance requirements. Certifications (and the certificates that document their existence) are often called certs in the everyday jargon of various industries.
Product certification is often called for in sensitive product areas where a failure could have serious consequences. For example, certification is stringent in aerospace applications, since the demands for low weight tend to lead to high stress on components, requiring appropriate metallurgy and accuracy in manufacturing. Other sensitive product area may include: food, pharmaceuticals, healthcare products, dangerous goods, etc.
Products are certified at the beginning of production and often need periodic recertification. In addition, continuing compliance with a quality management system such as ISO 9000 is often required. Certified products may be endorsed with a quality mark or be eligible to display a certification mark.
Products must be used in accordance with their listing for certification to be effective.