Jul 02 2009

Standards Compliance Testing

Testing guidelines and certification programs rarely come handed down by a single company.  Most compliance testing is the product of standards organizations that create test specifications and logo certification guidelines to ensure accuracy and fairness for all product developers.  These standards organizations are major drivers of product certification.

A standards compliance group consists of at least two individuals, companies or organizations who come together to advance a technology.  Unlike proprietary solutions where control lies in the hands of a single owner, standards groups strive for technology advancements and interoperability to benefit all participating companies and ultimately, consumers.

Competing organizations come together for a variety of reasons, from creating guidelines to developing specifications, often addressing the needs of consumers. Standards groups face challenges, and conflicting viewpoints and opinions among group members that can hinder an organization. In order for the standards group to be successful, the group’s efforts must be in the best interest of the technology ecosystem as a whole.  The benefits and challenges of standards groups are very succinctly discussed in “Standards Matter: The Battle for Interoperability Goes On,” an article published earlier this year.

Once a company within a standards group begins product development, the product is usually tested to ensure that it has implemented the features necessary to comply with the group’s specification or guidelines. Typically, upon achieving certification, the product can bear the group’s logo.

Testing against these standards are conducted in-house, at independent test labs or at testing events hosted by standards organizations (plugfests).  Most logo programs require testing be completed at a third-party test lab or at a sponsored event.  Testing with a lab ensures developers as well as consumers that privacy, accuracy and honesty were held up in the process of allowing a product bear an assurance logo.

View the standards compliance test programs Allion manages.