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With a certificate or quality mark, you can demonstrate that your products and services, processes or working conditions in your company meet certain safety, quality or environmental requirements (for example, with organic or local produce). With this, you can also demonstrate that your employees possess certain knowledge and skills.
Certifying bodies and accreditation
In the Netherlands, laboratories and inspecting, certification and verification bodies can have their working methods approved by the Dutch Accreditation Council (Raad voor Accreditatie, RvA). If approved, they are allowed to use the accreditation logo, which indicates they meet requirements such as impartiality and expertise. You will find a list of European inspection agencies on the Nando Information System's website.
A certificate is a written document. Sometimes, a client or the Dutch government makes certification mandatory, for example for people working with asbestos. A certificate is issued on the basis of certification schemes. These schemes contain the requirements set on the product, service, system or person. In order to continue to hold the certificate, you are obliged to attend refresher courses and sit re-examinations frequently.
Working conditions certificates
A working conditions certificate (arbo-certificaat) is mandatory for a number of products, activities and systems, such as:
- lifts, cranes and pressure vessels
- diving work, working with explosives and shooting commercial fireworks
- working conditions services and asbestos assessment companies
You must be granted permission from the quality mark owner to be able to use it. If granted, you may use its logo. However, if your product or service fails to meet the promised standards, consumers may call you to account. In that case, you must offer them a solution within a reasonable period, free of charge.
Quality marks overview
You may register your quality mark (Dutch) in order to be tested by RVA. Until 2017 the Dutch Consumer Information Service (ConsuWijzer) publishes all accredited quality marks in the Netherlands on their website. Milieu Centraal offers an overview of quality marks and their reliability (Dutch).