7 Types of Product Certifications in Manufacturing

Updated July 2, 2023

Product certification communicates to industries and customers that a particular product is safe to use or purchase. It creates confidence and trust that a product functions correctly, which can create customer satisfaction. If you work in product development, understanding the process of product certification can help you develop and prepare goods accordingly, while also encouraging trust from customers.

In this article, we explain what product certification is and list seven types of product certifications available in the manufacturing industry.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Consult with an attorney or lawyer for any legal issues you may be experiencing.

What is product certification?

Product certification is proof that a specific product complies with all the required regulations of a contract or an independent, national or international organization. This proof also demonstrates the fulfillment of various quality assurance and performance tests. Most marketplaces require product certifications to distribute, feature and sell a particular product. Typically, a product certification appears on the backside of a product. It may also contain information about the criteria a product fulfills, such as safety. Many products require certifications to show they're safe to use, such as:

  • Food

  • Medications

  • Medical devices

  • Electronic equipment

  • Machinery

  • Furniture

  • Robotics

Related: 6 Types of Product Testing (With Examples and Tips)

Who uses product certifications?

Any industry or business specializing in the development, manufacturing or sale of a product typically completes the product certification process. The certification process may adhere to national or international standards, depending on the product market. There are various certification organizations responsible for handling product certification focusing on different industries.

In many companies, product managers guide the development of products and the certification process. Their role may involve ensuring products meet the criteria to earn the desired or required product certifications. Specifically, a product manager's job duties may include:

  • Identifying and aligning business objectives with customers' needs

  • Overseeing the development of a company's new products

  • Developing and implementing plans to increase the profitability of existing products

  • Conducting research of specific markets to advise businesses about regulations

  • Performing quality assurance and performance tests to ensure a product meets certification criteria

Related: What Is a Product Manager?

7 types of product certifications

Product certifications cover a wide range of businesses and industries. As a result, many organizations are responsible for testing and certifying products. Here are seven types of product certifications for manufacturers:

1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The FDA is a United States government agency responsible for the efficacy and safety of foods, medicines, cosmetics, medical devices and similar products. Any company that manufactures and sells these products requires FDA approval or clearance. Companies submit clinical results and a premarket approval (PMA) application for FDA approval, demonstrating that the benefits of a product surpass its risks. For FDA clearance, a company provides information showing its product is similar to another legally marketed product with an FDA clearance or approval.

The time it takes to gain FDA approval or clearance for a product can vary. For low-risk products, the timeline may be a few weeks. Other products, such as high-risk medications, may take months or years to receive approval. Most companies resubmit their products for approval on a regular basis. For example, the FDA reviews foods and medications annually. Food and drug manufacturers can also certify their operations with the FDA and renew their registrations every two years.

Related: 35 Jobs You Can Pursue With a Career in Pharmaceuticals

2. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Supplier's Declaration of Conformity is an FCC certification mark for electronics, such as medical devices and information technology equipment. The FCC is responsible for setting the standards regarding electromagnetic interference. It requires companies to register products that emit radio waves at frequencies greater than 9 kilohertz, which includes a majority of electronic device products. The FCC also requires international companies and manufacturers selling electronic products in the U.S. to get this certification.

Related: What Is Technical Product Management? (With Duties)

3. CE marking

The European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) require businesses or manufacturers seeking to sell their products in this market to have CE certifications. This certification shows that non-food products comply with the EU's product safety, health and environmental regulations. In some cases, companies can assess products independently and sign a declaration of conformity to obtain the CE certification. For example, companies producing low-voltage electronics may declare their products without submitting them for review. Other times, the EU requires a notifying body to inspect and test a product before authorizing a CE marking.

Related: 10 International Market Entry Strategies (With Definitions)

4. BIFMA certification

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) develops and maintains safety and performance standards for furniture products. BIFMA helps educate manufacturers on sustainability practices and the significance of industry standards and codes. It also participates in the development of international furniture product standards. Furniture manufacturers can earn BIFMA certifications in three categories, including environmental, social and health impacts.

Related: How To Become a Furniture Designer

5. IECEE CB Scheme

The IEC System for Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE) is a multilateral agreement among various countries and certification organizations. The IECEE facilitates trade and adherence to national and international standards between countries in North America, Europe and parts of Asia. It operates standards for various products, including batteries, low-voltage equipment, entertainment electronics, lighting and office equipment. The IEC Certification Body (CB) Scheme signifies the testing of electronic components and equipment for safety, quality and consistency.

Related: 15 Jobs in Electronics

6. Best Aquaculture Practices certification

Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) is a certification program that helps verify the production chain of the farmed seafood industry. BAP sets the standards for aquatic farms, fishing hatcheries, feed mills and processing plants, providing education, advocacy and third-party assurances. Through BAP's certification process, businesses can verify that their producers follow the appropriate practices to deliver farmed seafood to customers safely and responsibly.

Related: 15 Jobs in Food Sustainability

7. UL Solutions certification

UL Solutions is a safety science organization based in over 100 countries. It tests and evaluates system components and products, like automotive materials, audible devices, power supplies, plastics and medical devices. UL Solutions also provides manufacturers with advice about how to improve their products to achieve regulatory compliance. The UL Solutions certification is the standard in numerous industries, such as energy and utilities, retail, technology, government services, construction and industrial products. Here are some of the product certifications UL Solutions offers:

  • Electric vehicles and infrastructure

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Robotics safety, security and performance

  • Medical electrical devices

  • Fire sprinklers

  • Sustainability and environment

  • Recycled plastics

Explore more articles

  • Types of Research Methods (With Best Practices and Examples)
  • 9 Tips for How To Deal With a Bad Boss (Plus Signs)
  • 10 Sales Meeting Games To Improve Team Performance
  • What Are Interfaces? (With Definition and Examples)
  • How To Introduce Yourself to Your New Boss
  • How To End a Reference Letter in 5 Steps (Plus Examples)
  • How To Become an Actor With No Experience
  • 18 Future Skills for the Workplace
  • How To Make Email Links Open With Gmail in Chrome By Default
  • How To Write a Retirement Letter as a Teacher (With Example)
  • How to Write an Official Letter with Template and Example
  • Factorials: What Are They, How To Calculate Them and Examples