All you need to know about Certificate of Conformance

Now a day, people use Conformance and Compliance in place of one another. Even so, The Certificate of Conformance is a document that guarantees the Conformance of the product to the internally set specifications while the Certificate of Compliance is a document that certifies the Compliance of a product to an external regulatory standard.

Their focus is more on the objective and the content of the document than the title.

Throughout this article terms CoC, the Certificate of Conformance and the Certificate of Compliance are interchangeable. This is despite the fact that there are differences between Conformance and Compliance. In short, the recipient of the CoC trusts the document as proof that the product meets its requirements.

Here are a few questions that are addressed here:

Q.Shop for Job Shop Manufacturing.

Inspection Test Plans, Electronic Test Report, Automated Certificate of Compliance reports

Certificate of Conformance
A Sample Certificate of Conformance

Who asks for a Certificate of Conformance?

For a simple single widget, the seller may need to produce different CoC with different contents for different recipients, guaranteeing different subjects.

  • A carrier may ask for a CoC indicating your product does not have hazardous content and is safe for transportation.
  • A customs agency may ask for a CoC indicating your product meets the trade agreements between the two countries.
  • A customer may ask for a CoC indicating the technical specification of the product and its Conformance with certain standards or specifications.

The Certificate of Conformance (CoC) is requested by the customer in a regulated industry. Customers ask for CoC documents from their suppliers or subcontractors. The chain of CoC documents supports the Compliance of the final product to specifications.

In a regulated industry, a request for a Certificate of Conformance (CoC) is a norm and is part of the work. So in general, anybody in the cycle of handling the product may ask for proof of Compliance of the product to certain requirements.

Whether they call it Certificate, Warranty, Guarantee, Binder, Compliance, Conformity or just CoC, they all serve one purpose.

The recipient of CoC saves himself from the extended work of testing, validating and verifying by simply trusting on your CoC certificate as what you are claiming on the certificate is true.

In the case of a Certificate of Compliance, this trust is supported and backed up by the third-party authority that issued the CoC.

What is in a Certificate of Conformance?

Depending on who is handling the product and what the concern is, each CoC has the information addressing the subject. For a single piece of the widget, you may produce many CoC each addressing a different subject. Each CoC has its own content to guarantee a subject for its own use.

One CoC is certifying the quality of the product for the end user.While another CoC is certifying the safety of the product for transportation. And a CoC satisfies the border agency for import, export and trade agreements.

In this example, even so, all three CoC are referring to the same widget, yet each certifies a different subject for their own audience. So what is on a Certificate of Conformance really depends on its use case.

Certificate of Conformance Template?

Every customer has their own criteria or data fields that would like to see in the CoC document. Some customers are even picky about the look and the layout of the CoC.

The service agreement usually has a CoC template. The template outlines all required information and the layout. The supplier makes and submits one CoC along with each product delivery or for each batch.

How to make a Certificate of Conformance?

General idea is that, during production, employees record required measurements. Upon completion of production, QA personnel put collected data into a CoC template to make a new CoC. Manually producing the CoC document is a time-consuming task and prone to lots of problems.

This administration task has no added value for the business or for the product. Dealing with different customers with various CoC requirements makes it even worse. This administration task is well deserved to spend on actual business and quality of work than paperwork.

Q.Shop for Job Shop Manufacturing.

Inspection Test Plans, Electronic Test Report, Automated Certificate of Compliance reports

Certificate of Conformance in Q.Shop

Yet, producing a Certificate of Conformance is part of the work and the customer asks for it. Making a Certificate of Conformance in Q.Shop is easy with one click. Below are some of the advantages of using Q.Shop to make your Certificate of Conformance:

  • Unlimited Data: There is no limitation on the number of data fields on a CoC.
  • Unlimited Size: The CoC document can be one page or hundreds of pages as needed.
  • Layout: The standard CoC layout provides an easy and quick way of producing CoC right out of the box.
  • Design Layout: Mimic the exact duplicate copy of the customer’s template and produce a CoC that is familiar to the customer.
  • One Click Output: It takes only one click to produce a professional-looking CoC, regardless of the layout or the size.
  • Eliminates Typo: It eliminates the risk of typos and similar mistakes by automatically bringing the data to CoC.
  • No Missing Data: Murphy’s law, the only missing information is the one that you need for your CoC. Some measurements are not practical when production passed the stage.

Who issues a Certificate of Conformance?

A buyer requests a certificate of conformance from the seller. The certificate guarantees what is being sold, either in part or whole. The item in the transaction could be a product or a service.

When buying a product, the seller guarantees the product for its intended functionality. When buying a service, the seller guarantees the workmanship or final outcome. The seller issues the certificate in response to the buyer’s needs for certain specifications.

Some certificate carries a higher degree of value and is prepared by an independent third party. For example in a real state transaction, a Certificate of Location serves the same purpose between the seller and buyer.

Yet the seller cannot provide the certificate directly to the buyer and hires a land surveyor to verify the title and issue a certificate.

Summary with generic examples

The seller issues a Certificate of Conformance to the buyer as a letter of guarantee or warranty to confirm certain specifications. A good example is the certificate of fireplace installation that the contractor gives you.

Here are a few of these examples:

  • The seller issues a CoC to promote and support the quality of his product.
  • The seller makes one CoC for each product and issues it to the buyer.
  • The buyer asks for a CoC to safeguard his investment.
  • The buyer asks for certain information on the CoC, that otherwise needs a destructive test to verify.
  • The buyer asks for certain information on the CoC, that cannot verify.

CoC Chain

The buyer keeps the letter of Conformance for future reference or claims. A CoC may come with a chain of CoC from others.

For example, the fireplace CoC consists of three independent but interrelated documents. One Certificate of Conformance comes from the manufacturer confirming the fireplace specifications. One CoC comes from the installer conforming to the installation according to the regulation.

And finally, one CoC comes from the chimney inspector confirming the operation. Buyers may use the chain of CoC to support the quality of their product to another level.

In this example, the insurance company asks for CoC before providing insurance. The insurance company trusts the chain of CoC as conformance of the fireplace as a qualified appliance for the house.

Implicit CoC

Likewise, some CoCs are not exchanged and taken at the face value or implicitly by their literal word. A good example is Winter Tire. You buy winter tires.

The insurance company provides discounts for having winter tires. And police (in certain states and provinces) accept the winter tire on the car by seeing it. No one asks for the CoC of the manufacturer for the winter tire.

Yet such compliance is implicitly assumed from the manufacturer, that what is said to be winter tire is in fact winter tire and in compliance with winter tire requirements.

Inevitably, if such implicit and public trust proofs to be wrong or manipulated, the consequences will be harsh. A manufacturer who repackages and labels the same all-season tire as a winter tire is subject to hefty fines.

CoC Course of Action

If a product or service is malfunctioning, the buyer has a course of action. The buyer can use the Certificate of Conformance to contact the seller and ask for a fix. Of course, each CoC comes with terms and conditions.

For example, if the fireplace’s remote stops working, the buyer can ask for the fix, but not for replacement batteries.