Product certification or product qualification is the process of certifying that a certain product has passed performance tests and quality assurance tests, and meets qualification criteria stipulated in contracts, regulations, or specifications (typically called "certification schemes" in the product certification industry).
Most product certification bodies (or product certifiers) are accredited to ISO/IEC 17065 Conformity assessment -- Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services (previously ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996) an international standard for ensuring competence in those organizations performing product, process and service certifications. The organizations that perform this accreditation are called Accreditation Bodies, and they themselves are assessed by international peers against the ISO 17011 standard. , currently in transition to 2017 version of the standard.
Examples of some certification schemes include the Safety Equipment Institute for protective headgear, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) program for radio communication devices, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star program, the International Commission on the Rules for the Approval of Electrical Equipment Product Safety Certification Body Scheme (IEECE CB Scheme), MAS (Materials Analytical Services) Certified Green IEQ program, and the Greenguard Environmental Institute Indoor Air Quality program. Certification schemes are typically written to include both the performance test methods that the product must be tested to, as well as the criteria that the product must meet to become Certified.
Certifications (and the certificates that document their existence) are often called "certs" in the everyday jargon of various industries.