A third party is an objective, independent person or organization. Product testing, evaluation, certification, and reporting is often performed by a third party in order to ensure reliability. In order to be independent, third parties must have no conflicts of interest, financial, personal, or otherwise, with involved parties such as product manufacturers, contractors, or designers.1 2 Just as a defendant depends on an independent jury to make an impartial decision, building industry professionals rely on third-party assessment organizations to verify the safety, quality, or performance of their products and processes.3 Third parties are trained to evaluate products according to established standards, through comprehensive testing, facility inspections, material reviews, and life cycle analyses.
While self-assessment is more likely to be faulty or inauthentic, third-party assessment is reliable. Consumers, retailers, distributors, and regulators trust third-party certified products’ safety and performance. Certified products often bear labels on packaging to help consumers make better decisions.4 Third-party certification systems can help both governments and manufacturers save resources on testing equipment and staff to evaluate products, and instead channel their efforts into meeting standards and improving products.