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About the Industry > Services provided by the Industry

Services provided by the Industry


In general, the testing and certification industry provides three types of services –

(a) Testing
(b) Inspection
(c) Certification

The following series of videos give a brief introduction on Hong Kong's testing and certification services. Please click on the links below to download the videos:

Overview   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with English subtitles
Short Clip   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese and English subtitles
Chinese Medicines   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with English subtitles
Construction Materials and Buildings   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with English subtitles
Electrical and Electronic Products   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with English subtitles
Environmental Protection   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with English subtitles
Food   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with English subtitles
Jewellery   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with English subtitles
Textiles and Garment   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese and English Subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with Traditional Chinese and English Subtitles
Toys and Children's Products   English voice-over with Traditional Chinese subtitles
Cantonese voice-over with English subtitles



Please refer to the website of Hong Kong Accredited Service (HKAS) for service providers accredited by HKAS and the scope of their accredited services. 

(a) Testing

Testing is the determination of one or more characteristics of an object according to a procedure.  Examples include:

(i) testing of a food product to determine its heavy metal contents; and
(ii) testing of blood to determine its red blood cell count.

Demand for testing services in Hong Kong can be generated both locally (about 40%) and externally (about 60%). 

About half of the business receipts from testing activities to meet local demand are for medical testing.  Other common services provided to meet local needs include testing of Chinese medicines, construction materials, electrical and electronic products, food, jewellery, etc.

On external demand, testing activities are mostly related to testing of consumer products for export, e.g. textiles, clothing and footwear, toys and games, electronic and electrical products, houseware, etc.

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(b) Inspection

Inspection may include the examination of materials, products, installations, plants, processes, work procedures or services and determination of their conformity with requirements and the subsequent reporting of results of these activities to clients and, when required, to authorities. Examples include:

(i) inspection of a batch of products at the factory before shipment to determine whether the products comply with the buyer's specifications; and
(ii) inspection of structural welds to determine whether they meet the contractual and statutory requirements.

On local demand, there are many safety-related statutory inspections such as the inspection of lifts and escalators. There are also inspections conducted on a voluntary basis, such as inspection of the indoor air quality at a premises according to the Environmental Protection Department's "Indoor Air Quality Certification Scheme for Offices and Public Places".

On external demand, the need for inspection arises from international trade. It is a common practice for overseas buyers to arrange inspection of goods at the factory by an independent inspection body to confirm the quality of goods before shipment.

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(c) Certification

Certification is a third-party attestation related to products, processes, systems or persons. Certification activities in Hong Kong can be broadly divided into three categories:

(i) management system certification, e.g. certification of an organisation's quality management system to ISO 9001;
(ii) product certification, e.g. certification of a supplier's competence in producing a mobile phone to regulatory requirements; and
(iii) validation and verification, e.g. validation and/or verification of greenhouse gas assertions to ISO 14064-1, ISO 14064-2 or ISO TS 14067.

Management System Certification

There are various international standards for management system certification. Organisations seek certification to prove that they comply with these international standards for different reasons: improvement of the management of their organisations, as a marketing tool.

ISO 9001 is an international standard that specifies generic requirements for a quality management system. Certification against this standard is the most popular management system certification in Hong Kong. There is also an increasing demand for new types of certification, e.g. ISO 14001 environmental management system certification, ISO 50001 energy management system certification and OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety management system certification.

Product Certification

Product certification can improve stakeholders' confidence in the products supplied by a certified supplier. It can bring benefits to manufacturers (better business opportunities), regulatory authorities (less monitoring effort) and end-users (more reliable products). Product certification schemes adopted by accredited certification bodies in Hong Kong are related to construction materials, consumer products and food.

Validation and Verification

To tackle climate changes, many organisations around the world are implementing various initiatives to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmospheres. These initiatives rely on the quantification, monitoring, reporting, validation and verification of GHG emissions and/or removals.

To enhance the consistency, credibility and transparency of GHG quantification, monitoring and reporting, organisations may validate and verify their GHG assertions based on ISO 14064-1 (organisation level), ISO 14064-2 (project level) or ISO TS 14067 (product level).

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Summary

The three types of services can be summarized as follows:

 

Coverage

Resulting Product

Duration

Testing

- an object

Test report

In general short term
(applies only to the samples tested)

Inspection

- materials
- products
- installations
- plants
- processes
- work procedures
- services

Inspection report

In general short term
(e.g. for a batch of products)

Certification

- management system
- product
- greenhouse gas assertions

Certificate;
Greenhouse gas validation and verification report

Except for greenhouse gas assertions, in general longer term
(e.g. one-year)

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Further reading: Testing and Certification services – how does it add value to your company?