Certification is a voluntary process. Any entity conducting a business for which a standard exists may ask to have its output or services certified. Certification is a procedure through which a third party, the certification body, gives a written assurance that an organisational system, process, person, product or a service complies with requirements specified in a standard or benchmark. Certification is awarded for a limited period, during which the certification body carries out monitoring.
Cofrac (the French Accreditation Committee) therefore exercises second-level control it being the organisation that inspects the certification bodies, i.e.
Cofrac >> certification body >> operators.