A Friendly Approach to Certification

Aug. 1, 2006

About the author: Tina Fischer, CWS-IV, is product certification supervisor for the Water Quality Association. She can be reached at 630.505.0160, ext. 533, or by e-mail at [email protected].

Are you afraid of product certification? Have you had a previous experience that was less than desirable?

Look no further—your problems are solved. The Water Quality Association has put together a group of dedicated individuals to assist you with obtaining and maintaining your product certification without all the hassle. WQA Product Certification Department staff members are not only knowledgeable about the water industry and NSF/ANSI standards, but they are also friendly and pleasant.

Product Certification Coordinator

Literally, the acronym PCC stands for product certification coordinator. A PCC is the specific person assigned to you for each of your projects. Typically, the WQA assigns the same coordinator to be responsible for a specified company. When it gets down to it, however, the letters PCC stand for a lot more.

Pleasant. Not only are the WQA Product Certification Department staff members anxious and eager to assist their own companies, but in all circumstances, each person within the program will also make time to assist manufacturers for whom they are not specifically responsible.

What does this mean to you? If your PCC is out of the office for a week and you need a question answered immediately, someone else within the department will answer your question to the best of his/her ability, and with the same amount of dedication your personal coordinator would have.

Courteous. Each of the PCCs has come from a background similar to the background most of you had when you jumped into the water industry—limited or no knowledge of the water industry and the intricacies involved with product certification. Because the coordinators began their positions without knowing or understanding the processes, each of them has developed significant empathy toward the needs of manufacturers.

Each of them understands that certification is a new process for most of you. Furthermore, the coordinators have been trained to walk even the novices of product certification through the detailed process. Each of the Product Certification Department personnel is well prepared to provide you with all the information you need to get started and get finished with certification in a time frame that will meet your individual timelines.

Consistent. You may be wondering what consistency has to do with having a pleasant experience while going through the certification process. Imagine contacting your certification agency four times a year with different certification projects. Each time you submit products for certification, the process is different: While testing for project A is required every two years, testing for project B is required every five years. You ask why, but you are never given a technically sound reason for the difference. Sometimes, the technical justification that you were allowed to use on a specific product line is not allowed for a newly submitted project of the same type, and again, no logical rationale can be given for the difference.

WQA staff members are trained to know, understand and explain the requirements for each type of certification. You can be confident in knowing that when a project is submitted to the WQA, regardless of the person the project is submitted to, the process is the same. The WQA Product Certification Program is well organized, and all employees follow an identical path to certification regardless of the company applying for certification, the product type or the size of the project. In essence, each of your projects is treated the same from start to finish.

Simplifying the Process

Is the certification process easy? Certainly not. There are forms to be submitted, literature to be revised and fees to be paid. The process, however, can be made very simple. The WQA Gold Seal Product Certification staff has dedicated countless hours to revising procedures and processes to consistently provide you with a pleasant and friendly avenue to fulfill your certification needs.

About the Author

Tina Fischer

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