AFNOR Certification is a certifying body governed by the European and international standard EN ISO 17065. NF VALIDATION is a European collective mark owned by the AFNOR Group. It has been registered and is protected in Europe.
NF VALIDATION certification is managed by a Validation Committee of approximately 20 people, consisting of representatives of all the parties concerned, divided into the following groups:
1 – Kits users (public and private laboratories)
2 – Technical organisations (laboratory accreditation organisation, technical centre of industries concerned, health safety agency,…)
3 – Authorities (agriculture, health, environment, …depending on application)
4 – Kits manufacturers worldwide
All validation applications, without exception, are examined by a board of microbiology experts (the Technical Board) whose members are divided equally into groups. Thus, from the outline preliminary study to the results of the inter-laboratory study, each application is presented to the Technical Board and each method is assessed in detail. For each method to be validated, two members of the Technical Board are appointed to monitor the validation study closely and give their opinion to the Technical Board.
Validation studies are conducted by laboratories called “Expert Laboratories”. These laboratories, previously accredited for the reference methods they have to implement during the validation study, are approved by AFNOR Certification, on the basis of criteria set by the Technical Board. AFNOR Certification has an up-to-date list of approved laboratories.
For each study, the manufacturer chooses an Expert Laboratory from the list, which must be independent from its company.
Finally, AFNOR Certification has approved a number of auditors whose task is to carry out audits on the production site for the purposes of certifying methods or monitoring certified methods.
The network of experts set up and managed by AFNOR Certification guarantees a thorough and detailed evaluation of each method applying for certification, both for the initial application and for renewals or extensions. The members of the Technical Board (including the reviewers and the majority of Expert Laboratories) examine many applications at every stage each year, consolidating their expertise and therefore guaranteeing the pertinence, consistency and quality of the evaluations carried out.