homologation definition

Contributor(s): Tom Blaisdell

Homologation (from the verb homologate, meaning "to approve or confirm officially") is the process of certifying or approving a product to indicate that it meets regulatory standards and specifications, such as safety and technical requirements. Homologation certifications are granted by an official agency, such as a court of law, an academic institution or a professional organization.

Homologation requirements are not limited to a specific industry. Tailored sets of requirements exist for products in the automotive, telecommunications, information technology and medical fields, among many others.

In English-speaking jurisdictions, homologation is often referred to as type approval or certificate of conformity, because homologating a product entails certifying that it meets the requirements specific to its type. Because products require this type of certification before they are sold in other particular countries, these standards typically vary by country.

There are companies that specialize in helping manufacturers achieve regulatory compliance with homologation requirements. Their services might include the explanation and interpretation of standards and specifications; assistance in plant facility audit and approval; testing and certification of materials; product design consulting; and translation of manuals, legal mandates and other written material.

This was first published in December 2014

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