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The QI and its elements

A sophisticated system of guidelines, institutions, and processes creates reliability and trust in safe products and services. The level of quality is in the responsibility of the manufacturers. However, it is the quality infrastructure (QI) that ensures, supports, and makes it comparable. It consists of five interlocking elements.

Metrology is the science of exact measurement.  The fields of activity include the definition of internationally accepted units of measurement, the realisation of units of measurement by scientific methods, as well as the establishment of traceability chains by determining and documenting measured values and their accuracies, and the dissemination of this knowledge. (Source: Metrology - in short, 3rd edition)

A standard is a document that specifies requirements for products, services, or processes. It thus creates clarity about their properties, facilitates the free movement of goods, and promotes exports. It supports rationalisation and quality assurance in business, technology, science, and administration. It serves to ensure the safety of people and property and to improve quality in all areas of life.

Accreditation independently assesses, confirms, and supervises the technical competence of a conformity assessment body. Accreditation indicates that this body fulfils the specified requirements to carry out certain conformity assessment activities.

When a product, service, process, system, person, or body meets requirements that are specified by law, contract, or otherwise, then this compliance is called conformity. Conformity assessment can be carried out by the manufacturer or supplier itself, its contractual partners, or customers, as well as by independent conformity assessment bodies.

Market surveillance ensures that products placed on the European market are withdrawn from the market, if necessary if they do not meet their specific requirements. This means that the authorities can prohibit or restrict the sale of products, the so-called "making available on the market".

In QI-Digital, we are developing a basic digital structure for a modern QI that allows the mapping and further development of previously purely physical processes in the digital world: from smart standards via digital certificates to a QI-Cloud.