The Certification Manager is a strategic temporary manager increasingly needed by manufacturers because his support allows companies to manage highly complex projects in the field of product certification for global market access. Based on our experience, find out in this article who the Certification Manager is and why he is so important to the business.
Why the Certification Manager is so important to the business
The Certification Manager is the technician who, on behalf of the manufacturer, deals with the revision of the technical compliance requirements in accordance with the reference standards in force within the local markets. The Certification Manager verifies compliance with the contractual specifications right from the procurement.
Among the main tasks of a Certification Manager:
- Management of conflicts between contractual specifications and local technical regulations
- Mapping of all requirements and Certification Bodies
- Coordination of the manufacturer’s Project Management
- Internal engineering support
In the next paragraphs, you can find an exhaustive list of the tasks performed by a Certification Manager.
The Certification Manager is a key role who helps to overcome the difficulties of managing huge projects in terms of technical knowledge in the field of local regulations and in regard to the on-time delivery.
We are talking about a technical regulations specialist, whose intervention is particularly strategic within those countries where the language and origin can impede to access the market, for instance within China or within the Eurasian Economic Union.
The Certification Manager can coordinate a project at a high-level, actively, and operationally participating in the design review phase as well, in order to manage the compliance with local technical-regulatory requirements on time.
The chart below explains the processes involved. Each part describes a process where the internal function could work autonomously, even though the centralization of the processes under the guidance of a unique function allows us to streamline the process. The added value for the manufacturer is indeed represented by the integration of the different functions across a less rigid process.
A fundamental part of the Certification Manager’s work is the management of the relationships with Certification Bodies. This is particularly true along the certification process in order to carry out the punch list. The full understanding of the issues that may affect the project is crucial to success. In fact, the punch lists can be better managed by an expert with a complete understanding of the technical problems that may arise, how the processes will be affected by those points, and how (or by whom) the problem can be solved.
The work of the Certification Manager is completed when the Certification Body issues the certificates and declarations agreed by the certification strategy.
A local service to access the global market
Our Certification Management service is designed to meet the local technical requirements on the behalf of manufacturers when accessing the global market. For this aim, the first step is the set up a certification strategy that considers the contractual scope of supply and suppliers. This leads to the definition of supplier requirements to be included in the purchase specifications.
Certification strategy definition
Working closely with the client’s infrastructure, we define the most appropriate certification strategy to approach the qualified certification bodies, driving the certification process until the end of the contract. We interact with the internal functions involved in order to get and expedite the required information and documents by the certification process in order to avoid delay. We support the client’s infrastructure when needed being the main point of contact for the client and by assisting the internal Project Managers as well.
We daily work with Certification Bodies and demonstrate strong communication capabilities thanks to our in-house mother-tongue engineers. We can fully manage the punch lists in both directions: by clarifying pending points and by negotiating with certification bodies until the issue of the certificates or declarations of conformity.
Support in dealing with customers
In order to support the manufacturer’s Project Managers on general project requirements and customer requests, we are capable to proactively support the project dealing with the customer on all the topics related to certification matters.
Project customer requirements are very demanding, also in terms of documents and templates to be duly prepared: we can maintain direct contact with customer representatives that are in charge of certification requirements, being so able to share process status and related proceedings on all the matters related to project fulfillment for technical regulation requirements.
We know in fact such demanding customers may absorb a lot in terms of project management resources and we can manage the customers easier than PMs on this effort, being experienced on such subject, focused only on this matter and with high skills to effectively answer on all topics on behalf of our customer.
Internal engineering support
We are capable to support customer’s engineering team on design compliance with the current product regulations and standards, carrying out reviews and assessments on many local standards, such as EAC, SELO, CCC, CE, CSA, and many others, and providing support on the engineering documentation development up to the customer. Many standards are usually applied to the project and some of them may impact the standard product design; we can support the engineering in the interpretation of such requirements being a constant technical reference across all the projects and in case any issue may arise.
Integration of modules from a global perspective
We are available to support all the personnel involved, such as PMs, engineering, infrastructure departments, in driving the certification body and customer requests in order to reduce impacts on project costs and reduce the on-time delivery. The integration and communication flow between each department with a structured process and high technical skills will increase the efficiency of certification management, documentation delivery, vendor documents collection, and so on.
We are capable to work on all the described modules by supporting the PMs with all the involved functions and this will facilitate reaching the goal as all the certification matters will be concentrated into one function, that can drive all the functions activities according to the certification development scheme. In this way, the PM in charge will have, thanks to our Certification Manager support, all the tasks of certification-related under the control.
Activities and skills of the Certification Manager
Among the main activities that the Certification Manager can carry out, we apply:
- Review of the technical-regulatory requirements and any regulatory requirements reported in contractual specifications to make the internal project team/s familiar with such requirements and assure their flow down into job execution
- Cross-checking of technical regulation and standards compliance requirements with other contractual requirements and conflicts
- Identification of the needs of the Certification Bodies and definition of the deadlines of purchases placement
- Verification of all technical regulatory documents
- Planning of offers
- Identification of the risks associated with the activities listed above
- Management of budget and costs associated with the project
- Management of local market processes and inspections
- Project engineering support
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