Lebanese Republic


Inspection is an organised examination or formal evaluation exercise examination of product design, product, process or installation/plant and determination of their conformity with specific requirements or, on the basis of a professional judgment, with general requirements.

Inspection of processes can include inspection of persons, facilities, technology and methodology. It involves measurements, tests, and gauges. Results are usually compared to specific requirements and standards for determining whether the item or activity is in line with these targets. Inspections are usually non-destructive. The result of the inspection may be used to support certification. Borderline between inspection, certification and testing issues do arise. The result of testing is normally a concrete value with an uncertainty.

Certification is following the four eyes principle and is the comparison of a result with specific requirements. Inspection is normally based on professional judgment. Inspection of a thermal power station during construction for example, suggests that according to a specification and technical drawings, several single tests, like visual inspections, dimensional controls, welding tests, must be performed.

Making use of the example of an inspection of a thermal power, the ordered expert or inspection body, issues test reports, protocols and certificates about the activities. But it has to be clearly stated that the issue of certificates is not certification. Certification always involves a third party accordingly;

Certification is a third-party attestation related to products, processes, systems or persons – certification is

applicable to all objects of conformity assessment except for conformity assessment bodies themselves, to which accreditation is applicable  further differences arise between inspection and certification, relating to issues like assurance, markings, surveillance etc


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To see the differences between inspection and certification, please click here.


Table 1: Differences between inspection and certification

Kind of Activity




 Inspection of individual products, there is no need to do it by a third party (direct confirmation of conformity)

 Certification of product series by a third party (indirect confirmation of conformity)


 (professional) judgement in comparison to standards or other normative documents and/or general requirements

 evaluation in comparison to stnadards or other normative documents


 no reason for separation between persons deciding on inspection and conducting the inspection

decision on certification are always done by persons who are/were not involved in the evaluation


report reflects the condition at the time of inspection

certification assures continuously meeting the requirements

Delivering of Allowances/ Approvals

no allowance/approval is granted

grants the supplier the allowance/approval delivering certificates and/or labelling a mark

Labelling/ Marketing of products

only on products which were inspected

Labels/marks are allowed on all certified products (concerning the approval)


No surveillance in the frame of inspection-only a regular surveillance of the (inspected single product)

Necessary to ensure that the product meets the requirements.

In-Service Inspection always by inspection

never by product certification

QM- System

Sometimes it can be useful, that an inspection body assess’ some aspects of the QM-system to justify the inspection-results.

Necessary to evaluate the QM-System


Grain and Sugar Beets

Grain and Sugar Beets