Certification of conformity are provisions, made by an independent body, of written assurance (a certificate) that the product, service or system in question meets specific requirements.
A certification represents an objective and impartial piece of evidence that an industrial has the capacity to produce products that conform to an industry specification or international standard and is regularly audited as part of a continual improvement principle.
Eventhough other national certifications do exist, the graphic industry generally recognize FOGRA PSO® and RIT PSA® as global certifications.
These certifications have helped thousands of companies and printers worldwide work to standards.
Fogra's Process Standard Offset (PSO) Certification
PSO® was developed by the German Printing and Media Industries Federation (Bundesverband Druck und Medien - bvdm) in co-operation with Fogra.
The first edition of PSO was published in 1981, since it has been revised several times.
PSO is the description of an industrially orientated and standardized procedure for the creation of print products.
The goal of PSO is to ensure that the production process is as efficient as possible and at the same time to ensure that interim and final printed results show a predictable color rendering and quality.
PSO is based on international standardization series ISO 12647, ISO 15930, ISO 3664, etc. and therefore internationally recognized.
It also includes in its scope quality management criteria such as Standard Operating Procedures.
When a company fulfils the PSO requirements, it receives a certificate of compliance and is listed on FOGRA's Website as a certified company. The certificate is valid for two years (www.fogra.org).
To date more than 400 companies worldwide are certified according to PSO (ISO 12647) by Fogra and bvdm.
RIT's Printing Standards Audit (PSA) Certification
PSA® is a rigorous, objective process for assessing a printer‚s ability to operate a standards compliant workflow.
Such workflows are fundamental to creating efficient print supply chains, especially as printers adopt new technologies and supply chains become more international in character.
By attaining Printing Standards Certification, printers can objectively demonstrate that they have mastered the use of standards in the workflows they operate.
PSA audits the ability of a printer‚s workflow to produce prints which conform to recognized characterization data set.
PSA certification was established in 2011 and is offered by RIT.
Certified companies are recognized on the PSA website and authorised to use the PSA Certified logo and service mark.
If the printer is a G7 Master printer and passes PSA Certified according to TR003/TR005 or TR006 data set, IDEAlliance will award the printer an additional certification: G7 SWOP® or G7 GRACoL® Certified respectively (www.IDEAlliance.org).
Which Certification should I choose?
PSO® and PSA® Certifications are globally recognized.
The main difference between these two certifications reside in their requirements regarding the printed product.
PSO certification is mainly destined to offset process conformance according to ISO 12647-2 and relevant workflow standards.
PSA certification is mainly centred on data set conformance according to CGATS TR021, CGATS TR016 and relevant workflow standards. PSA audit and certification may be delivered also to any printing process and any international printing standard.