3. Understanding the Unknown: Moving beyond the ‘Tick Box’.
In a marketplace where 3rd party verification and credibility performs a critical function to underpin product suitability and risk management, there still remains a large unknown around true product performance.
For many, conformance to a particular legislation or regulation means acceptance or refusal for suitability to a new project or even entry into a new market. And while they know they need the proverbial ‘Tick’ against the product’s ability to conform, much confusion still abounds around the semantics of that conformity itself.
Declaring that a product conforms for many may simply be the hurdle they need to overcome in order to achieve. But in reality, what does that mean from a product development point of view?
For some, it may mean assessing whether that product conforms to client expectations, while for others, like many in our industry, means ensuring that a product stands up to expectations against regulation and legislations. The difference though, is the tick-box. What may appear like a good idea, in reality – requires more foresight.
Our news feeds are, quite often, dotted with stories of products that, in principle, were destined for great things, conforming to all the necessary tickboxes, but when it’s crediblity to stand up against its fitness-for-purpose was challenged, they didn’t quite have the longevity that was intended. The product, in isolation, conformed. But was it fit-for-purpose? Probably not.
3rd party verification tests, such as those conducted by the BBA, looks at the product’s ‘fitness-for-purpose’; often including factors like strength and stability, behaviour in relation to a specific environment, durability, climate suitability into account in order to asses that product’s true impact and performance not as an isolated product, but as one that sits within a wider system.