The third-party inspection process is part of the commercial mechanism and as commerce changes so must independent inspection. Additionally, technological development also plays a major role. A third element is the impact of regulatory compliance; both its direct impact on commerce and its indirect impact on operations. In recent years both commerce and technology have brought about change and response. To be commercially viable, the third party inspector must be able to demonstrate strict conformance to recognized standards. How to assure this conformance has been a predominant issue with inspectors and their clients for many years. Accreditation of one kind or another, whether global in nature such as ISO 9000 or local, such as a single facility audit or a combination of both, has been the most recent vehicle for trying to reach this goal. The result of this is a tapestry of commerce and technology, interwoven with threads of compliance and conformance, both mandatory and voluntary.
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