Scheme management by an external scheme owner can increase the quality of, and social confidence in, the resulting declarations of conformity. The scheme owner brings together the interested parties with regard to the object of conformity assessment. Harmonization of requirements and of implementation is often the goal of an external scheme owner.
Regulators can then decide to use such a scheme in order to achieve a social purpose. The way in which the public sector can use this form of regulation by the market is described in the Cabinet position on conformity assessment and accreditation (available in Dutch).
In the period 2003 to 2016 the RvA assessed scheme owners on the basis of the so-called RvA-R013 regulations. However, this policy no longer fitted in with the principle of accrediting on the basis of harmonised standards. The RvA still cooperates with external scheme owners who apply for evaluation of a scheme in accordance with the RvA-BR012 policy rule. By means of a standardisation process with the Dutch Standardisation Institute and the involvement of all interested parties, scheme owners took the initiative to formulate a so-called Dutch Technical Agreement to replace R013. The result is NTA 8813:2017 ‘Requirements for development and management of schemes for conformity assessment by independent scheme owners’ (available in Dutch).
The association of scheme owners was established in 2018. One of the requirements for membership is that the members must demonstrate compliance with NTA 8813. The association is represented in the RvA advisory panel. More information about the association, its members and the independent assessment can be found on the website: www.schemabeheerders.nl.
The versions of the schemes of an external scheme owner who underwent a positive evaluation by the RvA, are included in the list of schemes for which the RvA can grant accreditation (BR010 list).