For decades, the USNC/IECQ was called the Electronic Components Certification Board (ECCB). In those times, the IEC was primarily engaged in Standards Development and to a lesser extent conformity assessment. Less than 10-years ago, the industry changed focus to “Standards and Conformity Assessment”. Today great emphasis is being placed on Conformity Assessment (CA), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has been working closely with the US National Committee of the IEC (USNC) to cultivate this area. The USNC formed a Conformity Assessment Policy Coordinating Committee (CAPCC) to foster the CA and bring together the several CA programs.
At about the same time, the ECCB reformed into two entities to better fit into the evolving programs structure. Thus the ECCB became the US National Committee of the IECQ – Electronic Components Certification Corporation and the committee of the USNC/IECQ. Today, this has necessitated the creation of a new set Operating Procedures for the USNC/IECQ. These are referred to as the USNC/IECQ Rules of Procedure (“RoP”).
USNC/IECQ membership is open to all U.S. interested parties directly and materially affected including:
A corporation or an organization domiciled in the U.S.;
- A corporation or an organization domiciled in the U.S.;
- A federal, state or local government entity; or
- A citizen or permanent resident
Requests for membership are to be submitted to the USNC/IECQ Secretary, including identification of the membership category being sought:
- Industry (e.g., manufacturers, users, and associations)
- General (e.g., individuals without CB affiliation, industry, or government affiliation)
- Government (e.g., Federal, State, or municipal)
- Certification bodies (CBs)
What is IECQ?
The IECQ is a worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components and associated materials and assemblies (including modules) and processes. It uses quality assessment specifications that are based on International Standards prepared by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
The IECQ is about assurance and cost-cutting. Electrical and electronic products comprise many, sometimes hundreds of individual parts comprising of components and sub-assemblies. The well-known brand manufacturers and their purchasing managers want to be assured that the electronic parts used in their products are of the required quality and reliability. To minimize incoming inspection costs and eliminates the quality auditing of suppliers, they can chose components suppliers who hold IECQ product certifications for their components.
What does IECQ cover?
As a supply change management tool, IECQ covers the design, manufacture, assembly and distribution of electronic component parts and related materials and processes with specific emphasis on:
- Active components, including integrated circuits;
- Electromagnetic components;
- Electromechanical components;
- Electro-optic components;
- Hybrid integrated circuits;
- Passive components;
- Printed wiring boards;
- Wire, cables and connectors;
- Component Modules;
- Ancillary items e.g. Insulator / shielding materials, heat transfer compounds and materials etc.;
- Electronic part enclosures and housing materials.
To support industry, the IECQ also operates the well-respected and known IECQ Hazardous Substance Process Management (IECQ HSPM) Certification scheme providing suppliers holding IECQ HSPM Certification with a single global system of demonstrating their compliance with Stated Environmental and Green Process Management. For this, the IECQ developed the International IECQ Specification QC 080000, which takes the basic quality management system requirements of ISO 9001 and provides a specific focus for the legislative and customer requirements for the management of hazardous substances. These are now a very common requirement worldwide, e.g. European RoHS Directive.
The IECQ is continuously expanding into new fields, the most recent being Electronic Component Management Plan (IECQ ECMP) initially for the avionics industry. It now audits original equipment manufacturers that manage and control the use of electronic components for their avionics equipment. Suppliers to the avionics OEM’s may also choose to have the IECQ audit them if they wish.
The IECQ is a Certification System of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The IEC was founded in 1906, in London, UK and today its Head Office is in Geneva, Switzerland (CH). The IEC is one of the International Standardization Bodies recognized by the World Trade Organization (WTO); others include ISO and ITU. The IEC Charter is to promote International Standardization in the Electrotechnical Sectors. The IEC and its certification system (IECQ) is part of a hierarchy of standards, comprised of international, regional and national standards bodies/committees. At the international level are organizations such as International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and International Organization of Legal Metrology. At the national level are numerous organizations working to promote standardization compliant with the international and regional standards. The purpose of the International IEC is to promote international co-operation on all questions of standardization and related matters in the field of electrotechnology. (All things Electrical and Electronic) The range of activity addressed by IEC is very extensive and includes all aspects of products and industries involved with electricity and electronics, such as household appliances, computers, electric and electronic components, power generation plants, medical device equipment, batteries, power tools and light bulbs, just to name but a few.