How the certification market in Russia works

    Reliable information on the volume of this market could not be found, but according to some sources, we are talking about 500-700 billion rubles a year. Here we mean all the services, one way or another connected with the term “certification” - this is certification of conformity, declaration, various tests and so on. Otherwise, all this is sometimes called obtaining permits.

    In this article, we will not delve into the various areas of certification and their features. The important thing is that this is a single market in which the same companies operate under the same specific laws.

    How it works inside

    I think it will be a revelation for many non-specialists that the state delegates most of the certification functions to outside organizations, leaving itself mainly a supervisory role. The well-known Rostest is not a sticker on your phone, and the Glory of the CPSU is not a person at all, but one of the organizations accredited for testing. Yes, this is the FBU, but it works according to the same rules as private organizations. Rostest simply has the largest area of ​​accreditation, they can do a lot.
    The sticker on your phone is called the “mark of conformity when declaring conformity,” and in a particular case it can be obtained without Rostest’s participation at all. Any of you, having a goal and an appropriate budget, can create an organization that certifies phones, for example. It is very difficult, very expensive, but possible.

    The accreditation process is managed by the Federal Accreditation Service (Rosaccreditation). Which, which is characteristic, again delegates most of the work to third-party expert organizations.

    Conventionally, accredited organizations can be divided into testing centers (laboratories) and certification bodies. The centers conduct tests and issue protocols, and authorities, on the basis of these protocols, issue certificates and declarations.

    Under the proud, state name “Certification Body” usually lies a small LLCchek of several (rarely tens) employees who are busy with hungrycold calls and paper work. Often such companies do not have experts on staff, and cannot consult their customers themselves. There are about 1000 accredited certification bodies in Russia. In recent years, the state has taken them seriously, and many unscrupulous companies have already lost accreditation.

    The tests are traditionally carried out by specially existing for this purpose GTS SI, various research institutes and other FSUEs and FBU. The fact is that for testing, as a rule, you need very expensive equipment and a staff of specialists. And if the equipment is not difficult to buy - if there was money, then the situation with the staff is very difficult. State institutions sometimes have unique equipment, experienced personnel and even learned to attract young people. However, in such organizations there is completely no understanding of commercial activities, sales, working with a client, advertising, finally. But there are few purely commercial laboratories and testing centers; as a rule, they are small and narrowly specialized. Often they are organized by former employees of the research institute with specific concepts about doing business.

    All this opens up the possibility for the existence of a variety of "certification centers" - intermediaries, intermediaries, layers and other gaskets. The scale of such companies is from hundreds of employees to desks named after one person working from home and proudly referred to as some PromSertTestExpertiza LLC.
    Their activities are not specifically regulated in any way; they reorder work at the Bodies, laboratories, and even at each other. And if you are used to contemptuously thinking about a buy-sell business, know that you are wrong to offend honest merchants. Intermediaries usually work on a “buy-buy” basis. They “sell” a service to you, always take an advance payment, for which they “buy” the same service from another organization, only cheaper. Margin is usually 20-50%. Such a scheme allows you to start a business literally from scratch.

    One of the most complex and expensive services is testing in order to approve the type of measuring instruments (SI). Any measuring device used in the field of state regulation must be approved by the Rosstandart type. This, for example, household water and electricity meters. Dispensers at gas stations. Or complex systems for monitoring the parameters of nuclear power plants. To approve the type of SI, it is necessary to pass the appropriate tests and prepare a mass of documents, which can cost from hundreds of thousands (the same counters) to millions of rubles (system).

    How does this happen in life

    And now, some small company, under the general trend of import substitution, is developing some really cool and necessary thing. The gizmo is ready and working, pilot production has been established, there are potential customers and it seems that the business remains small - to get any pieces of paper for the product. And then it turns out that the developers are very vague about what they actually need, who does it and how much it costs. They try to contact the same Rostest - there they are reluctant to answer that you guys first decide what you need, correctly fill out the application and collect a package of documents in the form. And then in the order of a live queue. And do not forget to pay the bill for thousands of thousands. Following!

    The customer, quickly tired of Rostest, goes online and finds dozens of three intermediaries on the first pages of search engine results. In the first, no one answers mail inquiries. In the second one they demand to immediately provide a full package of documents and for some reason an extract from the register. In the third, they first ask for a prepayment for consulting. In the fourth they promise to send a commercial offer, but they never send it. In the fifth sixth and seventh, you have to clarify the same technical issues to a manager who seems to understand nothing. And finally he finds a company with a beautiful site and selling landing page. On the phone, the sweet young lady in an exciting voice confidently explains what, where and how much to pay, and he, of course, agrees.
    If the intermediary is experienced, he knows exactly who can do this or that job, how to enter the same Rostest, how to prepare documents, and a host of other nuances. For this knowledge, he will charge one and a half or double price from the customer.
    But more often it happens that the intermediary has no idea how to do this. The main thing is to take an advance payment, and there it will be seen. In the best case, this threatens an ugly extension of time (sometimes for years!), In the worst case, the intermediary will endlessly feed the Customer with breakfast, and then disappear.

    What to do

    The whole situation on the market can be called, to put it mildly, unhealthy. The whole idea of ​​certification was compromised by the difficulty of obtaining the necessary permits. But how can a bona fide manufacturer or distributor find a good performer, for a reasonable price, while not explaining to dozens of incompetent people his task, sending out requests for commercial proposal?

    The solution, in general, has long been invented, these are competitions or tenders. But classic tender sites will not help to formulate a task and collect documents, it’s not easy to start work in them, they have a lot of strange rules, and finally the performer with the lowest price wins, which is not always good. Therefore, my colleagues and I decided to create a platform devoid of these shortcomings, and dedicated specifically to certification.

    Here you will be helped to formulate a task, collect documentation and launch a contest. The customer chooses the winner himself - by price, reputation or simply by the pleasant voice of the manager. Unlike tender sites, communications between the Customer and the bidder during the tender are not prohibited, the customer can indicate their contacts. A rating system will soon appear with asterisks and reviews. And most importantly - it is absolutely free for customers, and will always be free. Such a business model.

    UPD0: Frankly, this is a startup at the testing stage of an idea, cobbled together between work over the weekend. However, we have experts, and we believe that we are doing something right. Together we can make the certification market cleaner and more transparent!

    UPD1: who does not like the site - we are waiting for specific proposals for revision! Competition on the site itself.

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