Standards vs. certification

  • Standards are normative documents defining requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics.

ISO standards (, for example, are published by the International Organization for Standardization – which is an international body founded by governments around the world. Its purpose is to publish standards as a way to deliver knowledge and best practice.

Standards can help develop better regulation thanks to the involvement of globally-established experts.

The use of the standards is voluntary but can however support the EU legislation and policies.


  • The certification is the confirmation that the product meets the specific requirements.


The certification is always done by a third party – an independent body which gives a written assurance (the certificate), that a product is in conformity. The organisation performing the certification is called a certification body.

The certification provides confidence to consumers, regulators, industry and other interested parties, that products conform to specified requirements; facilitates trade, market access, fair competition and consumer acceptance of products.

The certification can be done on a voluntary basis but when a company gets certified it commits to complying with all the specific requirements. Moreover, when a registered trademark is involved, certified and non-certified companies need to make sure of its proper use since a misuse could entail legal consequences.

The rules, procedures and management for carrying out a certification are established inside a certification scheme.

ISO, for example, develops International Standards but is not involved in their certification, and does not issue certificates. This is performed by external certification bodies, thus a company or organisation cannot be certified by ISO.


  • ENplus® is a quality certification scheme for wood pellets, based on an ISO standard – ISO 17225-2, that goes beyond it with stricter/additional requirements, and it is also a registered trademark. 

The ENplus® logo and the terms “ENplus®” and “ENplus A1″® are registered as an International Trademark under the Madrid Agreement and Protocol by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and as a Community Trademark (CTM) with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).


Normative references for the ENplus® certification scheme:

CEN/TC 15370-1: Solid biofuels – Method for the determination of ash melting behaviour – Part 1: Characteristic temperatures method

EN 14778: Solid biofuels – Sampling

EN 14961-2: Solid biofuels – Fuel specification and classes – Part 2: Wood pellets for non-industrial use

EN 15234-2: Solid biofuels – Fuel quality assurance – Part 2: Wood pellets for non-industrial use

ISO 3166: Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions

ISO 16948: Solid biofuels – Determination of total content of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen contents

ISO 16968: Solid biofuels – Determination of minor elements

ISO 16994: Solid biofuels – Determination of total content of sulphur and chlorine

ISO 17225-1: Solid biofuels – Fuel specifications and classes – Part 1: General requirements

ISO 17225-2: Solid biofuels – Fuel specifications and classes – Part 2: Graded wood pellets

ISO 17828: Solid biofuels – Determination of bulk density

ISO 17829: Solid Biofuels – Determination of length and diameter of pellets

ISO 17831-1: Solid biofuels – Determination of mechanical durability of pellets and briquettes – Part 1: Pellets

ISO 18122: Solid biofuels – Determination of ash content

ISO 18125: Solid biofuels – Determination of calorific value

ISO 18134: Solid biofuels – Determination of moisture content –

ISO 18846: Solid biofuels – Determination of fines content in quantities of pellets

ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems – Requirements

ISO/IEC 17020: Conformity assessment – Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection

ISO/IEC 17025: General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories

ISO/IEC 17065: Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services