7 May 2020
On April 20th of this year it was exactly 20 years ago that RHP outsourced the checks for the RHP quality mark to an external certification body. After privatization in 1989, this was a second major step in RHP history. RHP organized a meeting around this in Castle Oud-Wassenaar in The Netherlands and all RHP certified companies received their official RHP certificate.
With this step, there was a clear separation between research and advice and control for the companies that had joined RHP. Checks for the RHP quality mark was outsourced to the certification body ECAS (European Certification Body for the Agricultural Sector). The independent checks by an external party enabled accreditation of the RHP product certification scheme. An official recognition that RHP received directly in 2000 during the event in Wassenaar (The Netherlands).
A quality mark requires checks at the companies that carry the quality mark. Since 2000, a certifying body has been doing this for the RHP quality mark. First only MPS-ECAS and since a few years also Kiwa. Their auditors carry out periodic audits and product inspections at the RHP certified companies around the world. The granting of the RHP quality mark has since been based on clearly defined standards and specifications. The companies make every effort to continuously comply with the standards of the RHP quality mark based on their quality management system. In addition to the process control, certified raw materials and substrates are randomly sampled and examined in the RHP laboratory or RHP-recognized external laboratories. A certified company - as a certificate holder of the RHP quality mark - has qualified for this by complying with all conditions of the RHP product certification scheme. Their certified products are allowed to carry the RHP quality mark logo.
Accreditation increases the value of quality marks, certificates and laboratory tests through expert, impartial and independent supervision. Almost every country in Europe has a national accreditation body. In the Netherlands it is the RvA (Dutch Accreditation Council). The RvA is now a private organisation that, as an independent government agency, answers to the Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate. It is an inspector of, for example, quality marks in The Netherlands. This is to ensure that trust in the quality of products and services is genuinely justified. RHP is accepted by the RvA as scheme manager of the product certification scheme RHP quality mark. The checks for the RHP quality mark are carried out by the certification bodies MPS-ECAS and Kiwa, of which the RvA also checks whether they meet all requirements. The international standards used in accreditation ensure that a product, service or organization is assessed or tested on the same basis everywhere. Such international recognition is important for worldwide acceptance of certificates and reports.
On 20 April 2020, Ronald Keijzer (then working at RHP) symbolically handed over the "Control" boot to Rob ten Lohuis (then working at ECAS). The separation of advice and control. He kept the boot "Advice".
Ron Bleijswijk, then the director of ECAS, addressed the audience.
The certificates were issued by the chairman of the board then, Mr. T. de Bruin.
Castle Oud-Wassenaar in The Netherlands was the location of the event.
Actors were dressed as professors and performed funny acts. Even a song was sung to celebrate that the companies received their certificates.