Application stage requires that sufficient information on the technology be provided in relation to specific performance parameters of interest, such that an initial verifiable technology performance claim can be formulated.
Pre-verification stage focuses on the verifiability of the technology performance claim, the preparation of a suitable verification plan and the specification of test data requirements, including acceptable test procedures to generate the necessary data to support the technology performance claim.
Verification stage involves acceptance of existing test data and/or the generation of additional test data (if needed), and confirmation of the technology performance claim based on the evidence obtained through the generation of independent test data.
Reporting stage involves preparation of a verification report by an independent verifier. The verification report provides the essential information to be included in a verification statement.
Post-verification stage is where the verification statement is issued, along with specific instructions on the conditions of use.
Submission of Application or Request for ISO 14034 Verification
The Application is the first step in ISO 14034 verification process. It must include sufficient information on the technology in relation to specific performance parameters of interest, so that a verifiable technology performance claim can be formulated.
Stakeholder engagement and involvement are important for ensuring that local needs and related social impacts are adequately addressed in the determination of relevant performance parameters for performance verification.
ISO 14034 verification of a technology performance claim requires reliable, high quality data on the technology. The performance claim must be specific and unambiguous; specify the minimum and maximum performance that is achievable with the technology; specify the applicable operating conditions; and be measurable using acceptable test procedures and analytical techniques.
Reviewing the Application or Request for Verification
The verifier must review the information provided by the applicant to determine the market readiness of the technology, and its operation and performance in relation to its intended application. The primary objective is to ensure that the performance claim includes performance parameters and numerical values that are relevant to the interested parties (e.g., possibly considering relevant regulatory requirements, intended applications, key environmental impacts and the performance of technologies that feature similar functions or are currently used in similar situations).
The assessment should allow the verifier to specify, in conjunction with the applicant, the technical and operational details of the planned verification within an ISO 14034 Verification Plan.
The verifier should also assess the adequacy of the information provided concerning the significant environmental impacts of the technology relative to relevant alternatives at their different stages of life, taking into account the differences in parameters relevant to those impacts.
Upon confirmation that the applicant wishes to proceed with technology verification, a Verification Plan consistent with the ISO 14034 Standard is developed by the verifier.
The Verification Plan describes the verification procedure specific to the technology and the performance to be verified. It explains how the verification is to be conducted, including: the performance to be verified; and all relevant requirements on tests and test data (e.g. test method selection, test design, data quality, data assessment, etc.).
To maintain an efficient verification process within planned budgetary and resource allocations, the Verification Plan should include a schedule which can be used to monitor verification activities, deliverables and track any deviations to the Plan.
The verifier should assess if the information provided by the applicant, including the technology performance parameters to be verified, is sufficient to address the needs of the interested parties and the requirements within the intended target market.
In some cases, the expectations of interested parties (e.g. regulatory bodies, end-users, funding bodies, policy makers, industrial associations, etc.) may be different than the effective values specified in the performance claim proposed by the applicant. This could be the case for the procurement of innovative technologies, or for identifying technologies that address the specific needs of a target group. In such cases, the verifier may propose modifications to the performance parameters.
Constraints and Limitations
During verification planning, the verifier in consultation with the applicant should determine the constraints and limitations that apply to the technology use, operation and performance to be verified. The Verification Plan should specify the intended application and operational conditions, which should be identical to those conditions for which the test data was, or will be, produced.
The Verification Plan should also include information on health, safety and environmental considerations, including possible training requirements to ensure safety procedures are in place throughout the testing and verification process.
Requirements for Verifiable Technology Performance Test Data
ISO 14034 verification of a technology performance claim requires reliable, high quality test data obtained under test conditions representative of the operating conditions for which the minimum claimed performance is achieved. Acceptable test data may already exist or may need to be obtained, guided by a suitable Test/Quality Assurance Plan (T/QAP).
As a minimum, the generation of test data to support the technology performance claim should address the following:
Test Data Generation:
Assessment and Oversight:
Confirmation of ISO/IEC 17025 Requirements
The verifier evaluates the quality of the test data against the requirements defined in the Verification Plan as specified in ISO 14034 and the general requirements specified in ISO/IEC 17025 that directly contribute to or influence the validity and quality of the tests and the resulting test data.
The verifier may perform an assessment of the test system that generated the test data focusing in particular on the issues specified in ISO /IEC 17025 that may contribute to or influence the quality and validity of the tests and produced test data, including personnel, facilities, procedures, etc.
The test body producing the test data may be presumed to comply with the requirements of ISO 14034 if it was accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 for the relevant methods of testing at the time of production of the test data.
Confirmation of Data Quality
The verifier reviews the test plan and its implementation, including raw data sheets, sample security, chain-of-custody, performance data calculations, analysis and interpretation.
Requirements on data and data quality should refer to the quality level (e.g., reproducibility, repeatability, ranges of confidence, accuracy, and uncertainties) generally accepted by the scientific community for the technology, or in the industrial sector concerned. Relevant technical references should be provided, including applicable standardized test methods (preferably international standards) used for test data generation.
In validating the test methods and the operational and statistical significance of the test data, the verifier should confirm the assumptions and the applicability of the statistical tools used to evaluate the test data in relation to the technology performance claim. (This refers to both the reporting of existing test data and new test data generated during the verification process).
The verifier also conducts a detailed review of the technology and supporting documentation, including compliance with codes and standards, patents (where applicable), operations and maintenance manuals, other.
Confirmation of Technology Performance
The verifier reviews the performance claim and the test data to determine whether the data meet the objectives of the verification process and the requirements as outlined in the Verification Plan. The data related to the technology performance must be of sufficient quality and quantity to permit statistical analysis of the data in relation to the performance claim. The verifier should confirm the assumptions and the applicability of the statistical tools used to evaluate the test data.
The result of the verification should be a confirmation of the performance of the technology, achieved under the same conditions, constraints and limitations as those specified in the Verification Plan.
In some cases, the technology performance achieved, as verified using the test data qualified to be used for verification, may not match the performance originally anticipated by the applicant in the performance claim provided in the application. In such a case, the actually achieved performance should be considered the verified performance and be confirmed and documented by the verifier.
The Verification Report compiles and summarizes all information relevant for the verification and includes all relevant documents produced during verification process.
In some cases, it may be useful to include information regarding the technology, its applications, or other information that may provide context for the market and other interested parties.
If the Verification Report includes any additional information not verified during the ETV process, this must be clearly stated and explained.
The Verification Statement includes any information necessary to understand and use the verified performance claim. If the statement includes any additional information not verified during the ETV process, this must be clearly stated and explained.
The Verification Statement may include a disclaimer related to legal compliance of the verified technology (e.g., "Unless stated otherwise, this verification has not evaluated and cannot guarantee compliance with specific legal requirements. Ensuring legal compliance is the responsibility of the applicant").
Publication and Posting of the Verification Statement
Publication refers principally on the availability of the verification statement for key stakeholders and for public disclosure. Although the availability of the verified information is mandatory under ISO 14034, there are no specific requirements on how it should be made publicly available. It is generally accepted that the Verification Statement should be posted on the verifier’s website and the applicant’s website (and possibly by other parties involved in the verification).
Although not specifically mentioned in ISO 14034, logos or trademarks can also be used for marketing purposes. It is understood that the legal usage of any potential logos would be included in any contractual arrangements with the applicant and the party owning the rights to the logo. The logo could be used on publications together with the reference to the verification statement as long as the meaning of ETV is correctly reflected by the publication, avoiding possible confusion with endorsement or approval of the technology.