Standards provide requirements, specifications, guidelines and/or characteristics for materials, products, processes and services to consistently produce outcomes are safe and reliable, as well as a specific level of quality. Standards can be established by government agencies, non-government organizations, associations and industry. If developed properly through consensus, not only do they produce safe, reliable, quality products and services, they serve resources to reduce costs and increase productivity, as well as, access new markets and facilitate global trade. Standards facilitate global as well as domestic competitiveness. It is a crucial tool for developing and meeting industry goals.

Industries may also develop certification or credentialing processes for companies, facilities and individuals to increase professionalism and adherence to specific standards. These local, national and international certifications typically involve assessments or examinations administered and recognized by a third-party. Industry certifications measure competency in an occupation by validating knowledge and skills or documented acceptance and implementation of standards.

Standards frequently replace government regulations by demonstrating the industry is self-regulating its products and services. ITSA members monitor and participate in the development of regional, national and international standards and certifications.

General Standards and Certifications

General standards

Non-Government Agency (NGO) Standards (United States)

National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), which is part of the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and is a major operating component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), certifies health-related personal protective equipment (PPE) such as respiratory protection. NIOSH publishes requirements and process for certifying products at

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes standard for PPE including high visibility, fire-resistant (FR) and safety glasses. They do not certify items; individual manufacturers must demonstrate through testing defined by the standard that their products meet the ANSI standard. ANSI publishes PPE and other performance standards –

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) publishes performance standards for many different types of PPE including gloves. ASTM does not certify PPE; manufacturers are responsible for demonstrating that their gloves meet the ASTM standards –

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops and published codes and standards to minimize the risk and effects of fire through more than 250 technical committees, comprised of approximately 9,000 volunteers, review public inputs and vote on the revisions in a process that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). –


Hygienically Clean
Hygienically Clean certifications recognize the commitment to cleanliness standards by linen and uniform services operations supplying healthcare, hotels, manufacturing and restaurants. Certified laundries validate this commit to cleanliness through third-party, quantified biological testing and inspection. This process eliminates subjectivity by focusing on outcomes and results that verify textiles cleaned in these facilities meet appropriate hygienically clean standards and best management practices for servicing full- and limited- service restaurants, hotels, hospitals, educational institutions and other locations where food is handled and served. –

Clean Green
Clean Green Certification recognizes companies that demonstrate responsible leadership in sustainability and conservation by acknowledging commitment to improving water and energy efficiency and adoption of best management practices for reusing, reclaiming and recycling resources. –

RAL Quality Certification for Healthcare Linen – The Hygiene Certification
Healthcare linen requires particularly high standards of hygiene to protect hospital patients and laundry personnel from potential infection by the linen. In this regard, the RAL Hygiene Certificate RAL GZ 992/2 is applied in the German healthcare system to verify that the treatment carried out is in accordance with the requirements of the Robert Koch Institute for subcontracting linen to external laundries. The RAL Quality Marks was founded in 1925 as a government and industry collaborative effort to standardize and clarify technical delivery conditions. More than 9,000 manufacturers and service providers use RAL Gütezeichen (Quality Marks) to demonstrate adherence to defined individual quality requirements for products and service. The German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification is responsible for the approval of RAL Gütezeichen (Quality Marks) quality assurance system. –

Risk Analysis and Biocontamination Control (RABC) EN 140664
RABC Hygiene Measures in Commercial Laundries the implementation of EN 14065 (Laundry Processed Textiles – Risk Analysis and Biocontamination Control System) (RABC system) ensures a defined microbiological quality of processed textiles. EN 14065 is published as a European standard and offers a powerful technique to perform a risk analysis and with it achieve any constant microbiological quality of expedition textiles. However, it does not contain any microbiological limits.

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