Private Certification Schemes and Private Standards, also known as Private Voluntary Standard (PVS), Private Food Standard or Schemes are voluntary standards that are developed and maintained by private organizations, companies or industry associations. These standards are typically related to a specific product or industry and are used to establish unique guidelines for the production, testing, and quality of products or services.

Private certification schemes are typically used to provide assurance to consumers and other stakeholders that a product or service meets certain set of criteria, namely quality standard. These schemes often involve third-party certification organizations, which are responsible for evaluating products or services against the standards set by the private organization or a company.

Private standards can be used to set benchmarks for a wide range of products and services, including food, textiles, electronics, and construction materials. They can also be used to establish guidelines for business practices, such as environmental sustainability or social responsibility.

While private certification schemes and private standards are not legally binding, they can be important indicators of quality for consumers and can help companies differentiate their products and services from those of their competitors. Many companies choose to obtain certification or adhere to private standards as a way to demonstrate their commitment to quality and to build trust with their customers – the motivation of private standards mainly comes from the market competence and technical advantages of promoters which as a result, have strong influence on the related markets, and even become the de facto mandatory standards.

Next to the value adding, challenges related to private standards can include: suitability of requirements and indicators, overlap with technical regulations, standard setting process, standard setters and accreditation bodies accountability, monitoring system itself, distribution of costs and benefits along the supply chain etc.

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