Third party certification
Under the MSC program, fisheries and seafood businesses can get certified if they meet the MSC Fisheries or Chain of Custody Standards.
To maintain impartiality, we operate a ‘third-party’ certification program.This means the MSC does not assess a fishery or business, and we do not issue certificates.
Assessments are carried out by third party conformity assessment bodies (sometimes referred to as a CABs or certification bodies).
To ensure our complete independence from the certification process, a third party organisation - Accreditation Services International (ASI) manages the accreditation of CABs to conduct MSC assessments.
Third-party = the highest level of assurance
Third-party programs offer the highest level of assurance and ensure outcomes are unbiased:
- First party: An organisation, product or service meets standards it has set for itself
- Second-party: It meets standards established by peers, for example by an industry association
- Third-party ('certification'): An independent assessment shows that the organisation, product or service meets standards that have been established by impartial experts, often in consultation with stakeholders. A certificate is issued to prove that the standard has been met.
Meeting best practice guidelines
Operating a third party certification and ecolabelling program ensures our program is robust, credible and meets best practice guidelines for standard-setting organisations, as set out by ISEAL and the FAO.