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Keymark for professional-use footwear

SATRA is approved to certify footwear for professional use against the requirements of the European Keymark.

by Austin Simmons

A voluntary, third-party European certification mark, The ‘Keymark’ was established and is jointly owned by two European standards organisations – CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation). It is intended to demonstrate to the consumer or user of a product that not only have initial samples been assessed and satisfied the requirements of a particular European standard for CE-marking purposes, but that bulk production conforms as well.

The Keymark was created in response to a European Council resolution to provide a single European-wide conformity assessment procedure that would be acceptable and recognised throughout the EU. Based on the principle, ‘one standard, one test, accepted everywhere’, it is operated by certification bodies which have been empowered by CEN or CENELEC. These bodies are accredited on the basis of EN 45011 (ISO/IEC Guide 65) by a signatory to the multilateral agreement (MLA) of the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA).

Currently, 29 certification bodies in 16 different European member states operate Keymark schemes on the basis of some 160 European standards. SATRA is one of only two organisations that is able to issue the Keymark based on the EN ISO 20344 series of standards, and is identified as Certification Body 018 on the Keymark website.

The process to be followed for the Keymark certification requires:
  • Approval of the manufacturer: The production facility is audited by SATRA assessors, who will check that the staff, processes and equipment are suitable to guarantee and control the product quality
  • Approval of a given model of footwear: on every product for which the manufacturer requests the Keymark, SATRA will arrange to carry out tests to EN 20345, 6 or 7 as appropriate. If the products have only recently been tested as part of the EC type-examination process by SATRA, then these results may be used. The manufacturer can only use the Keymark if the product passes the tests and has had a satisfactory factory production control audit.
  • Production control: the manufacturer entitled to use the Keymark will be required to give a written undertaking that the quality will be maintained and that quality control tests will be carried out on a regular basis. As part of the Keymark process, SATRA will routinely audit the company. We will also carry out sufficient ‘ongoing conformity’ tests in our laboratories – on samples randomly collected from the production line or from the market – in order to verify this claim.


The European Keymark symbol

In order to obtain the Keymark, suppliers of safety footwear must have effectively satisfied the requirements of The European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive, in that initial product type tests must satisfy the requirements of EN ISO 20345, 6 or 7. In addition, a ‘technical file’ must be submitted detailing design details, master materials lists, general organisational details, quality assurance procedures and test results.

The manufacturer must also establish and operate a product-related factory production control (FPC). This needs to take into account the elements of the EN ISO 9001 quality management system standard, in addition to the processes of the related production line from the raw material to finished product. Storage must be included.

In addition to routinely auditing the FPC, SATRA will also routinely take test samples from both the production line and the market place for independent testing to ensure ongoing compliance.

The Keymark can be used on its own or in conjunction with other ‘quality marks’. Therefore, safety footwear manufacturers who are members of SATRA may also apply for Keymark certification, as well as the SATRA Quality Mark Approved Product Award.

How can we help?

Please email for more details on how to obtain the Keymark and SATRA Quality Mark.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 8 of the October 2011 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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