What Device Manufacturers need to know about GMA Subcontractors

It might come as a suprise to many device manufacturers that their GMA service provider is likely subcontracting most, if not all, projects to a more direct country certification provider.

In fact, depending upon the country, there may be multiple sub-contractors involved. This industry standard practice is due to several key factors that are not often shared with  customers by GMA Service providers.

Key Reasons Why GMA Service Providers Subcontract

The first, and most obvious, key factor is language barriers. The vast majority of Certification Bodies around the world only speak their native language, which is extremely limiting for service providers. This often necessitates the use of subcontractors who are fluent in the local language and can communicate effectively with the Certification Body.

The second key factor is the availability of qualified certifiers working at the Certification Body. In smaller countries, there may only be one  or two certifiers. In these situations, the certifiers may require that certain “local” subcontractors are used to ensure application submissions are properly prescreened and meet all applicable requirements. This saves local certifiers time and ultimately speeds the approval process.

Third, local subcontractors used by your GMA service provider may also provide Local Representative services in that country (if required) and therefore, will be used as the applicant for the certification.

Finally, and this may also be another surprise to device manufacturers, GMA service providers use subcontractors as their main resource for evaluating the local certification requirements for a product.

Of course, there are many other factors that influence the use of subcontractors by GMA services.

How GMA Service Providers Should Choose Subcontractors: The Importance of Qualification and Expertise

The question now for device manufacturers is, how does your GMA service provider choose their subcontractors? 

At Global Validity, we have worked with our subcontractors for years and we still require every subcontractor to pass a rigorous qualification process. This includes a demonstration of expertise, a review of anti-corruption/fraud policies and procedures, a signed professional services contract including current NDA’s, and annual performance audits.

While it may come as a surprise to some, the use of subcontractors is a common and necessary practice in the GMA industry. By understanding the reasons behind this practice and ensuring that their subcontractors are qualified and reliable, device manufacturers can ensure a smooth and successful certification process.

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