The lack of harmonization between ANSI-accredited organizations has prompted the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute to study the possibility of becoming a third party certifier.

Universal Conformity Assessment - where plumbing products are tested once and recognized worldwide - has been on the forefront of PMI's agenda for a while. The want of agreement between creditors results in redundant product testing, which adds costs to manufacturers and ultimately end-users, and delays innovative new products to the market.

At its 2001 Spring Meeting in March, PMI formed an ad hoc task group to study the pros and cons of establishing an alternative, new organization with the potential to be a significant competitor in the third party certifier market.

To be effective, the new PMI-based certifier would need to operate independently and bring to certification activities a new level of auditing of laboratories. In the mean time, PMI will continue to work with current third party certifiers to eliminate redundancies.