A Third Party Inspection, or TPI, is the term used for independent impartial inspection services provided by a qualified company.
There are three common types of inspections out there. First party inspections are performed by the manufacturers themselves on their own. Second-party inspections are performed by the buyer or the buyers’ in-house quality team.
Third-party inspections are made by an independent company, usually hired by the buyer, to ensure that all the products are up to the needed quality standard and the manufacturing process itself meets the international standards in term of quality management system (ISO 9001), socially acceptable practices (SA 8000) and environmental management (ISO 14000).
One of the main benefits of third party inspections, as opposed to those performed by either the manufacturer or the buyer, is that the inspectors performing TPIs are unbiased by either side and can thus deliver a verdict that is fair without compromising the interests of either party – while, of course, looking out for the client and the requirements put forward. In simple words, their decision will only be influenced by hard facts and both participants of the manufacturing process will be able to get a clear picture of where they stand in the current project.
Third party inspections are typically performed by ISO 9001- certified companies, and AQSIQ licensed (when the quality control company offers its services in China) with relevant experience, trained and specialized teams on few or several product categories. Choosing the right third party inspection provider is an important step in ensuring thorough quality control in the interest of the end-consumer.