ETL Verified is a product certification mark that demonstrates that a product has met certain design and performance standards. Sponsoring organizations from within the represented industries develop the relevant standards. Intertek serves as the administrator of the mark, reviewing products and bestowing those that qualify with the credential.
The ETL Verified mark is found on a mix of products and services representing disparate fields, including cabling products, dishwashers, LED traffic signals and independent service providers involved with the repairing and maintaining of firefighting garments. For cabling products, the mark verifies bandwidth. For dishwashers, the mark verifies the machines' cleaning ability. LED traffic signals with the ETL Verified mark have met design standards of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. National Fire Protection Association service providers with the ETL Verified mark have shown that they can repair and restore firefighting protective clothing to their original strength.
The ETL Verified mark serves to denote an elevated level of quality and reliability for a product, signalling to consumers that a product meets high standards. The ETL Verified mark also verifies marketing claims made for a product. Manufacturers pursue the ETL Verification mark to separate their products from competitors that cannot earn the mark or to match the mark of competitors. The testing process also informs manufacturers of the relative quality of their products, providing goals and potential areas of improvement.
Intertek is an international testing, inspecting and certifying company that employs more than 36,000 people in more than 130 countries. Its founding dates to 1885, when it was started for the testing and certifying of ships' cargoes. The ETL in the ETL Verified mark originates with the Edison Testing Laboratory, which was renamed Inchcape in 1988 and is Intertek today. Inventor Thomas Edison founded the Edison Testing Laboratory. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has designated Intertek as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, meaning it has legal status to test and certify products for sale in the U.S. The ETL Verified mark is one of several product certification marks that Intertek administers.
ETL Listed Mark
While the ETL Verified mark serves to demonstrate the performance quality of a product, the ETL Listed mark serves to demonstrate that a product has met the minimum safety standards required for the product. The ETL Listed mark, which is also administered by Intertek, is used on electrical products. The ETL Listed mark carries the legal equivalence of a UL Listed mark, which is the product safety certification mark of the Underwriters Laboratories, another independent testing laboratory. ETL Listed marked products must undergo routine follow-up inspections and tests.
Tom Gresham is a freelance writer and public relations specialist who has been writing professionally since 1999. His articles have appeared in "The Washington Post," "Virginia Magazine," "Vermont Magazine," "Adirondack Life" and the "Southern Arts Journal," among other publications. He graduated from the University of Virginia.