Frequently Asked Questions

Certification covers any formal procedure through which an accredited organisation or agency assesses a range of attributes and compares them to established requirements or standards which are then verified in a certificate. Certification schemes for ethics and sustainability have been launched for example for foodstuffs, textiles and marine conservation.

Certification schemes are informed by the sectors, materials or processes with which each is concerned, but broadly will assess attributes, characteristics, quality, goods or services, procedures or processes, or events or situations.

CERA is different in two distinct ways: it provides a uniform and comprehensive assessment at all levels of the value chain; and is neither mineral product-specific nor regionally-focused. In addition, CERA is more comprehensive than all other systems because it is composed of 4 sub-standards. It ranges from the exploration of deposits prior to mining activities to the final product.

The declared aim of CERA is to contribute to the harmonisation of the certification situation and the cross-recognition of other certificates. CERA will act as a host framework for existing schemes, provided their methodology and metrics meets the CERA standard, which will allow existing and successful certification schemes to coexist.

No. CERA doesn't want to displace other systems, it wants to accept them. CERA is working to streamline certification in raw materials and create a consistent, universal standard regardless of mineral or region.

CERA is not only about making certification universal, it is about making it accessible. In addition, CERA wants to simplify the situation for OEMs or end customers, for example. So far, they have had to deal with a multitude of standards of different quality and scopes.

The CERA system and functionality is developed based on the process approach of ISO 9001, plan – do – check – act. It means that every CERA subject (e.g. ‘Biodiversity’, ‘Human and Community Rights’ etc.) will be handled with developing a policy, a risk assessment, mitigation plans for identified risks, KPI monitoring and improvement plans. As a result, a continually improvement of all subjects within the CERA system will be focused.

The CERA system won´t exclude ASM and due to this fact, a specific CERA approach is developed. On the one hand the CERA approach for ASM will intend to provide a platform for initiatives that are dealing with the ASM sector (e.g. Fairmined). One the other hand by implementing reduced standard requirements a small-scale mine could obtain the right for delivering material into the CERA chain of custody.

The primary benefit of the creation of CERA is to simplify and standardise the certification of raw materials under a single and universal scheme. CERA has been designed to generate benefits and opportunities for every actor involved in the value chain, such as producers and processors, traders, manufacturers, standards owners, and consumers.

The main benefits for upstream actors are reputation and accessibility. Working with CERA offers guarantee of positive social and environmental impact, which creates a distinct competitive advantage for first movers whilst encouraging more sustainable behaviour. CERA offers large and small upstream actors to participate.

Within the value chain, there is greatest variety in size, structure, production processes and readiness level which was presented a barrier to certification in the past. CERA presents the opportunity for certification regardless of size, scope of work and processes. CERA also enables value chain actors to make informed decisions about the materials they handle and of doing so giving first-mover companies a competitive reputational advantage to sell their products.

Understanding the standards guaranteed by the CERA certification will mean that consumers feel empowered by the purchasing choices they make, building trust in brands by differentiating between products that meet or fall short of their values.