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The CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association; CSA) is a
standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary function is developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpr ...
which develops standards in 57 areas. CSA publishes standards in print and electronic form, and provides training and advisory services. CSA is composed of representatives from industry, government, and consumer groups. CSA began as the Canadian Engineering Standards Association (CESA) in 1919, federally chartered to create standards. During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, lack of interoperability between technical resources led to the formation of a standards committee. CSA is accredited by the
Standards Council of Canada The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is a federal Crown corporations of Canada, Crown corporation with the mandate to promote voluntary standardization in Canada, where standardization is not expressly provided for by law, however certification ...
, a
crown corporation A state-owned enterprise (SOE) or government-owned enterprise (GOE) is a business enterprise Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simp ...
which promotes voluntary standardization in Canada. This accreditation verifies that CSA is competent to carry out standards development and certification functions, and is based on internationally recognised criteria and procedures. The CSA registered mark shows that a product has been independently tested and certified to meet recognized standards for safety or performance.


History

During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, lack of interoperability between technical resources led to frustration, injury, and death. Britain requested that Canada form a standards committee. Sir
John Kennedy John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until assassination of John F. Kennedy, his assas ...
, as chairman of the Civil Engineers' Canadian Advisory Committee, led the investigation into the necessity of an independent Canadian standards organization. As a result, the Canadian Engineering Standards Association (CESA) was established in 1919. CESA was federally chartered to create standards. At the beginning, they attended to specific needs: aircraft parts, bridges, building construction, electrical work, and wire rope. The first standards issued by CESA were for steel railway bridges, in 1920. In 1927, CESA published the
Canadian Electrical Code The Canadian Electrical Code, CE Code, or CSA C22.1 is a standard published by the Canadian Standards Association The CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association; CSA) is a standards organization A standards organization, standards b ...
. Enforcing the code called for product testing, and in 1933, the
Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is Electricity generation, electricity produced from hydropower. In 2015, hydropower generated 16.6% of the world's total electricity and 70% of all renewable energy, renewable electricity, and was ex ...
became the sole source for testing nationwide. In 1940, CESA assumed responsibility for testing and certifying electrical products intended for sale and installation in Canada. CESA was renamed the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) in 1944. The certification mark was introduced in 1946. In the 1950s, CSA established international alliances in Britain, Japan, and the Netherlands, to expand its scope in testing and certification. Testing labs were expanded from their first in Toronto, to labs in Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. In the 1960s, CSA developed national Occupational Health and Safety Standards, creating standards for headgear and safety shoes. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, the CSA began to expand its involvement in consumer standards, including bicycles, credit cards, and child resistant packaging for drugs. In 1984, CSA established QMI, the Quality Management Institute for registration of ISO9000 and other standards. In 1999, CSA International was established to provide international product testing and certification services while CSA shifted its primary focus to standards development and training. In 2001, these three divisions were joined under the name ''CSA Group''. In 2004, OnSpeX was launched as the fourth division of CSA Group. In 2008, QMI was sold to SAI-Global for $40 million. In 2009, CSA purchased SIRA.


Standards development

CSA exists to develop standards. Among the fifty-seven different areas of specialization are business management and safety and performance standards, including those for electrical and electronic equipment, industrial equipment, boilers and pressure vessels, compressed gas handling appliances, environmental protection, and construction materials. Most standards are voluntary, meaning there are no laws requiring their application. Despite that, adherence to standards is beneficial to companies because it shows products have been independently tested to meet certain standards. The CSA mark is a registered certification mark, and can only be applied by someone who is licensed or otherwise authorised to do so by the CSA. CSA developed the CAN/CSA Z299 series, now called N299, of quality assurance standards, which are still in use today. They are an alternative to the
ISO 9001 The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems A quality management system (QMS) is a collection of business process A business process, business method or business function is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks by ...

ISO 9001
quality management standard, specific to companies supplying goods to nuclear power plants. Laws and regulations in most municipalities, provinces and states in North America require certain products to be tested to a specific standard or group of standards by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). Currently forty percent of all the standards issued by CSA are referenced in Canadian legislation. CSA's sister company
CSA International The CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association; CSA) is a standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose prim ...
is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory which manufacturers can choose, usually because the law of the jurisdiction requires it, or the customer specifies it.


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* {{Authority control 1919 establishments in Ontario Standards organizations in Canada Organizations based in Mississauga Organizations established in 1919 Product-testing organizations Certification marks