Trust is good, but checking quality’s better

The guidelines for RAL quality marks

The RAL Quality Assurance system ensures that RAL quality marks stand for particularly superior products and services. The Quality and Testing Regulations cover the properties that are essential when using a certified product or service. RAL defines the Regulations in consultation with relevant institutions, such as business and consumers’ associations, public authorities and testing organisations. Producers and service providers as well as independent inspectors monitor compliance with the Regulations on a regular basis. Any violation will be disciplined and may include the withdrawal of the quality mark.

  • The RAL association Gütegemeinschaft Substrate für Pflanzen e. V. has more than 30 years of experience in quality assurance.
  • We have more than 60 active members – both in Germany and abroad, including leading companies from the substrate industry.
  • We work closely with scientists and people with practical business experience.
  • We keep our quality assurance programmes up to date with state-of-the-art technology at all times.
  • We support research projects in any aspect of substrates.
  • We contribute our expertise to help shape a general regulatory framework.


Frequently asked questions

“What are RAL Quality Marks (Gütezeichen)?”

  • RAL quality marks are “a visible, independent and objective validation of the particular quality of a product or service. That means that they stand for particularly high quality and due to their independence they are particularly trustworthy.” •
  • RAL quality marks “demonstrate that a product or service fulfils all of the important requirements of these extremely high quality assurance characteristics. Therefore, consumers can be secure in the knowledge that the strict regulations encompass the essential characteristics that are important for the utilisation of a product or service.”
  • RAL quality marks “stand for the reliable observance of these high quality standards through constant self-regulation and the neutral independent monitoring that manufacturers and service providers submit themselves to voluntarily. This ensures the reliability of RAL Quality Marks.”

(Source: RAL-Gü

“What distinguishes RAL Quality Marks (Gütezeichen) from other labels?

  • RAL Quality Marks (Gütezeichen) stand for unambiguous labelling. They provide transparency and security through objective and verifiable quality criteria – the adherence to which is constantly monitored.
  • RAL Quality Marks (Gütezeichen) deliver what they promise. Because that’s what the Quality Mark system (Gütezeichensystem) stands for.
  • Under the auspices of RAL, the Quality Assurance and Test Specifications developed by the Quality Assurance Association are passed on to the relevant professional and trade groups for their comments. In general, this involves those associations for consumers and users affected by the quality assurance process, government authorities and associations representing those parties offering the products or services for sale, as well as testing bodies and if required other specialist institutions and organisations. The quality specifications for the approval of a product or service are always above and beyond the current legal regulations and standards. Adherence to these quality criteria is regularly monitored and documented by the companies themselves, as well as being continually monitored by independent bodies.”

(Source: RAL-Gü

“What advantages does RAL quality assurance offer?

  • RAL quality assurance also creates a voluntary regulatory culture where there are no legal regulations or standards. Consumers are also provided with orientation through RAL Quality Marks (Gütezeichen) in those areas where no stipulated quality standards exist.
  • An advantage is the independent neutral approval procedure for fulfilling the quality requirements for each product or service. This is ensured by the fact that RAL integrates relevant institutions, such as associations, authorities and testing bodies, into the process for determining the Quality Assurance and Test Specifications.
  • Quality assurance is also becoming increasingly important from an ecological standpoint, in order to provide consumers with orientation in this area and thus ensuring suppliers receive market acceptance and success in the marketplace.
  • The quality assurance systems are also checked to ensure that the requirements continue to conform to the latest technical developments and market changes. When this is not the case then they are amended (revised/expanded). • Conformity with the Quality Assurance and Test Specifications is continuously checked through self-monitoring and monitoring carried out by independent bodies.”

(Source: RAL-Gütezeichen)