Italcertifer has focused its business in the broad field of the liberalization of European rail transport. The European Union, as of the early 1990s, included among its goals the promotion a common market for rail transport. With this objective in mind, the company started a series of important reforms which, through the liberalization of individual domestic rail markets, are aimed at creating a single Europe-wide rail market that, is as free as possible from any regional regulations and special interests, and above all interoperable among all state members.
One of the key points of market liberalization is a compliance assessment to Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs) and safety requirements that can be applied to all subsystems that make up the European rail system, which will be conducted by an independent third-party entity, qualified by State Members based on criteria set forth in industry guidelines.
Italcertifer was founded in 2001 as “Istituto Italiano di Ricerca e Certificazione Ferroviaria” (Italian Institute for Rail Research and Certification) , its initial partners being RFI, Trenitalia, Polytechnic University of Milan and the Universities of Florence, Pisa, and Naples. In 2007 the company was incorporated into FS Holding by acquiring all RFI and Trenitalia shares. In 2011, Italcertifer became a stock corporation and also adopted new articles of association. Steady growth lead Italcertifer to organize its structure into independently operating divisions in 2013. In 2015 the entry of Tuscany Region into the share capital of Italcertifer further strengthens the Company and underlines the strong link of its highly specialized activities with the territory.
Third-party rail compliance assessments are the company’s core business, which Italcertifer can perform under the many authorizations obtained from various regulatory and control agencies. In 2007 Italcertifer received Notification from the Ministero dei Trasporti e delle Infrastrutture (Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure) as a qualified body to perform the compliance assessment procedure of interoperability in accordance with Directive 57/2008 EC. In 2008 the company obtained, while waiting for the qualification guidelines to be issued, provisional accreditation of Independent Safety Assessor (ISA), which became permanent in 2012. In 2010 ITCF obtained accreditation with ACCREDIA (the Unified Italian Accreditation Body) as Certification and Inspection Body for the rail industry and design verification for validation purposes (Legislative Decree 163/06). Italcertifer has been recognized as a Certification Body for Entities in Charge of Maintenance (ECM) of Freight Wagons since 2013 in accordance with Regulation (EU) 445/2011 of Ministerial Decree 21/12/2012.
In November 2014 Italcertifer becomes the first Designated Body in Greece for the Compliance of National Technical Rules in the Railway Sector, upon appointment by the Greek Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks.
Italcertifer is an affiliated company of Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, but totally independent of it; the company has inherited extensive knowledge in the rail and transport industry from this group. Four major Italian universities (Polytechnic University of Milan, University of Pisa, University of Florence and University of Naples), which are also stakeholders into the company, further expand the company’s range of expertise by establishing a center for excellence in rail verification of conformity and safety.
Italcertifer enters the future with a strongly consolidated body of experience and its newly adopted structure of independently operating divisions; the company is expanding further into industries such as the recreational marine industry and as a Learning Service Provider delivering vocational and technical training courses for maintenance engineers of rolling stock safety devices. The courses are easily and freely available to all workers operating in the rail industry.
The actual Italcertifer's CEO is Carmine Zappacosta.