The Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. (DGM), the German furniture quality assurance association, is based in Fürth, Germany. It deals principally with the topic of furniture quality, as the quality of a piece of furniture strongly impacts on quality of life in the home. The reliability of a quality standard depends on various factors.Die "Qualität" muss umfassend definiert werden und darf dabei Umwelt und Gesundheit nicht ausschließen.

  • The 'quality' must be extensively and clearly defined, and this definition must also include environmental and health aspects.
  • Any standard must be kept up-to-date at all times in order to be able to take into account the latest scientific findings and practical experiences.
  • Adherence to the quality criteria must be permanently monitored by a neutral body.

Within the scope of this overall goal of quality assurance, the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. (DGM)'s policy has been clearly defined by the RAL, the DGM's umbrella organisation:

'A quality assurance association is a federation of companies that have made quality assurance with regards to their products and services their aim, voluntarily subscribing to the resultant requirements and obligations.'

In practical terms, this means: furniture manufacturers voluntarily subject their furniture to the current DGM quality assurance and certification regulations (under RAL GZ 430). The tests are carried out by neutral, independent institutes.

Once the furniture has passed all tests regarding stability, material quality, durability, safety and health compatibility, and the manufacturer can prove that this quality level will be maintained during further production, the DGM awards the RAL Quality Mark for furniture. This 'Golden M', firmly affixed to a piece of furniture in the form of a tag or an adhesive label, tells the buyer of a piece of furniture: this is quality that has been tested, quality you can rely on. This Quality Mark will become even more important in future, in line with consumers becoming much more demanding with regards to quality.

The quality assurance and certification regulations are constantly being reviewed to ensure that the quality standard corresponds to the latest scientific findings. This is the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V.'s quality assurance committee's responsibility. The committee, in turn, exchanges information with various working groups consisting of specialists for particular types of furniture, and experts in certain fields (for example, environment and health).

The furniture manufacturers that are members of the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. not only have to ensure that the quality of their furniture adheres to the constantly updated regulations; they also agree to subject their furniture to ad-hoc testing.

However, what use is such a quality assurance system to consumers, if they are aware of the quality aspect, but do not really know much about the details? That is why the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. introduced furniture product data. The DGM would like to provide furniture buyers with much more information, though. So far this has been done through, for example, the publication of a book. This book was compiled by the DGM in 2009, in co-operation with the Stiftung Warentest, an independent German consumer organisation.

The other way to ensure that we meet our objective is the certification and monitoring of furniture quality, represented by the 'Golden M'. It is Germany's only officially recognised quality assurance mark for furniture, and the most reliable proof of tested and approved furniture quality and safety in the whole of Europe.