ITSEFs conduct evaluations: they act as a third party independent from product developers and sponsors.
They must be licensed by the certification body and, as such, are bound to comply with all the rules of the framework.
An ITSEF consists of a team of evaluators and managers, generally incorporated in a body with a broader vocation. Licensing criteria require separation of the ITSEF from the other activities of the body with which it is affiliated.
An ITSEF must be impartial and independent from any outside pressure. It must never be involved in the development (including in a consulting capacity) and evaluation of the same product. However, an ITSEF may offer consultancy services, which should never affect its impartiality within the scope of the evaluations that it may conduct.