TL 9000 Certification Process

TL 9000 Certification process is fairly simple and straightforward with well-defined stages and tasks. This process can take 6 - 18 months, depending on the size of the organization, maturity of their quality management system, geographic dispersion of its operations, available resources, and categories to be TL 9000 certified.

The stages to a successful TL 9000 certification are:

Pre-Certification Preparation

  • Learn About TL 9000 – The requirements of TL 9000 are documented in the TL 9000 Requirements Handbook, which consists of 100% of ISO 9001:2015 and 80+ telecom-specific additional requirements. TIA QuEST Forum offers several introductory training classes on TL 9000. Some organizations hire consultants to help them better understand the requirements of TL 9000.
  • Select a Certification Body – TIA QuEST Forum requires organizations seeking TL 9000 certification to work with a certification body to define the parameters of their certification early in the process. All the accredited certification bodies are listed on this Web site.
  • Define the Scope of Certification – It is critical to establish the organizational scope of TL 9000, such as the product line, division, subsidiary, or entire company. It must then determine the products and/or services to be included under the scope of this certification. In general, all hardware products, software products, and services - involved in a process or activity must be included.
  • Select the Certification Option – The certification options available are Hardware (H), Software (S), and Services (V). An organization can choose all or any combination of the options. This determines the additional TL 9000 specific requirements that apply to the certification. Certain product or service categories may require a specific certification option.
  • Select the Categories – Once the certification scope and options are finalized, the applicant can start mapping its products and services to the TL 9000 categories. TL 9000 has over a hundred categories covering hardware, software and services. If the required category is not available, a formal request can be made for inclusion. For more information on how to establish new categories.
  • Perform a Gap Analysis – The organization undertakes gap analysis and assessment of its organization, operations and processes against the TL 9000 standards. Deficient areas are identified, an action plan is created to close the gaps, plans and processes are put into place, and resources are allocated to align the organization with TL 9000 requirements. The gap analysis can be conducted by internal or external consultants.
  • Schedule a TL 9000 Assessment Audit – The action plan will define the amount of time needed to fully conform to TL 9000 requirements. The organization, jointly with the certification body, schedules the initial assessment audit.

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RMS Registration
Once an organization has confirmed the scope, options and categories for its TL 9000 certification, it can apply for a TL 9000 registration by creating a profile on the Registration Management System (RMS).

A new account is created and populated with information on the user, company, personnel and certification. RMS registration is free for TIA QuEST Forum members but non-members are required to pay an annual fee.

Click here to create a new account in a new window.

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Pre-Audit Activities

  1. Close Gaps and Report TL 9000 Measurements – Progress is evaluated through internal audits and management reviews. All gaps must be resolved and completely closed before the organization is deemed fully conforming with TL 9000. Three consecutive months of TL 9000 measurements must be collected and reported to the Measurements Repository System (MRS) as per the scope of certification.
  2. Certificate of TL 9000 Compliance – A certification body must verify that all effective processes are in place, ensure the validity of TL 9000 measurements, and clear all non-conformances. Then, the certification body can approve the application online and mark the RMS records as certified, which are now available for public view. The organization is formally recognized as a certified TL 9000 organization and receives a Certificate of TL 9000 Compliance.
  3. Submission of TL 9000 Measurements – All certified TL 9000 registered organizations are required to submit TL 9000 data pertaining to their categories. Data submissions can be made online via a user interface, uploading a data template file, or through machine to machine transmission on a monthly basis.
  4. Please consult the TL 9000 Data Submissions document for information on the three different methods available for submitting data.

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Continuing Audits and Maintenance
Regularly scheduled continuing audits of TL 9000 certifications are required for surveillance and three-year re-assessments as per standard ISO/IAF guidelines. A certification body authenticates the organization's documented system for measurement collection, validation, and reporting, and ensures that the TL 9000 measurements are used systemically by the organization. The certification body also verifies that measurements are reported to the Measurement Repository System (MRS), in full accordance with the TL 9000 requirements.

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