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13 February 2013
The Global Certification Forum – GCF – has introduced a Recognised Test Organisation (RTO) designation to identify GCF Members that have demonstrated they possess the experience, qualifications and systems to assess mobile phones and wireless devices against GCF's Certification Criteria.
GCF's proven ‘test once, use anywhere' certification scheme provides a trusted benchmark of the interoperability of a mobile device across different networks. The scheme also minimises duplication of testing and can reduce time-to-market for new mobile devices.
From January 1, 2013, it became a requirement that all device testing associated with GCF Certification must be undertaken by an RTO.
RTO status is open to any GCF member that undertakes device testing.
The scheme will recognise test organisations in three distinct disciplines:
To become an RTO, an organisation must submit a declaration confirming that it understands GCF procedures and has the ability to conduct testing in accordance with GCF rules and the relevant RTO requirements.
Requirements for all labs wishing to perform GCF Conformance Testing include accreditation to the international standard for testing laboratories, ISO 17025. An RTO may only perform GCF testing within the scope of its ISO 17025-accreditation.
For Field Trial and Interoperability Testing, commercial test laboratories are required to hold a current accreditation to ISO 17025. Recognising the nature of field trials, either the ISO 9001 Quality System Management requirements or ISO 17025 accreditation are judged to be appropriate for Manufacturer members' in-house Field Trial facilities.
All RTO applications must be accompanied by supporting documentation, and all accreditations must be current, in order for an organisation to remain an RTO.
"The RTO scheme further enhances the robustness and credibility of GCF Certification by identifying experienced and capable test labs," said Adriana Nugter, Operations Manager for GCF. "It ensures a consistently high level of quality and reliability."
Current GCF RTOs that offer test services to third parties will be listed on the GCF website.
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