Continua Compliant: a Self-Declaration Process
Continua Compliant makes widely available a uniform test process enabling any vendor the ability to quickly demonstrate and self-declare directly to its customers that its products are compliant to the Continua Design Guidelines (CDG). The process is rigorous enough to be of value to customers but simple and affordable enough to encourage vendors to use it as a method to promote their product to the industry.
Test applicability and pass/fail criteria, and the Continua Test Tool (CTT) used for compliance test execution, are the same for both Continua Compliant and Continua Certification. Whereas Continua Certification tests must be executed by a qualified 3rd party in an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory, Continua Compliant testing may be executed by the product vendor in it’s own laboratory. It is recommended that laboratories that are used to conduct Continua Compliant testing be accredited to ISO 17025 or otherwise employ quality processes to the intent of ISO 17025.
The process is highlighted below. Details of the process are documented in the Continua Compliant Specification.
The objective of this process is to provide a freely available uniform pre-approval process enabling any vendor the ability to declare that its products are compliant to the Continua Design Guidelines through self-declaration of compliance. The availability of a public listing of Continua Compliant products will enable discovery of such products while increasing their availability and awareness in the marketplace.
It is important to note that self-declaration of compliance is governed by the business arrangements between the product vendor and the customer requesting the testing in order to self-declare compliance. The PCHAlliance provides its CTT freely to any vendor with which to execute conformity assessment testing and generate a uniform declaration statement. Products that successfully complete this declaration of compliance process will be listed on a PCHAlliance public web site. The PCHAlliance makes no other representations.
It is recommended, but not required, that laboratories conducting conformity assessment testing for the express purpose of self-declaration of compliance to the CDG be accredited to ISO 17025 “General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.” Test laboratories self-representing that they follow and continue to maintain a quality management process and have the requisite domain expertise is preferred.
Entities self-declaring their compliance to the CDG must meet the following criteria:
- All compliance assessment criteria appropriate for the features supported by the product under test are the same regardless of pursuing certification or self-declaration.
- The product vendor shall use the latest version of the Continua Test Tool.
- Vendors self-declaring their compliance to the CDG shall retain records of test results for the life of the product design that was declared compliant. Test results will be made available to customers upon their request.
- The Statement of Compliance is evidence of compliance to a specific version of the CDG provided by the vendor as part of performing self-declaration on a product. The CTT will provide this evidence after successfully executing all applicable test cases within the product’s test plan.
Continua provides a series of procedures in sufficient detail for vendors to navigate the test and self-declaration process. Continua Certified Experts are available for assistance.
- Download the Continua Test Tool
- Execute Compliance Testing
- Execute Interoperability Testing (Optional)
- Generate Statement of Compliance
- Post to Continua Compliant Products Listing
It is recommended that the vendor familiarize themselves with the following documentation prior to testing:
Vendor’s self-declaring compliance to the CDG shall make this declaration public information. Details of the testing, other than what is required on the Statement of Compliance, may be kept confidential and shared only with clients per the Records Retention policy.
Vendor’s self-declaring compliance of a product or service to the CDG may use the “Continua Compliant” word mark but shall not display the Continua Certification logo in reference to the product or service. The Continua Certification Logo is reserved for those products successfully completing the Continua Certification process.