- Why is collaboration with GCF important to the NFC Forum and its members?
This marks a major step in the adoption of the NFC Forum specifications by the mobile device industry, and complements the NFC Forum Certification Program launched some years ago.
- What is the benefit of the testing and certification under this program?
Developing to a common set of specifications and testing compliance by means of a common set of test cases provide increased assurance that certified devices will interoperate across participating industries. Moreover, greater efficiency is achieved in that common test cases need to be conducted only once and successful test results recognized for an NFC Forum or GCF certification.
- Where will testing for GCF of the NFC Forum test cases occur?
Testing of the GCF selected test cases can be executed by existing NFC Forum Authorized Test Labs (ATLs) or GCF Recognized Test Organizations (RTOs) licensed and duly authorized by the NFC Forum to conduct testing.
- What is a GCF RTO?
A GCF Recognized Test Organization is a testing organization recognized by GCF to execute certification testing. Note that RTOs must be licensed and authorized by the NFC Forum to execute the GCF selected NFC Forum test cases.
- What is the difference between a GCF RTO and an NFC Forum ATL?
An RTO is a test organization or lab recognized by the GCF to execute certification testing. An ATL is a test lab that has complied with all the NFC Forum Authorized Test Lab requirements and duly authorized by the NFC Forum to conduct full NFC Forum certification testing.
- Can results from test cases performed by an RTO be applied to an NFC Forum certification application?
Test results obtained from testing by an RTO that licensed the NFC Forum test cases and has NFC Forum authorization to conduct testing can be applied to an NFC Forum certification application. It is the responsibility of the device manufacturer to submit proof of successful completion of any NFC Forum test cases by an RTO when filing for an NFC Forum certification.
- Will test results of test cases performed by an ATL that is not a GCF RTO be recognized by GCF for certification?
Test results obtained from an ATL – regardless of whether it is a CGF RTO – will be recognized by GCF for certification. It is the responsibility of the device manufacturer to submit proof of successful completion of any NFC Forum test cases by an ATL when filing for GCF certification.
- In what way is the new testing and certification program different from what we used to do?
There is no change to the NFC Forum Certification Program with certification testing performed by the NFC Forum Authorized Test Labs (ATLs) as before. Many ATLs are already GCF Recognized Testing Organizations (RTOs) and the GCF selected test cases are already in the testing they do today for NFC Forum certification.
- What is the process/procedure to test and certify with GCF and NFC Forum?
The NFC Forum certification program has not changed and more information regarding the current process can be obtained by visiting the NFC Forum Certification Page. More information regarding GCF certification can be viewed on the Global Certification Forum (GCF) website.
- Where can I get the specifications and test cases?
More information regarding the NFC Forum specifications can be obtained by visiting the NFC Forum website http://nfc-forum.org/our-work/compliance/. Free access to the Forum’s Test Cases is restricted to NFC Forum members only. For RTOs that wish to license the test cases, visit the “RTO landing page” section of the NFC Forum website. http://nfc-forum.org/recognized-testing-organizations-rtos-compliance-testing-information/
- How do I work with GCF and NFC after certification?
NFC Forum-certified products are listed on the Approved Products list and test results from already certified products can be applied to new certification applications where appropriate.
- What is the relationship between the NFC Forum and GCF?
The relationship between the NFC Forum and GCF is one of cooperation in support of compliance testing of NFC functionality for certification. In terms of the agreement entered into, GCF may use NFC Forum developed test cases in its certification program provided that the testing is executed by NFC Forum licensed or authorized test labs.
Recognized Testing Organizations (RTO) FAQs
- Can an RTO conduct the NFC Forum test cases required by GCF?
A GCF RTO that has been licensed or authorized by the NFC Forum may execute the NFC Forum required test cases.
- What are the prerequisites for an RTO to be licensed to conduct testing of NFC Forum test cases as required by GCF?
In order to be licensed to conduct NFC Forum testing, an RTO must be a testing organization or lab in good standing with GCF, comply with all the NFC Forum requirements and sign a license agreement.
- Can an RTO also be or become an ATL?
An RTO has the option of becoming an ATL if it complies with all the requirements defined in the NFC Forum Requirements for Test Labs which includes being an NFC Forum member in good standing.
- How does an RTO become authorized to conduct testing using NFC Forum test cases required by GCF?
Visit the http://nfc-forum.org/recognized-testing-organizations-rtos-compliance-testing-information/ on the NFC Forum website for all the requirements and process steps to be licensed and authorized to execute NFC Forum test cases required by GCF.
- What fees are applicable to RTOs conducting NFC Forum test cases?
RTOs wishing to execute the NFC Forum test cases need to pay an annual $2,500 license fee when signing the license agreement. On an ongoing basis, the RTO will be charged a testing service fee of 10% of its income from testing involving the NFC Forum test cases.
- Why do I have to use an NFC Forum validated test tool for executing the required test cases?
NFC Forum test tools have been developed to support the NFC Forum test cases and have been validated to correctly execute each individual test case. Various cross-testing exercises have been undertaken to ensure repeatability and consistency of test results.
- Who manages the program?
The NFC Forum staff manages the certification program with help from the Forum’s membership. The same team will be managing RTOs that wish to execute the GFC/NFC Forum test cases.
- What are the reporting requirements for RTOs?
RTOs are required to report to the Forum on a quarterly basis all income from executing NFC Forum testing. A reporting template is made available as part of the licensing agreement and also available from the RTO Landing Page. http://nfc-forum.org/recognized-testing-organizations-rtos-compliance-testing-information/
- Does an RTO facility have to undergo a capability audit if recently audited by GCF?
A capability audit undertaken by an NFC Forum qualified auditor is a requirement and must be completed before authorization to commence testing will be granted.
- What is ILCT and what is its purpose?
ILCT is a cross-testing methodology using a pretested sample to ensure consistent results across labs using a test tool from a particular vendor. The purpose of the testing is to ensure consistency and repeatability of results, and more importantly, consistency in behavior across devices tested.
- Is an RTO permitted to execute other NFC Forum test cases that are not part of the GCF required suite?
An RTO that has signed the appropriate license agreement and complied with all of its requirements is permitted to execute other NFC Forum test cases that are not part of the GCF required suite. All revenue derived from this testing must be reported to the NFC Forum and applicable fees apply.
Authorized Test Labs (ATL) FAQs
- What are the implications of the arrangement with GCF on the current ATLs?
The NFC Forum Certification Program continues without any change and with no adverse impact on existing ATLs.
- Can an ATL perform the testing required by GCF?
Yes, the testing required by GCF consists of existing NFC Forum test cases and ATLs already perform testing of these test cases.
- What are the requirements for an existing ATL to also be an RTO?
The requirements for becoming an RTO are available from the GCF website. Bear in mind that testing conducted of the NFC Forum test cases by an existing ATL – even if not an RTO – is recognized by GCF.
- What fees will be payable by an ATL?
The NFC Forum will introduce a new fee payable by all ATLs for using the Forum’s test cases and validated test tools for commercial purposes. ATLs will be charged 10% on income exceeding $200,000 per year resulting from the testing services being provided (debug, precertification, certification, etc.) by the ATL. Review section 1.5.3 of the Authorized Test Lab Requirements for more information.
- What are the reporting requirements for ATLs?
ATLs are required to report to the Forum on a quarterly basis all income from executing all NFC Forum testing. A downloadable reporting template is available from http://nfc-forum.org/recognized-testing-organizations-rtos-compliance-testing-information/ under the Helpful Links section of the page.
- Why are testing services fees being introduced for ATLs when in practice it is ‘business as usual’ for ATLs?
Since the inception of the Certification Program, the ATLs have not been required to pay any lab fees for using the Forum’s test cases and validated test tools for commercial purposes. In line with other industry organizations, such as EMVCo and GlobalPlatform, the Forum will introduce a Testing Services fee payable by all NFC Forum ATLs.
- When will the new Testing Service fee become effective?
The Testing Service fee will become effective July 1st, 2016, with the first quarterly return (see http://nfc-forum.org/recognized-testing-organizations-rtos-compliance-testing-information/ under the Helpful Links section of the page for reporting template) due on October 1st, 2016.
- Are ATLs that are not RTOs also being charged a testing service fee?
All ATLs, whether or not they are RTOs, use the NFC Forum test cases and validated test tools for commercial purposes, and will therefore be charged a testing service fee.