Show your IPLS drive with an IPLS certificate
Getting certified is not mandatory to follow IPLS. You can follow IPLS as a whole or you can follow one or more of the building blocks of IPLS without being certified. But, when you want to show the world that you are IPLS driven, when you want to use the IPLS logo and the available images and when you want to state in your communication that you follow IPLS, you need to be certified.
The certification process to become IPLS certified is intense and requires a strong focus and dedication. You will have to prove that your company is organised based on the 5 IPLS buidling blocks, that you follow high standards on all kinds of processes and that you work following the rules and the core values of IPLS. But once you are certified, you can show your (potential) customer that you are an IPLS driven company, well structured, following clear processes, flexible, and 100% customer centric.
The IPLS association is not a marketing organisation for IPLS certified companies. This means that we will not communicate anything when a company gets certified. It is up to the certified company to decide if they want to communicate about the certification or the certificate they received. However, each IPLS certified company gets an official digital IPLS certificate. On this certificate the Unique Certificate Identification Number (UCIN) of the granted certificate and the level of certification will be mentioned, as well as a QR code. If you scan the QR code, you will be redirected to our website where more information about the granted IPLS certificate will be provided. This way, your (potential) customer can easily verify the authenticity of your certificate.
The different phases of the IPLS certification process
In case you decide to go for an official IPLS certificate, following phases will be followed.
The first step of becoming IPLS certified is submitting an official request that you want to become IPLS certified. This request needs to be sent to the IPLS association via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include a motivation explaining why you want to become IPLS certified.
Each certification request will be evaluated by the IPLS membership & certification request officer.
When your request has been accepted, the onboarding phase starts. During this O-phase you will get all the required information to start the certification process.
The association will assign one of the members of the IPLS Certification Onboarding Team (ICOT) to your company. This person, your IPLS O-contact, will be your official IPLS association contact person during the O-phase. He/she will help you in understanding (the requirements) of each step of the certification process, the documents that you need to provide or the processes that need to be in place or need to be implemented.
Important to know is that your O-contact will not help you in writing all the required documents or implementing the needed processes. He/she will explain you which documents you need to provide and the processes that you will need to implement but will not advise or help you in how to write documents or how to implement processes.
During the P-phase of the certification process all focus goes to proving that (1) you understand the IPLS concept, (2) that you have implemented the 5 IPLS building blocks in your organisation/company.
The proof in the P-phase needs to be done by providing all kinds of documents in which you explain and describe how the different IPLS building blocks are implemented and followed in your company.
Although it is not mandatory, it could be helpful to get guidance and advice of a so-called IPLS P-advisor. An IPLS P-advisor is a member of the IPLS association who is willing to support and guide companies to complete the P-phase of the certification process in an efficient way. Agreements between a company and an IPLS P-advisor need to be made directly between the 2 parties without involvement of the IPLS association, but the existence of such an agreement need to be reported to the IPLS association. The reason is simple, a member of the IPLS association who is involved as an IPLS P-advisor in a certification process will not be allowed to be part of the audit and the confirmation team.
The A-phase is the phase during which all the provided documents and described processes will be audited. This so-called A-audit will be executed by 2 IPLS A-consultants assigned by the IPLS Certification Audit Team of the IPLS association. An IPLS A-consultant is a member of the IPLS association accredited and trained in auditing P-phase documents and processes.
In no way there can be any relation between the company being audited and the assigned IPLS A-consultants (e.g. the IPLS P-advisor of the company under audit cannot be an IPLS A-consultant for the same company).
In case the audit is positive, the level A certificate or the level A+ certificate will be granted.
The C-phase is the phase during which a second audit will take place to confirm that all processes as documented during the P-phase and audited during the A-phase are implemented and followed. This C-audit will be executed by 2 IPLS C-consultants accredited and trained by the IPLS association in executing C-audits. This C-audit will take place between 6 and 12 months after the successful completion of the A-phase.
In case the audit of the C-phase is positive, the level AA certificate or the level AA+ certificate will be granted. In case the C-audit is not positive, the company under audit gets 3 months to rectify the identified issues after which a new audit will take place. In case this second C-audit is not positive, the earlier granted A or A+ certificate will be revoked until all identified issues are rectified.
A granted AA or AA+ certificate is valid for a period of 2 years. After these 2 years a new C-audit needs to take place to renew the certification.
The different IPLS certificate levels
Level A certificate
The level A certificate is granted to companies that have successfully completed the R-, O-, P- and A-phases of the IPLS certification process but do not have yet passed the C-audit.
An A certified company also does not have proven experience (yet) with at least 3 development projects executed using the IPLS development train concept.
Level A+ certificate
The level A+ certificate is granted to companies that have successfully completed the R-, O-, P- and A-phases of the IPLS certification process but do not have yet passed the C-audit.
An A+ certified company has proven experience with at least 3 development projects executed using the IPLS development train concept.
Level AA certificate
The level AA certificate is granted to companies that have successfully completed the R-, O-, P-, A- and C-phases of the IPLS certification process.
Level AA certified companies have not yet proven experience with at least 3 development projects executed using the IPLS development train concept.
Level AA+ certificate
The level AA+ certificate is granted to companies that have successfully completed the R-, O-, P-, A- and C-phases of the IPLS certification process.
An AA+ certified company has proven experience with at least 3 development projects executed using the IPLS development train concept.
The cost and investment related to the IPLS certification process
The main cost and investment related to getting IPLS certified is time. You will have to spend time to proof with documentation that you are following the IPLS building blocks and the required processes. Also the audit periods are quite time intensive. There is a financial cost involved, but this cost is related to the time spent by members of the IPLS association involved in your certification process.