Bluetooth® SIG has launched a new Bluetooth Qualification Testing Facility Program. This overview describes the process that a company must follow to apply to have its facility (or facilities) recognized as a “Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility” or a “Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility” under the new program and, if a facility is recognized as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or a Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility, to maintain that recognition. This overview is intended to provide a summary of the program. If your company becomes a program participant, its rights and responsibilities will be as set forth in the Test Facility Agreement between your company and Bluetooth SIG, and that agreement will govern even if it conflicts with this overview.

Introduction

A test facility recognized by Bluetooth SIG as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility will be recognized for purposes of providing certain testing with respect to which the facility has demonstrated testing capability. Examples of tests for which a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or a Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility may be recognized are:

  • RF
  • RF-PHY
  • BR/EDR protocols
  • LE protocols

Bluetooth SIG may also recognize a test facility as eligible to provide testing for external protocols, traditional profiles, and GATT-based profiles and services.

A test facility recognized as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility will be recognized for purposes of providing testing services to all Bluetooth SIG members, and may be listed in Bluetooth SIG’s publicly available directory of test facilities. In contrast, a Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility will only be recognized for purposes of testing its own products and may not provide Bluetooth testing services to other Bluetooth SIG members.

Each company with a facility that is eligible for recognition as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility must satisfy the test facility requirements listed below for each facility where the company would like to perform testing.

Test Facility Requirements

Each company must satisfy the following requirements for any of its facilities to be eligible for recognition as either a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility. If a company operates multiple facilities, the company must separately establish that each facility satisfies the requirements.

Each company seeking to have any facility recognized as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility must pay all required program fees and:

  • Be a Bluetooth SIG member in good standing;
  • Maintain (through one or more policies) Commercial General Liability (Occurrence Form), Workers’ Compensation, Employer’s Liability, and Professional Liability, and Errors & Omissions Liability insurance coverage (with minimum policy limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 in the aggregate and a deductible of not more than $20,000).

Each test facility that a company seeks to have recognized as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility must:

  • Own or exclusively lease, such that the facility has exclusive use of, at least one of the Validated Test Equipment supporting Cat A Layer HCI or below testing with latest validated version and up-to-date calibration, referenced in the current version of the Bluetooth SIG Test Case Reference List (“TCRL”).
  • Maintain a documented process for storing, reporting, and handling test results and defects.
  • Employ separate personnel for technical and managerial tasks (at least one of each). Managerial personnel are responsible for the technical operations and the provision of the resources needed to ensure the required quality of test facility.
  • Demonstrate that all technical personnel at the facility are knowledgeable of each test case for which the facility seeks recognition.
  • Maintain security protocols (e.g., key card authentication) to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the facility.
  • Ensure that its technical and managerial personnel are free from any undue internal and external commercial, financial and other pressures and influences that may adversely affect the quality of their work.
  • Be ISO/IEC 17025 accredited (ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation could be obtained from any appropriate accreditation bodies. Applicable only to facilities seeking recognition as Bluetooth Qualification Test Facilities).

Recognition Process

  1. A company seeking to have a facility recognized as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility must first enter into Bluetooth SIG’s standard Test Facility Agreement, then obtain recognition on a facility-by-facility basis for each facility where it performs testing. Accordingly a separate application for each facility must be submitted.
    1. You could start the recognition process by submitting an inquiry ticket (clicking the button at the bottom of this page)
    2. Once we receive the inquiry ticket, we’ll follow up with you with the agreement signing. (Please have your company info and proof of insurance ready at this point.)
    3. Signed copy of agreement and proof of insurance should be submitted within 30 days after your receiving of agreement.
  2. Each facility must undergo an audit by a Bluetooth Technical Assessor. (A list of Bluetooth Technical Assessor can be found here)
  3. Each facility must submit the following materials to Bluetooth SIG for review:
    1. A completed Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility application.
    2. A completed Bluetooth Technical Checklist completed by a Bluetooth Technical Assessor for an audit performed no earlier than 5 March, 2018 and no more than 2 years before the date that the company submits its application.
    3. A copy of the facility’s internal process document describing how test results and defects are stored, reported, tracked, and handled.
    4. A copy of the facility’s organizational chart indicating the employment of at least one technical and one managerial personnel (who cannot be the same person).
    5. An inventory of test equipment available at the facility, including the serial number for each piece of equipment, and a copy of the most recent calibration records for each piece of equipment for which calibration is recommended or required based on the test equipment manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., within the manual or other documentation).
    6. Test Scope Compliance Form showing the test equipment and version of the TCRL supported by the facility.
    7. A copy of the facility’s ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation (ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation could be obtained from any appropriate accreditation bodies. Applicable only to facilities seeking recognition as Bluetooth Qualification Test Facilities).
  4. If Bluetooth SIG accepts your application, Bluetooth SIG will deliver to your company, for the company’s signature, a facility addendum (“Facility Addendum”) to the Test Facility Agreement, covering the applicable facility. Your company must sign and return the Facility Addendum to Bluetooth SIG within 10 business days. Your company must also pay the annual fee (currently $8,000.00 for Bluetooth Qualification Test Facilities and $2,000.00 for Bluetooth Recognized Test Facilities). Payments are non-refundable.
  5. Once Bluetooth SIG confirms recognition by countersigning and delivering an executed copy of the Facility Addendum to your company, the facility will be recognized, subject to the facility and the company’s compliance with the Test Facility Agreement, as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility (as applicable) for 12 months from the date that Bluetooth SIG signs the Facility Addendum.
  6. If you do not want a facility’s period of recognition to lapse, you must complete the Renewal Process (described below), and Bluetooth SIG must confirm that the facility’s Facility Addendum has been renewed, before the facility’s recognition expires. You may apply for renewal no earlier than 90 days, and no later than 30 days, before the expiration date of the facility’s recognition.

Please note that a company must apply for recognition of each of its facilities (i.e., each physical location) even if a facility is a relocation of a previously recognized facility.  Bluetooth SIG may also require a recognized facility to re-apply if there is a change of ownership or name (including as a result of any merger, acquisition, or corporate restructuring).

Responsibilities

No facility is or may refer to itself as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility unless and until Bluetooth SIG confirms recognition by countersigning and delivering a Facility Addendum for the facility. Once a company’s facility is recognized as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility, a company’s responsibilities will be outlined in the Test Facility Agreement entered into between Bluetooth SIG and the company. Responsibilities include:

  1. Paying a non-refundable annual fee (currently $8000.00 for each Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or $2,000.00 for each Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility).
  2. Active participation as a member of the Bluetooth Technical Advisory Board (“BTAB”) (a forum consisting of Bluetooth SIG technical staff, representatives from Bluetooth Qualification Test Facilities and Bluetooth Recognized Test Facilities, and Bluetooth Qualification Consultants), including by satisfying all requirements of membership set forth in the BTAB Charter including teleconference and face-to-face meeting participation requirements.
  3. Ensuring that the company maintains its status as a Bluetooth SIG member in good standing.
  4. Offering testing services to Bluetooth SIG members only for those test cases for which the company and its facility have been recognized by Bluetooth SIG.
  5. Properly storing an electronic copy of all test results and logs for at least 5 years.
  6. Maintaining insurance that satisfies the test facility program requirements.
  7. Ensuring that each piece of test equipment satisfies the applicable test system version requirements specified in the most current version of the TCRL.
  8. Submitting to Bluetooth SIG, within 2 months after each TCRL release, an updated Test Scope Compliance Formfor each recognized facility.
  9. Regularly calibrating all test equipment and maintaining records of calibration for each piece of test equipment for which calibration is recommended or required based on the test equipment manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., within the manual or other documentation).
  10. Promptly notifying Bluetooth SIG of any changes to the company’s ownership (including any merger, acquisition, or restructuring), location, or name or any material changes to a recognized facility or its operations (including location or, in the case of any facility that is not owned by the company, any merger, acquisition, or restructuring of the company that owns or operates the facility).
  11. Maintaining a valid ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for each recognized facility (ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation could be obtained from any appropriate accreditation bodies. Applicable only to Bluetooth Qualification Test Facilities).

Renewal Process

  1. A company seeking to have its “Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility” or “Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility” recognition renewed must submit a renewal request and include updated copies of the following documentation to Bluetooth SIG no earlier than 90 days, and no later than 30 days, before the expiration date of the facility’s recognition:
    1. A copy of the internal process document for each facility describing how test results and defects are stored, reported, tracked, and handled.
    2. A copy of each facility’s organizational chart.
    3. An inventory of test equipment available at each facility, including the serial number for each piece of equipment, and a copy of the most recent calibration records for each piece of equipment
    4. A copy of a Bluetooth Technical Assessor report with a completed Bluetooth Technical Checklistfor each recognized facility for an audit performed no earlier than 5 March, 2018 and no more than 2 years before the expiration of the facility’s current recognition. If the Bluetooth Technical Assessor report and the completed Bluetooth Technical Checklist are less than 2 years before the expiration of the facility’s current recognition, they could be re-provided to satisfy this requirement.  (A list of Bluetooth Technical Assessor can be found here)
    5.  Proof of insurance.
    6. For a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility, a copy of its ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for the facility (ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation could be obtained from any appropriate accreditation bodies).
  2. If Bluetooth SIG determines that the facility and the company have satisfied all program requirements and that the facility’s application will be renewed, Bluetooth SIG will notify the company that the applicable Facility Addendum has been renewed, and of the new expiration date. Bluetooth SIG may require your company to pay the renewal annual fee prior to renewing a facility’s recognition. Payments are non-refundable.

Suspension and Revocation

Bluetooth SIG may suspend or revoke the recognition of any Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility if the company operating a facility violates the Test Facility Agreement or any Facility Addendum, or if Bluetooth SIG determines that suspension or revocation is necessary to protect the interests of Bluetooth SIG or its members, or to prevent harm or legal liability.

While a facility is suspended or revoked by Bluetooth SIG, the company will not be permitted to refer to the facility as a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility, Bluetooth SIG may remove the facility from its list of recognized facilities, and Bluetooth SIG may decline to accept test reports or test evidence produced by the facility.

If a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility’s recognition is suspended or revoked, the Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility must work with each Bluetooth SIG member that has engaged the Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility for testing services in transferring documentation to the member or to another Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility designated by the member.

Withdrawal Process

A Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility or Bluetooth Recognized Test Facility may elect to withdraw from the program provided that it gives reasonable advance notice to Bluetooth SIG and, in the case of a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility, completes all pending testing for Bluetooth SIG members who engaged the Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility to perform testing services prior to the date it provides written notice to Bluetooth SIG of its withdrawal.

 

Contact us to inquire about this program