Certification of software

     It is hard to imagine modern measuring instruments without the use of software, which can greatly enhance their functionality and efficiency. However, these benefits don't come without a price - using software in measuring instruments leads to risks arising from both its inherent properties and its susceptibility to external influence. To reduce these risks, software must pass through an independent validation procedure (including metrological assessment). This validation can take a form of software certification to evaluate the conformity of the software to the requirements of relevant regulatory documents.
     National and international recommendations strongly emphasize the need for testing of software of measuring instruments, e.g. WELMEC 7.2 "Software guide" and GOST R 8.596 "GSI. Metrological assurance of measuring systems. Main principles" (Russian national standard).
     The certifying body of the System is the Autonomous Nonprofit Organization Interregional Testing Centre (ANO ITC) which has authorized more than 30 centers of standardization, metrology and certification as its test laboratories.
     The procedure of software certification of measuring instruments, information-measuring systems and hardware-and-software complexes is defined in such guidelines as: MI 2891-2004 "GSI. General requirements for software of measuring instruments" and MI 2955-2005 "Standard validation methodology of software of measuring instruments and its procedure".

Rules of operation. Voluntary Certification System of software of MI and HSC.

Certification of software of measuring instruments. Presentation.

WELMEC 7.1 Informative Document. Development of Software Requirements.

MI 2891-2004. GSI. General requirements for software of measuring instruments.

OIML D-31. General requirements for software controlled measuring instruments.

Objects of voluntary certification are:
certification of software of measuring instruments, both stand-alone and built-in;
- certification of software of measuring, information-measuring, and information systems;
- certification of software of controllers and computing units;
- certification of software of control systems, including automated control systems using measuring equipment or elements of measuring systems;
- certification of software of training simulators and other simulation systems;
- certification of software used for modeling of technological processes, mathematical and other kinds of modeling;
- certification of software for the transmitting, storing, updating, protecting and accessing of measuring, computational and other information;
- certification of software of databases;
- certification of software of devices with measuring functions, including gaming machines, amusement and gambling machines, totes, virtual games, pay terminals, lottery equipment, etc.;
- certification of hardware and software complexes
, which are an inseparable system of hardware and software parts doing automated tasks and/or providing functionality for electronic information resources of information systems, such as: controllers, computing units, etc.;

The procedure of certification includes:
filing an application for certification;
- making a decision on the application for certification, which includes assigning experts from among experts of the certifying body to carry out main certification work;
- drawing up a contract for certification work;
- making a certification evaluation of software and hardware, including, when necessary, testing/inspection of software and hardware according to methods agreed upon with the applicant;
- making a decision on issuing a Certificate of compliance and authorizing the use of a compliance mark or on refusal to issue a Certificate of compliance;
- issuing a Certificate of compliance and authorizing the use of a compliance mark;
- entering the name of the applicant/manufacturer of software/hardware, as well as a list of certified software/hardware products, into the Register of the Voluntary Certification System;
making inspections of certified software/hardware.

Information requested from the applicant for the voluntary certification of software:
description of software structure, functions and data processing sequence;
- description of essential functions and parameters of the software;
- description of software algorithms, including computational algorithms and flow-charts;
- description of software modules;
- list of interfaces and commands for each interface, including a statement about their completeness;
- list, meaning and functions of all commands received from input devices (keyboard, mouse, touch-input devices, etc.);
- description of implemented software identification methods;
- description of implemented protection methods of software and data from influencing factors;
- description of user interfaces, all menus and dialogs;
- description of stored or transmitted data-sets;
- user manual for the software;
description of system requirements (if this information is not included in the user manual).

The list of documents coming with software may be adjusted through an agreement between the certifying body and the applicant.
Methods used during software certification are based on international standards and regulations. They allow to establish the compliance of software to the requirements of regulatory documents with sufficient reliability.
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