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ISO/IEC 20000  |  ISO/IEC 27001  |  TL 9000  

TL 9000

Quality Management System for the Telecom Industry

The telecommunications industry has always been at the forefront of modern quality management philosophies and methodology. The complexity of the products and technologies used in this sector necessitate a sound, systematic approach to ensure continuity of service and reliability to all users. Over the years, the telecommunications industry has progressed significantly into a truly global network of service providers and suppliers, offering not only traditional communications but also a range of associated products and services, including high-speed data transmission, Internet services, mobile telephones, pagers, digital TV's and other technologies. The common objective, however, remains the same – to provide users with a continuous, reliable service at a reasonable and competitive cost.
 
In 1996, conscious of the ever-increasing competition and globalisation of the industry, a group of leading telecommunications service providers initiated an effort to establish better and more consistent quality requirements for the industry on a worldwide basis. The initiative was initially limited to US companies, including Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Pacific Bell and Southwestern Bell, but the final goal was to create a consistent set of quality system requirements that would apply to the telecommunications industry worldwide. From this meeting in the spring of 1996, the Quality Excellence for Suppliers of Telecommunications Leadership ("QuEST") Forum was formed, and work began on the standard that was to become known as TL 9000. Initially based on ISO 9001:1994, with additional sector-specific requirements, this standard has been revised to incorporate the new structure of the ISO 9000 family.
 
Certification Standard
 
TL 9000 is well established in North America as the basis for selection and approval of suppliers to the telecommunications industry. Its use is also growing significantly in Europe and Asia. In addition to the quality management system requirements, TL 9000 also includes product-specific performance requirements, or “measurements," that are used to determine the effectiveness of the quality management system in a quantitative manner.
 
System Requirements
 
TL 9000 is based on the requirements of ISO 9001, with supplementary requirements addressing the following principal areas:
 
1.           Reliability and associated costs
2.           Software development and life-cycle management
3.           Requirements for specialised service functions such as installation and engineering
4.           Requirements to address the unique continuing communication between  telecommunications service providers and suppliers
 
There are five specific sets of requirements in the TL 9000 model. These are:
 
1.           The generic quality management system requirements of ISO 9001
2.           TL 9000 requirements applicable to all telecommunications industry sectors
3.           Industry-specific requirements for hardware, software and service providers
4.           TL 9000 measurements common to all telecommunications industry sectors
5.           Industry-specific measurements for hardware, software and service sectors
 
For the TL 9000 measurements, extensive work has been carried out by the QuEST Forum to establish a central database for all TL 9000 registered organisations to submit specific measurements data and access processed (non supplier-specific) data for benchmarking purposes. This is maintained by the University of Texas at Dallas, which is independent of the QuEST Forum, in order to ensure confidentiality, security and reliability.
 
Metrics are basically divided into three generic categories:
 
·         Baseline – Historical measures of productivity, quality, cost, process, product and environmental factors
·         Normalisation – Comparability among diverse products, groups and companies
·         Leading Indicators – Month-by-month tracking of key project/product parameters
 
Benefits of Certification
 
·         Assured consistent quality across all products and services by using TL 9000 certified suppliers, along with significant cost savings of on-site inspections
·         Provides regular performance data for analysis against industry benchmarks and objective product or supplier evaluations 
·         Reduces the costs of quality audits and helps create customised performance reports for current and potential customers
·         Gain from cost efficiencies and improved supplier relationships across the supply chain by guaranteeing that suppliers have a QMS that has been systematically audited by an independent, accredited TL 9000 certification body 
 
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The related certification activities of HKQAA are carried out in accordance with the "Code of Practice for TL 9000 Certification Bodies" as posted in the TL 9000 website.
 
CNAS accredited scope for HKQAA’s TL9000 certification is as follows:
Code and Description
17 – Basic metals and fabricated metal products
19 – Electrical and optical equipment
31 – Transport, storage and communication
33 – Information technology
35 – Other services
HKQAA only carries out certification activities within the scope of accreditation and will not perform any TL 9000 certification activities not yet accredited.

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Last Update: 2021-04-15   Disclaimer and Copyright
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