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What you need to know about the NITA-U I.T. Certification Scheme

1.What is certification?

Certification is a procedure by which a third party attests that a product, process or service conforms to the specified requirements. The specified requirements are laid out by the relevant standard(s), regulation against which the product, process or service is certified.

2. What is the NITA-U Information Technology (I.T) certification scheme?

The NITA-U I.T. certification scheme is a collection of conformity assessment procedures applied to four domains in the I.T sector of Uganda. These include:
a) Providers of I.T Products and Services
b) I.T Training institutions
c) Individual Consultants
d) Online Service Providers

3. What do I need to get certified?

The NITA-U certification scheme will have three levels of conformity assessment. The three levels are designed to help guide prospective clients step by step to certification. These include:

a) Level 1 which requires prospective clients to legally register (incorporate) their businesses according to the established legal and technical procedures and have in place qualified Professionals to deliver on the services they wish to provide.

b) Level 2 which requires prospective clients to fulfil the requirements of level 1 and in addition, demonstrate satisfactory experience in successfully completing technical contracts awarded to them and also have in place Quality and Technical manuals (Standard Operating Procedures).

c) Level 3 which requires prospective clients to fulfil requirements of level 1 and level 2 and in addition requires compliance to the requirements of applicable ISO Standards. i.e ISO/IEC 20000.

4. Can I apply for any level directly

Yes, If you meet the requirements of a given level you can apply for it directly

5. What is the procedure?

The procedure will involve seven major steps as shown below:
Applicant registers on the IT Certification Web portal ITCO
Step 2: Applicant receives secure access to login
Step 3: Applicant fills online application and submits for approval
Step 4: Application checked for completeness by the Authority
Step 5: Applicant makes payment for certification Fees
Step 6: The Authority conducts an Audit or Inspection
Step 7: Evaluation of audit results
Step 8: Granting certificate to qualified applicants

NOTE: A company may decide to apply directly for a level 2 certificate or for level 3 that is, certification directly. In both cases the company must fulfil the requirements of level 2 and level 3 respectively.

6. Are IT Professionals being certified individually?

No, IT professionals will only be assessed as part of certification of IT Service Providers, Training Institutions or as individual providers of IT products and services to establish their level of competence and expertise.

7. The conformity assessment procedures are aimed at ensuring that:

a) Compliance to relevant standards is demonstrated to provide quality assurance to stakeholders.
b) Consumer protection
c) The business community is protected from unfair competition due to sub-standard products and services.
d) Professionals and service providers that meet the requirements of relevant standards are recognized nationally and internationally.
e) Value for money for IT products and services provided to government and the private sector
f) The I.T sector is regulated within the country.

8. What will it cost to get certified?

The costs for certification are dependent on one’s annual turnover. Details can be accessed via the link amendment regulations specifically schedule 3 of the document (Regulations)

9. For how long is my certification valid?

Certification is valid for 1 year from the date of certification. This applies to all levels. 

During this time, surveillance audits are conducted to ensure that the terms and conditions upon which certification was granted are not violated.

10. Which entity will carry out the certification activities?

The certification activities will be carried out by NITA-U

11. What are the benefits of certification?

The benefits of certification include the following:

a) Certification helps to win client/consumer confidence translating to higher or increased market share.

b) Certification helps to create a better image for a country’s products, services and institutions. In addition, certified professionals are better recognized both locally and internationally.

c) Certification helps to protect the image and reputation of the manufacturer of products.

d) The certification scheme helps to provide a means of technically auditing products, services and process control procedures hence tightening technical regulation of the I.T sector while at the same time ensuring value for money.

e) It provides protection from unfair competition hence promoting fair trade practices which are favourable for foreign direct investment.

f) Certification provides a step by step learning process for companies and individuals which leads to growth in efficiency, professionalism and quality assurance all of which lead to the sustainable growth of the IT sector.

g) Certification promotes the implementation of industry best practices hence ensuring health, safety and protection of the environment.

h) Certification Promotes the development of local IT solutions (conforming to international standards and best practice) which has a potential to reduce the cost of IT products and services to consumers

i) Certification enhances Consumer Protection and Satisfaction.

12. Is certification a technical barrier to trade?

Certification aims to promote a given brand or product and service by demonstrating that the particular brand, product or service meets requirements of specific standards.

Seen from this perspective certification promotes trade by demonstrating quality of products or brands and services.

A technical barrier to trade may arise when costs are prohibitive to most stakeholders especially smaller stakeholders or processes and procedures take too long to be completed hence increasing the cost of doing business.

The certification scheme has provided for reasonable fees and favourable timelines to ensure that all activities are completed in a timely manner or as soon as possible.

13. Where can more information be obtained?

14. How can I know whether the IT Service are working with is certified?

Visit Certified companies to check if your IT service Provider is certified

For more information contact:

NITA-U: www.nita.go.ug
NITA-U Headquarters: Palm Courts, Plot 7A, Rotary Avenue (Former Lugogo Bypass)
By Post: P. O. Box 33151, Kampala, Uganda
By Phone: +256 417 801 038
Email: info@nita.go.ug
Twitter: @NITAUganda1
Facebook:facebook.com/NITA.Uganda

Highlights
  • What is certification?
  • What is the NITA-U Information Technology (I.T) certification scheme?
  • What do I need to get certified?
  • Can I apply for any level directly?
  • What is the procedure?
  • Are IT Professionals being certified individually?
  • What will it cost to get certified?
  • For how long is my certification valid?
  • Which entity will carry out the certification activities?
  • What are the benefits of certification?
  • Is certification a technical barrier to trade?
  • Where can more information be obtained?
  • How can I know whether the IT Service are working with is certified?