FACE™ Consortium Conformance FAQs

Does FACE Conformance test product performance and behavior?

No, FACE conformance testing only evaluates the existence of interfaces (APIs). The software product is not executed. Conformance is designed to ensure the architecture and interfaces of the software (Unit of Conformance (UoC)) meet the FACE technical standard requirements. The Conformance Test Suite does not test software performance or behavior requirements. 

Reference: FACE Conformance Policy

What does FACE Certification prove?

FACE Certification proves that a software component (Unit of Conformance (UoC)) has successfully been through an independent verification and certification process which is defined by the FACE Conformance Program. This includes technical verification by a designated Verification Authority (VA) and subsequent certification by the FACE Certification Authority (CA). This certification represents that the software UoC meets the requirements of the FACE Technical Standard which was designed to facilitate software portability.

Reference: Technical Standard

Can FACE Units of Conformance (UoCs) be certified as conformant and not function properly?

Yes, FACE Certification is not a replacement for functional testing.

Reference: FACE Conformance Policy

Does FACE Certification imply "plug and play" of software?

No, FACE Certification does not imply that a product can be dropped into an exisiting system without some integration effort (modification or other software development). At a minimum, some work must be performed on the part of the integrator for resource allocations and configuration. Some work may also be required by the Software Supplier. FACE Conformant software built to a new operating environment may need other validation efforts even if the FACE conformant source code has no change.

Reference: Technical Standard, Conformance Policy

Where are the Conformance requirements found?

Conformance is to a specific edition of the FACE Technical Standard requirements. The associated Conformance Verification Matrix dtails the methods of verification that must be used for conformance verification.

Reference: Conformance Policy, Technical Standard, Verification Matrix

Does automated Conformance Test Suite encompass all Conformance requirements?

No, only requirements marked "Test" in the Conformance Verification Matrix (CVM). The remainder of the conformance requirements are verified through "inspection" of supplier documentation.

Reference: FACE Conformance Verification Matrix, FACE Conformance Verification Matrix Users Guide

Does the FACE Safety Profile guarentee Airworthiness certification?

No, the purpose of the FACE Safety profile, both basic and extended, is to help enable, not prohibit nor guarentee, the ability to be safety certified.

Reference: Technical Standard

Does the FACE Security Profile guarentee any security certification?

No, the purpose of the FACE Security profile is to help enable, not prohibit nor gaurantee, the ability to meet NSA certification/system Security requirements.

Reference: Technical Standard

How does FACE Conformance compare with other forms of certification like DO-178b or CMMI?

Flight safety is very important to the FACE Consortium. Its goals is to complement the exisiting airworthiness processes, not to replace them. FACE Certification indicates adherence to the FACE Technical Standard for portibility purposes. DO-178B/C and CMMI are certification programs that govern the processes for software development and verification.

Reference: FACE Technical Standard

Why is there a Verification step separate from a Certification step?

The verification process is a technical process which requires software expertise. The certification process is a business process which encompasses legal aspects of conformance certification. The difference in expertise required to properly execute each part of conformance certification created a need to delineate the two processes as separate steps.

Reference: Conformance Policy

How can I be a VA?

Review requirements in Conformance Authorities Plan and VA Application (RFP), both which are available from the FACE Landing Page.

Reference: Conformance Authories Plan & VA RFP 

How do I certify my system as FACE Conformant?

FACE Conformance is for software components (i.e. Units of Conformance (UoCs)) of a system, complete systems are not certified. Systems can specify FACE conformant components.

Reference: Technical Standard

What is an Approved Correction?

An Approved Correction is created in response to a Problem Report which may be filed when a problem is found with a standard, conformance policy, process, or tool and certification of a UoC cannot proceed while the problem exists. The Approved Correction will be created by the owner of the document or tool as means to certification while the problem is in existence. Approved Corrections are approved by the FACE Steering Committee for use on specific UoCs.

Reference: Conformance Policy

If a Certified UoC references an Approved Correction for a PR, does anything have to be done when the PR is closed?

No, the Approved Correction is a direction on how certification can be accomplished while the problem with the documents/tools exist. Its purpose is to allow the certification of UoCs without waiting for document and tool updates.

Reference: Coformance Policy

How much does FACE Conformance Certification cost?

The cost of FACE Conformance Certification is combined cost of Verification and Certification. The cost of FACE Verification is negotiated directly with an approved Verification Authority. The cost of Certification is standardized by the FACE Certification Authority.

Reference: N/A - Not determined by the FACE Consortium

What is the cost of re-certification after a change?

As in the case of full certification effort, the cost of FACE re-certification is the combined cost of Verification and Certification. The cost of FACE Verification is negotiated directly with an approved Verification Authority. If little has changed in the Unit of Conformance (UoC) and the same Verification Authority is used, there should be a cost savings realized, but it is the VA that will see the price. The cost of Certification is standardized by the FACE CA.

Reference: N/A - Not determinded by the FACE Consortium

I have a hybrid system, including some legacy software. How do I ensure that my system can use FACE components (Unit of Conformance (UoCs))?

Determine in which senment the needed UoC resides. The interface(s) for that segment must be provided.

For example, supporting a Portable Component would require an Operating System (OS) supporting the FACE OS API (for the UoC profile) and support of the Transport Services Segment (TSS) API. THis could be accomplished with a certified TSS and OS, or with other system elements modified to support the FACE APIs.

Reference: Reference Implementation Guide

The FACE Conformance Test Suite documentation refers to a Compiler Specific file that can be modified by the user. What limits are placed on the modifications to this file?

The Compiler Specific File can be modified to match specific issues with a compiler/Operating System combination. The Verification Authority (VA) will examine the Compiler Specific Files used in testing to ensure the correct information is included. If a Software Supplier expects that modifications are needed it is best to ask the VA if a file exists for the specific compiler/OS to ensure the supplier's tests meet with the VA's expectations.

Reference: Test Suite User's Guide


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