Intacs Executive Board and Advisory Board Meeting in January 2023

After a long period of online meetings only, the Executive Board (EB) invited the Advisory Board (AB) for a two-day onsite workshop in Würzburg (Germany) in January 12th – 13th, 2023 to discuss current topics in detail and in person.
On the agenda we had topics like the new training concept for the upcoming Automotive SPICE® PAM4.0, refined rules for assessment observations, updates from multiple Working Groups (WG) and an outlook to challenges in 2023.
So, a lot of work was done by the 17 participants within these two days! The EB, AB and the WG leader are now using this useful output to define or update procedures, training related issues and discuss all details in their WGs.
We will inform you about relevant changes and updated in the next information letter or in this newsflash. So, stay tuned!

All the best,
WG Information Management

Usage of trademarks

We would like to point out that the use of trademarks has been detailed in agreement with our partners as follows: 

Usage of trademarks intacs®, Automotive SPICE®, VDA QMC® and ECQA® are registered trademarks. The usage of the forenamed trademarks and any associated logo for any kind of certificates is prohibited. The usage of logos for other purposes must always be approved in writing in advance by the respective rights holder. Any infringement may lead to a loss of the assessor ́s certification and may trigger legal consequences.

The Executive Board

Test SPICE: wrongly in a slumber?

The Test SPICE PAM has been an integral part of the intacs® portfolio for about 10 years. There is a small support group there, which has been dedicated to the dissemination and further development of the PAM since 2021.
In these 10 years, a lot has developed in the field of testing, in particular agile development processes (Scrum / Kanban) and test automation of unit and integration tests occupy the test community.

At the end of this development there are some surprising findings:
- There are no more overall test strategies, testing is fragmented and the overview has been lost, especially in large organizations.
- As much as Automotive SPICE® focused on the topic of process capability, it had the side effect that many organizations saw SPICE as outside their software development and not integrated into their daily business. Result: Only so much is done in the test that the target level is somehow reached.
- Testing is still at the top of the food chain. Essential testing steps are outsourced to nearshore or off-shore test centers. Significant weaknesses came to light in many Automotive SPICE® assessments.
- Test methods, although explicitly named in ISO 26262, are not used or are not used in a comprehensible manner.
- Test tools are pure test case management tools, test case design takes place outside of these tools. This inevitably leads to a loss of information. This also means that test cases are designed several times (albeit with different descriptions) and, if necessary, also automated.
- The test case stocks in the test case management tools are hardly comprehensible. In some organizations, the proportion of redundant test cases is 50-60% of the test case inventory.
- At the same time, testing is under high cost pressure.

All of this should be a reason to take a more fundamental look at the subject of testing. For this purpose, Test SPICE provides a reference model that enables a fully scalable analysis of the testing procedure. Test SPICE is currently available in version 4.0, which can be downloaded from the intacs® website.

The Working Group Test SPICE is of course happy to receive feedback from the community, and new members are also very welcome. Our next steps are:
1) Test SPICE is checked for compatibility with newer versions of ISO 33063, ISO 29119 and possibly other models. Result, a high level mapping, which again proves the compatibility of Test SPICE.
2) For Test SPICE, a 1-2 day training will be set up as a model extension training for Intacs certified assessors. The aim of this training is for intacs®-certified assessors to become familiar with Test SPICE.
Feel free to contact the Working Group with detailed questions.


Intacs World Wide

The intacs assessor certification scheme has been spread its service and support over many countries in the world.

Trainings and Exams are usually developed in English, but translation to local guide is available for many languages

Intacs certified assessors word wide

Recent News

Current rules for online activities (status as of November 11th, 2022)

intacs® and VDA QMC accepted to perform assessments and trainings completely online.

To ensure the high-quality expectations of intacs®, the current rules apply until further notice:

For the following training courses, the online and onsite execution (including online and onsite exams) is allowed:

  • intacs® certified Provisional Assessor
  • intacs® certified Competent Assessor *)
  • intacs® Introduction to VDA Automotive SPICE® Guidelines
  • intacs® Automotive SPICE® for Cybersecurity

For the following observations, the online and onsite execution is allowed:

  • Competent Course Participant Observation
  • Competent Assessor Candidate Observation (during an assessment) **)
  • Instructor Observation ***)

For assessments, the online and onsite execution is allowed:

  • The VDA Automotive SPICE® Guidelines v1.0 specify in chapter 8.3.1: "It is not appropriate to perform interviews for data collection only using phone and/or video conferences."
    Due to the past and current COVID-19 related restrictions to meet in person, the forenamed requirement is suspended until further notice.
    The VDA QMC project group thereby likes to foster the performance of assessments even during pandemic situations.
  • intacs® recommends following the Guideline for Remote Process Assessments.

*) For the “intacs® certified Competent Assessor” training, there are mandatory rules for online performance:

  • This training must be conducted via video conference, so the trainer is able to observe the participants.
  • A tool must be used to allow working groups in separate sessions, between which the trainer can switch anytime.

**) For the “Competent Assessor Candidate Observation (during an assessment)”, there are mandatory rules for online performance:

  • The observation must be conducted via video conference, so the observer is able to observe the behavior of the candidate as well as the reaction of the interviewees.

***) For the “Instructor Observation”, there are mandatory rules for online performance:

  • This training must be conducted via video conference, so the observer is able to observe the Instructor candidate as well as the participants all the time.
  • The latest Observation sheet must be filled-in by the Observer to document and maintain all necessary steps and results.

intacs® is continuously working on updated procedures with additional requirements to ensure the quality of onsite and online activities also in the future. This includes the criteria for observers who have an important responsibility.

Grace Period for Assessor Certification

If an assessor is not able to collect all necessary Experience Evidence due to cancelled assessments or events because of the pandemic time period, the Certification Bodies will grant up to 6 additional months for collecting and providing the missing EEs.

But the additional time does not mean that the certification period will be extended! E.g. if the current period is from January 2018 to December 2020, and you use the first 6 months of 2021 to collect missing EEs, the new period will still be from January 2021 to December 2023.

And another procedure rule still applies: Already used EEs cannot be used twice! E.g. if you collect EEs within the first 6 months of 2021 in order to use them for the certification period from 2021 to 2023, you cannot use these EEs for the next certification period even if they are within the 36 months’ time frame.

Guideline for Remote Process Assessments

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are receiving several questions regarding the possibility of performing remote assessments. Is this permissible, recommended, or not?

Please find out our answer and a few recommendations in our brief Guideline for Remote Process Assessments.