Seal of Openness: CPO Certification

The CPO Initiative had previously been based on a commitment by IT vendors and service providers to foster openness in their IT systems and create the transparency necessary to achieve this. This is a key step that they can take now and in the future.

At the same time, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy announced it would be sponsoring the CPO, setting in motion efforts to establish the foundation for CPO-based certification. These efforts are centered around the German government’s Agenda for Innovation which is based on a two-pronged approach:

  1. Technology neutrality which enables companies to make independent decisions on what technologies to invest in
  2. Focus on future technologies and key strategic fields

Establishing accredited certification programs is a key item in the innovation policy of the Federal Republic of Germany. The aim here is to reduce barriers to competition while expanding the quality infrastructure, both of which are essential to promoting technological progress.


Whereas the commitment is to be seen more as a declaration of intent, the benefit of accredited CPO certification for IT users and vendors is that it creates transparency in the process of checking and verifying the openness of independent experts. This step is transforming the CPO into a trusted and reliable seal.

  • The CPO seal allows IT users to rapidly identify which companies are open and which are not, and use this information in making their decisions.
  • IT vendors can have an independent audit performed to obtain the CPO seal. The feedback from the audit can also be used internally to make improvements. 

Accredited certification

Two-phase certification:

  1. Organizational certificate
  2. Product certificate

DAkkS will complete the first phase of the evaluation to determine compliance with the accreditation criteria in April 2018. Following this, the accredited CPO certification program from the prostep ivip Association will be launched on the market. During this time, the CPO, the CPO Certification Manual, and the mapping between the CPO criteria and the conformity assessment criteria were published in the DIN SPEC 91372 series. This will then be followed by work in preparation for phase two.

Organizational certificate

IT openness starts with the ability of the company to create openness and the surrounding parameters. The assessment scheme is divided into eight subject areas. This makes it possible to group related and associated requirements in a targeted way.

The eight subject areas are:

  • Management
  • Transparency
  • Quality management
  • Product lifecycle planning
  • Organizational measures to safeguard interfaces
  • Organizational measures to promote integration
  • Customer focus
  • Organizational measures to provide for modularization

Do you have questions?

We are eager to help you!

prostep ivip Verein
Dr. Mario Leber
Tel.: +49 151 2043 25228
E-Mail: mario.leber(at)