Certification FAQs

What is CSIA Certification?
It is proof that the CSIA Best Practices are implemented. CSIA Certified control system integrators meet the highest standards of business and management. 

Technical proficiency alone is not enough. To grow and sustain a successful integration company that meets clients' current and future requirements, integrators need to develop good business and management skills, in addition to technical knowledge.

Who are the CSIA Certified integrators?
The CSIA Industrial Automation Exchange allows you to search for Certified Integrators. 

How does CSIA Certification differ from ISO 9000?
CSIA Certification is a quality system focusing on the overall management of a system integration business. The certification audit is based on CSIA Best Practices which are a blueprint specifically for management of a system integration company. Clients and suppliers who retain a CSIA Certified company are reasonably assured that the company is managed well and committed to long-term success. ISO certification focuses on customer satisfaction and the quality of products and services delivered. The two certifications are significantly different and serve different purposes.

We want to recertify but have reservations about an in-person audit, can we remotely recertify?

CSIA allows certifying and recertifying companies to be audited remotely. All CSIA-certified auditors can conduct this process. There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing a remote audit compared to an on-site audit. Please reach out to your chosen auditor or CSIA's certification manager to discuss whether a remote audit or on-sit audit is the best choice for your company. 

How do I demonstrate technical proficiency?
Most automation vendors have system integrator or solution provider programs that indicate the integrator's technical qualifications on their products. Contact your vendors for information on their programs and the CSIA Certified system integrators they work with. Some suppliers require CSIA Certification to be recognized in the top tier of their system integrator programs.

What do the auditors look for?
The criteria in the audit are derived from the CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks manual. From the manual's complete set of guidelines, the auditors look at selected criteria that CSIA members and their clients consider necessary for operating a successful control systems integration company. The list includes many criteria that end users might not think of when selecting an integrator, such as disaster recovery plans, computer system backups, and internal quality audits.

How does a control system integrator become CSIA Certified?
Prepare for the audit:
  • There is substantial preparation documentation in the Best Practices and Certification – Members Only library
  • Review and understand the criteria in the CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks manual
  • Verify that their internal processes and procedures are documented and meet the criteria
  • Prepare for the audit by having evidence of the implementation of the best practices criteria readily available
  • CSIA offers an optional in-person Best Practices workshop in conjunction with the CSIA conference.
  • Review the Audit Preparation Guide provided by the Certification Manager upon acceptance of your certification application.
Schedule the audit: Several months before the intended audit date complete a Certification Application and submit it to CSIA. We will review the information to confirm eligibility to be audited and guide you through the next steps.

If you have opted for an on-site audit, be prepared to host the auditor in your facility: normally one to two business days are required. If you have opted for a remote audit, prepare all of the technology required to complete a remote audit, including video-enabled conferencing platform.

What is CSIA's role in the certification audit?
CSIA manages the certification audit process. The association’s role is to train and authorize auditing firms, provide materials to support members preparing for the audit, and carry out administrative duties related to certification. Upon completion of an audit, CSIA will receive the results and will make the final certification decision.

What are the costs associated with CSIA Certification?

CSIA charges a certification fee. CSIA staff will send an invoice after the Certification Application is approved. More information on the fee can be found in the Certification Management System (CMS) Manual.

There are also fees associated with audit-related services. All such fees are handled directly between the CSIA Member and the Auditing Company.

How long is an audit?
An on-site audit usually requires one to two business days. A remote audit will take the equivalent hours as one to two business days, but can be split up in segments that are favorable to both the SI and the auditor.

How do I schedule an audit?
When you are ready to schedule an audit the first step is to complete the Certification Application and return it to the CSIA office. The application will be reviewed to confirm eligibility. Assuming eligibility CSIA staff will advise you as to the next steps.

As soon as all CSIA-related paperwork is completed and your application is approved, CSIA staff will forward a copy of the completed Certification Application to the auditing company. The auditor will contact you to set up a service agreement and schedule the audit.

We recommend that companies submit the completed Certification Application several months before the desired audit date so that all paperwork can be completed with adequate time allowed for scheduling the audit.

These guidelines apply whether the audit is for a certification or a renewal.

What steps are required to maintain CSIA Certification?
Every three years, CSIA Certified companies undertake the audit process to become recertified. This periodic review encourages CSIA Certified integrators to stay up to date with current business practices and to focus on continuously improving their businesses. To avoid any interruption to certified status companies are responsible for having the audit completed by the expiration date.

When you are ready to schedule an audit for CSIA Certification renewal complete the Certification Application and submit it to CSIA.

We’re ready to recertify. What changes have been made to the certification management system since our last audit?
CSIA is currently updating our Certification Management System (CMS). 
CSIA charges a certification fee for each audit to help cover the cost of managing the CMS. Scheduling an audit and audit payment remains between the auditor and the member. If your company is ready to begin the recertification process, the first step is to complete the Certification Application.

What are the differences between Best Practices and Benchmarks (BPB) v5 and BPB v6?
Some of the changes include
  • Each section has undergone an extensive review for clarity and global significance
  • Content throughout has been consolidated and reorganized
  • New section on Business Ethics
  • Risk Management updated to include cybersecurity attacks
  • Human Resources Management updated to include drug screenings, authorization to work, and non-compete agreements
  • Proposal Development section added to list of auditable items
  • Updates to reflect current state of technology and cybersecurity standards, such as ISA 27001, NIST Cybersecuirty framework, as well as added requirements for the use of cloud services.

For more information regarding changes to BPB v6, please view the summary document here

Can I still audit Best Practices and Benchmarks v5?
If you are considering becoming CSIA Certified (or are planning to renew Certification) and are already in the process of preparing for an audit you can be Certified on either version 5 or 6 until April 30, 2024. Any new applications for certification or recertifications after May 1, 2024, will use version 6. 

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
Contact CSIA Certification Manager.