Publicerad 6 november 2023

The steps in the process - Issuers

The Quality Assurance Process for Issuers of business documents

The QAP for Issuers is described in this section

The process begins when an Issuer applies to start. The first action is to create a file of a specific type of document which is then sent to the verification service. After the automated tests have been concluded with no fatal errors a preparatory manual inspection is to be made by the Issuer, against a checklist provided by SFTI, to catch as many remaining potential problems as possible. If necessary, the file may be corrected and tested again. At this point the quality of the file is sufficiently high for a manual inspection to be made by SFTI. SFTI inspects the file based on professional judgement and gives feedback. When no more corrections are necessary, SFTI will approve the solution, product or service and it will be listed in the SFTI List of quality assured solutions. See the following subsections for further details.

The following diagram illustrates the QAP for Issuers

Step: Identify Quality Items (preparatory step by SFTI)

SFTI Technical Secretariat defines the set of Quality Items that apply to business documents arranged according to the electronic formats SFTI recommends. The Quality Items are of two categories:

  • For automatic testing, the main source being Peppol’s validation artefacts but with some domestic validation rules introduced by SFTI, and
  • For manual inspection, in which case the areas of examination are listed as Items in the SFTI Manual Inspection Checklist.

Quality Items may be applicable to all kinds of recommended document types or to a specific type of business document.

Quality Items may be reviewed from time to time, as needs arise. The purpose of such revisions is two-fold: to correct any identified errors and, notably with regards to manual inspection, and to enhance the quality assurance process to mitigate issues raised by the user community. Please note that revisions may have implications on products, solutions, or services that are published in the SFTI List of quality assured solutions based on previous versions of Quality Item requirements. Therefore, in case changes are made to the Manual Inspection Checklist in a way that affects results from earlier QAP verification, SFTI will notify the product owners so that they can assess if a new quality assurance process should be initiated. Quality Items for automatic testing, i.e. the validation artefacts published by Peppol, are normally revised twice a year and solution providers are expected to implement them without delay as part of their commitment to Peppol.

Step 1: Apply for Quality Assurance (responsible: the Issuer)

The QAP starts when a product owner registers its product in the verification service and choses to start a verification.

Resource for registration: See instructions

Step 2: Create File of Document Type (responsible: the Issuer)

The Issuer collects or creates all information and inputs that need to be handled when creating business documents according to the chosen electronic format (a format recommended by SFTI); this includes observing the rules and guidelines of the specific document type, country profile and process. Based on this, one or more test files are created.

Step 3: Automated Test of File by Verification Service (responsible: the Issuer)

The created file is sent to the verification service for automated tests.

Resource: website

The verification service provides detailed information about what to do and in which order. The test procedure is organised, by the Issuer, as follows.

  1. Login into the verification service
  2. Choose which document type to test.
  3. Drag and drop the actual file to be tested onto the designated area.
    Note – At most 5 test files may be uploaded at the same time.
  4. The automated tests are performed procedurally.
  5. The results are displayed in the form of a Test Report and a final result of either Pass or Fail – the latter alternative means that issues with Quality Items have been identified.

The testing procedure covers all identified Quality Items targeted for automated tests. Each test for fulfillment of a Quality Item will return one of the following grades:

  • Pass with no comments.
  • Fail with warnings of potential anomalies. Action is required: the Issuer has to investigate warnings to determine if a correction is needed.
  • Fail with fatal errors. Action is required: the Issuer has to correct fatal errors.

Step 4: Pre-inspect file (responsible: the Issuer)

The file that has passed the automated tests must be manually inspected. For this the Issuer obtains a copy of “SFTI Manual Inspection Checklist”, which is to be used by the Issuer when manually checking Quality Items. All items in the Checklist should be addressed before continuing to the next step of the process, as well as any warnings identified by the automated test to the extent that they have not been corrected. All issues with these Quality Items should

  • Either be corrected
  • Or, if not corrected, be motivated in the Issuer’s copy of the Checklist.

Resource: “SFTI Manual Inspection Checklist”

Download a copy of the checklist

Step 5: Apply for manual Inspection (responsible: the Issuer)

The QAP continues when the Issuer sends an email to SFTI with a request to conduct a manual inspection of the attached pre-inspected test file(s) and a copy of the Issuer’s Checklist with annotations from procedure step “Pre-inspect file”.

Await response from SFTI.

Resource: SFTI tekniska kansli

Step 6: Manual Inspection of File (responsible: SFTI)

In this step SFTI performs a manual inspection of the actual file. The inspection is conducted based on professional judgement, according to the “SFTI Manual Inspection Checklist”, as applicable amended with the Issuer’s annotations.

The results of the manual inspection are returned in the form of a Test Report with comments and a final result of either PASS, MOTIVATE or FAIL:

  • PASS: with no comments or informational comments only
  • MOTIVATE: The file has failed to fulfil one or more quality items, incl. lacking motivation in case of a warning signal is triggered by the verification web service. The issuer is given an opportunity to address the shortcomings and to reapply for manual inspection after giving motivation why the shortcomings should be accepted or after the shortcomings have been addressed.
  • FAIL: The file has failed to fulfil one or more quality items and the process must be restarted by creating a new file that addresses identified shortcomings.

Step 7: Approval and Attestation (responsible: SFTI)

In this step a decision is made by SFTI as to whether or not the actual tested file(s) have reliably demonstrated to fulfil the specified quality criteria.

  • An approval results in the addition of the solution, product, service to the SFTI List.
  • A rejection is communicated back to the Issuer together with the reasons for the rejection. The process can be restarted after necessary changes to the document(s) and file(s) has been made.

Step 8: Publication of SFTI List of quality assured solutions (responsible: SFTI)

The SFTI List is publicly available on the Internet, and it is updated on a continual basis.

Resource: List of quality assured solutions

Note that the Issuer must register all information in the verification service necessary to complete the publication before the publication.

Step 9: Use of SFTI List

The SFTI List is available, on the web, for anyone searching for solutions, products or services that support SFTI’s recommended electronic formats for issuing of business documents.

The Issuer can refer to the approval for publication of the solution, product or service in the SFTI List in communications with customers and other interested parties.

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