Our Certification Process

To become a part of the Catena-X ecosystem, the components of the network need to prove that they comply with our major principles. Here we explain how to get certified for Catena-X. 

Why should you join the network and what are our major principles?  

The Catena-X Automotive network is built on two major principles: Interoperability and Data Sovereignty. We truly believe in the mutual benefits of data usage across company borders. We also think that this data exchange must be based on mutually agreed policies to ensure beneficial usage for all participants in the network. These data chains are the essential idea behind our data ecosystem. 

Deeply integrated IT landscapes in modern companies allow the collection and usage of data, that was unimaginable only a few years ago. Company processes benefit heavily from this progress, many innovations were only made possible this way and the value of data as an asset is increasing. The next level in using this data cross companies borders multiplies the chances, hence the risks are increasing to the same extent. Cross company processes enable total new levels of efficiency and innovation, but misuse of data can lead to heavy disadvantages in efficiency and competitiveness. 

How does certification contribute to the success of Catena-X?  

Cross company interactions highly rely on mutual trust. Our certifications provide trust by transparency and reliability based on our Catena-X standards. By setting up a certification process, we guarantee that our major principles are considered in every component of the network. 

From the core service providers up to the data connectors and to every single application in the network, a consistent framework was created to ensure beneficial participation for all participants in the network. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and to gain trust we need to ensure that all links are as strong as possible. 

What is the certification framework?

The certification is done in a modular, role-based way, to fulfill different requirements to participants of our ecosystem. Being IT application providers, service providers or onboarding partners likewise. The modularity allows a high flexibility and lowers the efforts and redundancies for all parties involved.  

An example of the modular approach for a Business Application Provider (as of release 3.0) can be read as follows (see graphic illustration below).  

First, the relevant certification role is identified. In our case, the Business Application Provider. Second, the Certification Scope is determined together with the Conformity Assessment Body. Here, our Business Application Provider wants to operate within the Business Domain Sustainability under the Product Carbon Footprint Use Case. Third, the Conformity Assessment Body provides all required certification modules, including the required Solution and Provider Base, resulting in a list of standards to assess conformity against. In the case of our exemplary Business Application Provider, the following list of standards thus applies: 

  1. Product Carbon Footprint: CX-0026, CX-0028, CX-0029  
  2. Sovereign Data Exchange: CX-0018  
  3. IAM: CX-0013, CX-0014, CX-0015, CX-0016, CX-0017  
  4. Semantic: CX-0002, CX-0003, CX-0004, CX-0044  
  5. Onboarding: CX-0008 

All relevant standards including the corresponding conformity assessment criteria are accessible in the Catena-X standard library 

Who conducts the certification?  

The standards that form the foundation of our network are created and published by the Catena-X Association. We constantly improve and extend these standards to form and develop an ecosystem that truly supports cross company processes. 

For the audit and the issuing of the certification. We rely on proven auditing companies, as conformity assessment bodies (CABs) that closely follow our principles. 

This unified check of every component of the network based on a commonly agreed framework allows high transparency and comparability for all providers of services and applications to our members and users. Moreover, the introduction of multiple CABs over time follows the philosophy of our decentralized ecosystem and ensures both freedom of choice for applicants as well as an incentive to provide high quality services on neutral terms. 

Next steps: become Catena-X certified! 

Become a part of the Catena-X network and offer your application or service to this growing ecosystem by contacting one of our CABs on the right. Each CAB has been nominated and trained by the Catena-X Association in our certification process and will guide you through the process of becoming certified. This includes selecting the appropriate standards for your role or solution in the Catena-X ecosystem as well as the relevant proofs of conformity.   

To cover the expenses of the certification process, a fee will be charged by the CAB for each certification. Fees are made transparent to each candidate in advance and may vary between CABs. 

Certification within Catena-X's beta operations

Catena-X will be launching the Beta Operations Phase of their data space, which is compliant with GAIA-X, during the Hannover Fair. This marks the first time that federated industry data has been collaboratively created and framed using a systematic approach, encompassing three pillars: development environment, governance, and operating environment. These pillars are now available, synchronized, and ready for use by adopters and outfitters in the automotive industry.

The purpose of the Beta Phase is to extensively test, fix any bugs, optimize, and showcase the value of Catena-X's offering through a controlled onboarding process with selected partners in Europe. This phase is crucial for the success of Catena-X, as it will ensure that all aspects of Catena-X, including Core Services A + B, GAIA-X Services, Use Cases, initial apps, onboarding services, operating services, policies, certifications processes, and governance, work as planned. Once this phase is completed and any necessary improvements have been made based on findings, the data space will transition to normal operations by the end of September 2023.

The structured onboarding of partners during the Beta Phase will be supported by the Catena-X association and their execution partners. Industry solutions such as Traceability and others will be made available through Cofinity-X during this phase.


Hanno Focken

Hanno Focken

Managing Director – Operations and Governance