Quality Management

Quality has been of central strategic importance to CRITICAL Software since its formation in 1998. The continuous improvement of software development and systems engineering processes has allowed us to reach outstanding, internationally-recognised standards in organisational and process maturity.

Quality is embedded in attitudes, in the way we work, in software development processes and in methodologies.

Quality is strategically important and has driven the pursuit of the most demanding and prestigious quality certifications and standards since the company was founded.

Quality is embedded deep within our values and culture, providing a key framework for us to operate systematically, confidently and efficiently.

Our Integrated Management System (IMS) is certified according to CMMI-DEV Maturity Level 5, ISO 9001:2008, AS 9100 and NATO AQAP.

We believe we can only achieve the highest levels of excellence, quality and customer satisfaction by strong investment in organisational process maturity, continuous process improvement and constant benchmarking against international standards. This belief has led us to invest strongly in CMMI Level 5, which means lower business risk and more projects delivered within budget, on time and of high quality!

Additional facts:

  • Our Quality Management System is inspired and based on the CMMI-DEV model, ISO 15504 (also known as SPICE - Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination), ISO 12207 - Software Life Cycles, ESA standards and proven PMI and Six Sigma methodologies;
  • We were selected by the European Space Agency to be pilot pioneers for SPiCE 4 Space (S4S) based on ISO 15504 – Process Assessment);
  • We are a review committee member of the ESA-ECSS standards (e.g. IV&V).

Quality in practice

CRITICAL Software’s approach ensures low business risks, with projects delivered within budget, on time and to exceptionally high quality standards. The facts:

  • Customer-focused! We achieved an average customer satisfaction score of 8.4 (out of 10) in the last five years (2012-2016), over more than 275 projects (67% customer response rate)

  • On time! In the last three years, our average project delay has amounted to less than 6% compared to overall project duration estimates
  • Highly recommended! Net Promoter Score (NPS) is becoming the industry benchmark for measuring customer loyalty, and CRITICAL Software achieved a NPS of 49 in 2016 – achieving a best-in-class ranking for the technology and software industry. To put this score in perspective, The Temkin Group has been reporting on NPS scores for the last 4 years, and published that the average score in the tech industry in Q3 2015 was 31.8. Scores can range from -100 to +100
  • A long-term commitment! Our Quality Management System is regularly audited to assure compliance with national and international regulations including EN 9100, ISO 9001:2008, CMMI-DEV ML5 and NATO AQAP 2110/2210

Certifications and Standards

CMMI-DEV Level 5

Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development (CMMI-DEV) – specifically targeted at systems and product development – is one of the most prestigious and demanding worldwide reference models for organisational process maturity and performance.

CMMI was developed by the CMMI Institute and Carnegie Mellon University and pursues the improvement of organisational performance, providing organisations with guidance on measuring and continuously improving their processes in a sustainable way.

In 2006, CRITICAL Software was the first Portuguese company to achieve CMMI maturity level 3. In 2009, maturity level 5 was achieved, again for the first time in Portugal. This was reconfirmed in December 2012 and more recently in March 2016, when CRITICAL Software became the first Portuguese company to achieve a CMMI level 5 rating for both its Agile and Waterfall Software Development Processes.

Why CMMI Level 5?:

  • CMMI L5 means less business risk, and more projects delivered on budget, on-time and on-quality
  • CMMI L5 means higher organisational and process maturity
  • CMMI L5 significantly improves process predictability, visibility and control
  • CMMI is increasingly recognised as the performance measure for software development and engineering companies across the world, especially in the US and Asian markets

You can download our certificate here.

EN ISO 9001:2008

CRITICAL Software’s Integrated Management System is certified under ISO 9001:2008.

ISO 9001:2008 is an internationally-recognised quality management standard and framework for business-to-business dealings, focusing on meeting customer satisfaction and applicable regulatory requirements.

CRITICAL Software Group, certificate number: ES16/19959 for scope:

“Development of software technologies for mission- and business-critical information systems and the provision of associated engineering and consulting services. Design and development of customised software solutions to meet customer requirements.”

You can download our certificate here.

ISO 15504 (SPiCE)

CRITICAL Software's Quality Management System is organised in processes, taking the ISO 12207 "software lifecycle processes" as input. It is continuously assessed against the ISO 15504 standard. ISO 15504, also known as SPiCE, determines the capability levels of software-development related processes.

We were one of the first European companies to host an assessment based on SPiCE. The assessment took place in 2001 and was sponsored by the European Space Agency using the S4S model (SPICE 4 Space). After this assessment, a one-year improvement programme cycle was derived, culminating in an S4S re-assessment in May 2003 that confirmed the improvements in assessed processes. Several processes, mainly engineering, reached level 3 capability.

NATO AQAP 2210 and AQAP 2110

NATO AQAP 2210 and 2110 certifications guarantee that CRITICAL Software is able to satisfy – as a supplier – contractually-defined requirements for any customer in the defence business. These requirements imply the existence of an established, documented, implemented, maintained, monitored and improved Quality Management System.

In December 2011, we revalidated the NATO AQAP 2210 and 2110 certifications defined by the NATO Standardisation Agency (NSA). In November 2005, we obtained the NATO AQAP 2110 and 150 certifications, the first Portuguese IT company to achieve this.

NATO AQAP 2210 and 2110 certifications standard objectives are:

  • Establish visibility for the software development process
  • Detect software quality problems as early as possible in the development cycle
  • Make quality data available for quality control
  • Guarantee quality is integrated with software development process
  • Ensure software artefacts satisfy contractual requirements
  • Ensure that safety issues are taken into consideration

You can download our certificate here.

AS 9100 Revision C

The aerospace industry established the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) with the purpose of achieving significant improvements in the quality of aerospace systems. The AS 9100 and AS 9006 standards are an extension of ISO 9001 and are part of our commitment to meeting international aerospace and defence requirements.


AS 9100 Revision C - Quality Management Systems - Aerospace - Requirements

Three international standards have been prepared by the IAQG: EN 9100 in Europe, AS9100 Revision C in America and JISQ 9100 in Asia. These are identical and standardise, as much as possible, quality management system requirements for the aerospace industry. This is the first global aerospace standard to meet the requirements of aerospace companies worldwide.


AS 9006 - Quality Management Systems - Aerospace - Requirements for Software

This supplement to EN 9100 clarifies the unique requirements for suppliers of deliverable software.


You can download our CRITICAL Software Group's certificate here.

Cyber Essentials

CRITICAL Software has been awarded the Cyber Essentials certification by the IASME Consortium, an accreditation body appointed as part of the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme.

A key component in the UK’s national cyber security strategy, this scheme provides independent assessment of an organisation’s security controls. This helps to significantly increase a company’s data and operational security by ensuring the implementation of essential levels of protection against cyber-attack.

You can download our certificate here.


Quality Policy Statement

“Quality is free. It's not a gift, but it's free ... What costs money are the un-quality things — all the actions that involve not doing jobs right the first time.”Philip B. Crosby, 1979

We commit ourselves to producing the very best software on Earth (and beyond) for our customers and partners, in a way that adds real value to their businesses.

How do we achieve this?

  • We establish the right working mind-set and use appropriate processes, tools and technologies to ensure that we always achieve and exceed the highest standards.
  • We create software that is free of errors and is a pleasure to use.
  • We focus on what really makes a difference to the world, supports software users and adds value to our customers – satisfaction is not just hoped for, it’s mandated.
  • We continually look at how we can work smarter, harder and more efficiently so that our working practices consistently improve.
  • We align ourselves with high ethical standards and conform to all industry regulations – we don’t take shortcuts and we look to go beyond requirements.
  • We care about our people and help them to grow their skills so that they can enjoy what they do – which means they are engaged and want to do their best.

We believe quality is important. We want to be known globally for our technical excellence and innovation, as well as our capacity to deliver for our customers both now and in the future.


What our customers say about us

"CRITICAL Software has exceeded my expectations in terms of technical competence, the team’s dedication to the task at hand and the professionalism demonstrated across various roles. I would have no hesitation in using them again." Paul Brinson, AgustaWestland (Leonardo)

"CRITICAL Software is characterised by a high degree of professionalism and extensive knowledge of verification methods and provided a very valuable contribution to the project." Frode Høgberg, DET NORSKE VERITAS AS

"CRITICAL has been extremely flexible, professional and shown expert knowledge when requested to deliver products and services. Over the last two years working with DCC, they have delivered everything asked of them, sometimes at really short notice." Steve Thun, DCC

"This research has provided us with a new and exciting capability for assuring software in a way previously thought to be impractical." Marcus Fisher, NASA IVV

"This development has resulted in a successful delivery of software to my customer and CRITICAL Software's contribution to that success has once again been excellent." Timothy Lee, AgustaWestland (Leonardo)

"Contributo extremamente positivo, não apenas do ponto de vista técnico como também em termos de dedicação e interesse por atingir os objectivos pretendidos." Mário Póvoa, Soporcel

"High level of professionalism and technical quality." Eng. Ferreira Rodrigues, Direcção de Navios da Marinha Portuguesa

"A CRITICAL Software teve um excelente desempenho neste projecto, quer na qualidade do produto final, quer na disponibilidade para esclarecimentos à APS e seus Associados." Maria Manuel, Associação Portuguesa de Seguradoras

"CRITICAL Software’s dedicated team has been a key resource in the design, development and testing phases of the project, resulting in a product that has met or exceeded all of our expectations." Mike May, AgustaWestland (Leonardo)

"A company that can provide excellent people and ideas to help us develop solutions with new ideas from an innovative and complementary perspective." AgustaWestland (Leonardo)

"CRITICAL Software continues to assist us in producing Rotary Wing business decision solutions, they bring a unique combination of innovation, professionalism and domain expertise to support our work in a complex and competitive area of the UK defence market." Timothy Lee, AgustaWestland (Leonardo)

"CRITICAL Software has significantly contributed to the ABU Extension validation campaign. The company gave support to us over a challenging period demonstrating strong competencies and real efficiency. Communication between Thales and CRITICAL Software was consistently very good through regular steering meetings too." Mr. Brice Forrestier, Thales Alenia Space - Cannes

"A dedicação e profissionalismo demostrada pelos elementos das várias equipas da CRITICAL Software no cumprimento dos objetivos dos projetos cumprindo os, por vezes, apertados prazos e desafios determinados pelas alterações à organização dos processos eleitorais são fatores determinantes para o sucesso dos projetos. É de salientar o excepcional nível de empenho, dedicação e competência demonstrados na coordenação e gestão dos projetos." Jorge Silva, MAI-DGAI - Direcção Geral da Administração Interna

"CRITICAL Software provided a reliable service with excellent quality, the results of which have now been integrated into the LCT software life cycle." Paulo Neiva Fernandes, Project Officer @ EMSA - European Maritime Safety Agency

"CRITICAL Software proactively supported us in achieving key review milestone goals by providing timely comments and completing key work packages on time. It's been a pleasure to work with CRITICAL Software and I hope our paths cross again." Mr. Ahmad Qadir, Airbus Defence & Space Ltd

"The contribution made to our business objectives has been positive, enlightening and informative." Steve Baker, MBE Systems

"Empresa com critério, rigor, organização, simpatia e profissionalismo. Cumpre com eficácia os objetivos propostos, contribuindo para a operacionalidade dos sistemas-alvo." Eng. Praça Frederique, Marinha Portuguesa

"A CRITICAL Software tem sido um parceiro muito importante na obtenção do controlo e melhoria das nossa operações. A gestão deste contrato, do ponto de vista comercial, e acompanhamento técnico - manutenção e desenvolvimentos - tem decorrido com muita normalidade, sempre enriquecido com a procura de entendimento das nossas necessidades, e com propostas de melhoria, criando sinergias à volta das necessidades identificadas." Renato Teles do Vale – Empresa de Segurança, S.A.


Customer Feedback

We always appreciate feedback from our customers. If you have a comment or suggestion, please let us know and we'll do everything we can to consider your feedback.

Your views are important to us and are key to improving the products and services we offer.

Please fill in the feedback form or email us at csw-quality@criticalsoftware.com, providing as much detail as possible. We always aim to come back to you on your feedback and suggestions too.