STA considers it is essential that public authorities and users can be confident in the quality of contactless communication between contactless readers and fare media. Certification is the appropriate means to give trust. The STA certification program established by STA consists of a Group of Certification Bodies (STA GCB) bringing together certification bodies authorized to certify compliance of transportation and acceptance media with the CEN technical specification TS 16794 about contactless communication. Extension of the certification scope to ohter technical fields, such as the application layer, may be decided later.


The objective of the STA Group of Certification Bodies is to establish a common approach to conformity certification andt he technical equivalence of certification carried out by the STA Group of Certification Bodies’ members. The members will work collectively to achieve these aims but remain independent certification bodies being reponsible for their own decisions and for the control of their different certification marks. The STA Group of Certification Bodies (STA GCB) works as a platform to ease mutual recognition between the member certification bodies (and the testing laboratories for product testing) and to limit the costs of those agreements. A primary goal of the STA GCB is to ensure that the certification bodies and the associated testing laboratories operate on a common basis.


The main principles of the STA certification program are the following:

  • a Group of Certification Bodies (GCB) gathers Certification Bodies (CB) authorized to certify compliance with CEN TS 16794;
  • Membership of GCB is open to two categories of CB:

1. a CB accredited according to ISO/IEC 17065 against CEN TS 16794 can be a member of the GCB; 2. a CB complying with a subset of ISO/IEC 17065 can be member of the GCB; it has to submit to an audit.

  • Certificates delivered by an ISO/IEC 17065 accredited CB are recognized throughout the EU.


A set of documents gives the framework for this certification program. The Terms of Reference, prepared by the STA CWG and approved by the STA board, defines the Group of Certification Bodies (GCB) and organizes the community of STA CBs. This document indicates:

  • the conditions for memberhip for the CB;
  • the governance: Board of Management (its initial and current composition);
  • the technical structure: CWF and audit manager;
  • the CB approval process

The other documents, elaborated and approved by the CWG, are:

The Certification Work Group has finalized 2 new versions for the STA technical Guidelines and Test Tool Validation Methodology:

The laboratories associated with a CB run “round robin tests” using reference devices and media in order to check that tests realized on the same products by each laboratory lead to similar results thus ensuring consistency across the network of test labs.

Please see here the General Overview