DCA Certifications Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is the DCA Certifications Scheme really independent?
YES - The DCA is a non-profit data centre industry association with over 150 data centre industry organisations as members - click here for listing of members. The scheme is developed collaboratively with a democratic framework for review. In addition as the certifying authority, the DCA checks and validates data centre applications received by a network of Approved Auditors via a process of verification, site inspection and the majority view of the DCA Accreditation - thus no large sums of money are paid to the DCA directly by the applicant for certification therefore removing the risk of a biased result or the same organisation or person checking their own work.
Does the DCA Certification Scheme remove the need for International or Regional Standards?
Definately NOT - The DCA recognises established standards bodies such as the International Standards Organisation (ISO), regional bodies such as ETSI, CEN, CENELEC and ANSI as the rightful place for standards, in fact the DCA has members active on developing these standards. The DCA encourages and where possible and practical calls for these standards within the Certification's specifications. The DCA Certifications role is to ensure they are harmonised into an overall "package" that improves the customer's understanding and visability of a given data centre's credentials. This role also includes ensuring and verifying that international and regional standards are data centre specific and valid at the site in question.
How long does it take to get a data centre DCA Certified?
This will depend on your data centre's readiness for certification and any remedial work that may be needed, your Approved Auditor can advise you. Once your data centre is ready, from receiving a valid application from an Approved Auditor it will take 2-4 weeks to complete the certification process.
Will any of my private data be made public?
No - for certification your Approved Auditor is not required to submit to the DCA any passwords, user information/credentials, IP addresses or details of hardware or software. Any sensitive information may be removed from the high level supporting documentation required for DCA Certification Application. For the DCA Site inspections, your Approved Auditor's NDA will cover the DCA as a sub-contractor, however if you prefer to have a non-disclosure agreement directly with the DCA this can be easily arranged. The listing of your data centre's Certification on the DCA website is optional.
Can I apply for DCA Certification directly to the DCA?
No - to maintain independence, consistancy and quality of results the only bodies able to apply for a DCA Cerification are DCA Approved Auditing Firms.
What does DCA Certification cost and how do I pay?
The DCA charges a fixed fee for Certification designed to be affordable for the majority of data centre owners and operators. For the latest fee, this is published in the latest guidelines which you can download from the files at the bottom of this page.
To maintain an independent scheme, no direct financial transaction exists with the data centre receiving DCA Certification and the DCA. This is charged and passed on by the Approved Auditing Firm you are engaged with. The cost of auditing and managing the Certification on behalf of the data centre owner/operator will vary depending on the size, complexity of the data centre and any remedial work required, your Approved Auditing Firm will advise and quote accordingly.
How long does the Certification last?
The DCA Certification is valid for two years, after which it will expire unless an application for renewal is submitted to the DCA via an Approved Firm. If the requirements have changed you must comply with any new requirements released up to a year prior to your renewal date.
Do I need to be an EU Code of Conduct Participant to gain DCA Certification?
If your data centre is located within the European Union then yes, it is a requirement. If your data centre is located outside the reach of the EC scheme, the Code will be accepted if the data centre can be verified as being compliant. Another similar scheme under the local juristiction may also be accepted, if in doubt please check with your DCA Approved firm.
If you are a DCA Member and wish to comment click Here or wish to join the collaboration/development group please click here
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