Designing and developing a Digital Certification System to support current and future certification processes


Aerospace & Engineering

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QinetiQ is a world-leading multinational organisation specialising in testing and evaluating technology based products. It operates primarily in the defence and security sectors. QinetiQ asked Calvium to propose a solution to design and develop a Digital Certification System (DCS) to support their current and future certification processes.

The Challenge

The overall project is extremely large and complex and QinetiQ needed a Digital Certification Demonstrator to be designed at speed to act both as a Proof of Concept but also as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as it may become the initial building block of the future system. It was decided to use an existing aircraft design process as the template for the MVP.

Within the process there is a defined set of documents that need to be presented in order for the aircraft to be certified and released to service:

  • For each controlled document set there is a required set of signatures related to specific roles associated with each document. These signatures are usually applied in a specific order
  • The MVP had to demonstrate the concept of managing that document set to project completion
  • The MVP was also required to demonstrate the hierarchy and relationship of those documents and their status
Image of a plane with the QinetiQ logo printed on its nose
Image by Andrew Thomas

How Calvium helped

Calvium decided to adopt an Agile process to deliver the MVP at speed through a series of sub-stages or Sprints. As always our preferred approach is to map out the project through an initial Discovery phase to better understand:

  • who the primary users were
  • the context of use
  • a prioritised list of user needs 
  • current problems e.g. ease of finding key documents
  • rules for user access to documents/sign off/approval/review
  • scalability and security requirements
  • constraints including legislation and legacy technology
  • process improvements such as time savings
  • future proofing

This then flowed into an extremely rapid series of Work Phases covering Design (how the product would look and feel), Technical Architecture (how the product would behave “under the bonnet”) and a plan for development.


The designs have excited the QinetiQ team. They can now see how their ideas can become a reality and we are all looking forward to the next phase of development.

Call us on 0117 226 2000 or email to discuss how Calvium can work in partnership with your organisation to deliver digital solutions.

3 men wearing QinetiQ uniforms work on the deck of a naval ship, holding a pole horizontally as if trying to line it up to fit into a structure

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