Accredited Filtering Scheme – Providers

A new accreditation for filtering systems for schools

This accreditation seeks to validate the performance of providers systems to our definitions with the aim to issuing accreditation. The information should help schools to audit their current provision, make informed decisions, and review market solutions. 

Information for Providers

What does the accreditation process involve? 

  • Technical test of your Filtering system via REPHRAIN at Bristol University against technical specification (see technical pre-requisites for testing section below). 
  • Validation through interview of self-certified response 
  • Final outcome report 

The suitability of your filtering system for education will be assessed by:

  • Validating your self-certified response. 
  • Testing across multiple devices and operating systems. 
  • Feedback from 2 of your existing users. 
  • Understanding its deployment in a school.  
  • Compliance for statutory safeguarding guidance.  

How long will it take?  

  • From application to final report can take up to 2 months 
  • If we request further clarification or specific information this may be extended. 

 What happens if we gain the accreditation? 

  • You will receive an official graphic for use on promotional materials etc 
  • You will be listed as being accredited on our Filtering and Monitoring site (UKSIC) 

What happens if we don’t gain the accreditation? 

  • You will have an opportunity to review the issues that prevented gaining accreditation and on satisfactory completion, we will review the changes. 
  • If fundamental criteria are not met, we will be unable to accredit your solution. 

How long is the accreditation valid for? 

  • 1 year from date of issue. 

Accreditation use 

  • Accreditation is only awarded to the Filtering system of the applying provider. Where this provider’s filtering technology is being used by another 3rd party company, a separate accreditation will be required.  
  • Use of accreditation mark/assets are provided under licence to the successful provider.  

Pricing 

  • Indicative pricing: £11,000 +VAT for large provider (over 2000 connections) 
  • Medium and small providers: price TBC 

Application Process

To go through accreditation, the following process must be followed:

  • Suitability assessment 
  • Initial meeting 
  • Schedule agreed 
  • Payment received 
  • Provider prepares disk images, application binaries, and accompanying documentation 
  • Provider makes images, binaries and documentation available to SWGfL and Bristol University Testing Lab 
  • Testing will be carried out for each category for each device (35 tests)  
  • Test results shared with provider 
  • Follow up meeting with UKSIC to review results 
  • Self-certified response validation interview 
  • Review feedback from existing users. 
  • Conclusion – if successful, accreditation awarded. Accreditation mark/assets  provided under licence.  
  • UKSIC website updated recognising accreditation status.  

Technical Pre-requisites for Testing

In order for our independent testers to be able to test your appliance, you will need to provide us with a ready configured image that we can run in our test environment. 

The image should contain all the relevant users and certificates to enable us to get up and running with it quickly, and you should provide instructions on how to join our test devices to the appliance, as well as any device specific agent software that will need to be installed on our test devices. 

Our requirements are as follows: 

  • VirtualBox or VMWare image 
  • The image should be in QCow2 format 
  • The image should be compiled with libvert 
  • Provide a domain.xml file 
  • Ensure that the appliance is configured to give a recognisable block page that specifies which category the page has been blocked under (If this is not a supported feature, provide instructions on how to access the relevant log to see that pages were blocked, on which device, and under which category) 
  • Instructions on any configuration that will need to be done, including how to onboard devices 
  • An exe or MSI installer containing the Windows agent 
  • An APK file to install on android (Will be run in an emulated environment) 
  • Links or binaries for iOS devices 
  • Instructions on how to install and configure the device agents 
  • For cloud-based filters, or where specific cloud access is required, please provide instructions on whitelisting or firewall requirements 
  • If your filter is completely cloud based, please provide account login details 
  • Indicate if we must use your provided web browser for running the test 

If a specific web browser should be used for specific device types, we will not be locking down the rest of the device. In this case we will assume that in the real-world, the device can be locked down to only allow web access through your browser application. You should provide an overview of how the device must be locked down to ensure it is sandboxed to your filter appliance. 

The image provided can be limited in usage time by a certificate, features, by number of devices, or be provided in a demo or test mode, as long as it is capable of running the tests, and will provide the same results as the real-world appliance. 

Testing Process

The tests have been devised to check that your appliance can filter a range of devices using some common URL’s in categories relevant to KCSIE. The categories are: 

  • Discrimination 
  • Drugs / Substance abuse 
  • Extremism 
  • Pornography 
  • Gambling 
  • Malware / Hacking 
  • Piracy and copyright theft 
  • Self-Harm 
  • Violence 

Each category will have a single test URL, which will be entered into a web browser. We will then observe whether the page is accessible, and note down the result, also taking the category that the block was enacted under, if the URL is blocked. The devices that we will be testing are:

  • Windows PC 
  • Android device (Emulated) 
  • iPhone (iOS) 
  • Chromebook 

Questions and enquiries please send to enquirires@saferinternet.org.uk