TL 9000 | Communications Industry Standard | NQA

TL 9000 defines the quality management system (QMS) requirements for design, development, production and service provision for the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry.

The TL 9000 standard was developed by and for the ICT industry in 1999 to drive consistency in the quality of products and services down the supply chain through the implementation of a common body of QMS requirements (built on top of ISO 9001) and defined performance-based measurements.

The expected benefits include improved organizational performance, overall cost reduction, increased competitiveness, enhanced customer-organization-supplier relationships, and continual improvement of products and services.

WHAT IS TL 9000?

The TL 9000 QMS standard is a product of the Business Performance community of TIA (the Telecommunications Industry Association). It has two parts, defined in two handbooks: the Requirements Handbook (RHB) and the Measurements Handbook (MHB).

The RHB defines TL 9000 requirements which are additional to those contained in ISO 9001. (In the current TL 9000:2016 (R6) revision, there are 84 additional requirements or “adders”.) The MHB defines customer-relevant, performance-based measurements which all TL-certified organizations must calculate and report monthly.

While many of the adders and measurements are applicable to any organization within the ICT supply chain, others are specific to producers of hardware or software products, or to providers of any of a range of services (such as procurement, installation, call center support or contract manufacturing).

Organizations registering for TL 9000 select one or more of these three options—hardware, software, and/or service—and identify specific product and service categories which match their offerings. These selections then define which of TL 9000’s requirements must be addressed by the QMS, and which measurements must be submitted.

TL 9000:2016 (R6)

TL 9000:2016 (R6), the current revision of the standard, was published in July 2016. It became effective on September 15, 2016, and supersedes the previous release, RHB R5.5, as of September 15, 2018. 

RHB R6.0 inherits the significant changes made in ISO 9001:2015, including the common ten-section structure and wording provided by Annex SL.

Thanks to Annex SL, TL 9000:2016 is more compatible with other management system standards, such as ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO/IEC 27001, facilitating the integration of management systems.

Two new TL 9000 adders in R6 touch on the internal audit program and sustainability assessment.

The current revision of the Measurements Handbook (which evolves independently of the Requirements Handbook) is MHB R5.5. Copies of both Handbooks, along with a wealth of TL 9000 resources, are available from the website.


  • Provides alignment with ICT industry peers
  • Enhances organizational planning and management
  • Improves overall process performance and control
  • Strengthens the organization’s customer and supplier relationships
  • Reduces the number of external audits and site visits
  • Free benchmarking! For each product or service category in which you submit measurements, you can download reports of industry-average, best-in-class and worst-in-class data across all other organizations registered in that category.


Today’s ICT operating environment magnifies the importance of quality, with its increased emphasis on sustainability, benchmarking, and positioning for next generation technologies and applications.

Competition is increasing; technologies are converging and transforming; and the resulting complexity is without precedent. TL 9000 provides value and benefits across all supply chain and reliability disciplines by providing a consistent set of quality expectations that help organizations keep up with rapid technology changes and heightened customer expectations.


With a wealth of experience providing accredited management systems certifications, NQA is ideally placed to partner with you to help you to meet customer requirements and to exceed industry expectations. NQA is one of the top half-dozen TL 9000 certification bodies worldwide, supporting close to fifty organizations in their continuing TL journeys.
Technical committees and industry relationships. NQA is highly involved in a wide variety of industry committees and standards writing teams, helping us to maintain up-to-the-minute awareness of changes within this industry.  Our TL 9000 experts are longstanding and continuously active participants in TIA’s Business Performance community and its key work groups.
Knowledge transfer supporting your organizational strategy. NQA is committed to ensuring customer awareness regarding changes in industry strategy, regulations, and standard requirements that may impact your management system approach.  Our knowledgeable, experienced and personable staff includes industry experts, published SMEs, and active TIA participants.

“You both were excellent on the audits and your bedside manner with the folks you interviewed. I appreciate working with pro's... Sanmina P20 will be much better due to your efforts.” Wayne Simmons, Sanmina Quality Manager

"As always, we appreciate your thoroughness and your deep knowledge of the TL 9000 standard." Tom Liu, Director of Delivery Programs at BroadSoft, Inc. 


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TL 9000:2016 Transition Downloads