Background and technical documents

Find out the basics about the Tick Mark.

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Background and technical documents
Background to the Tick Mark

Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Go Digital, December 2013:

“DRUK will speak with industry about taking forward the digital certification mark scheme… giving consumers’ greater assurance on the product they are buying. If you take the decision to upgrade your car, you will know that the installer knows what they’re doing”



What is the Tick Mark?

In the UK the Digital Radio “Tick Mark” identifies and gives greater assurance to consumers that the DAB digital radio products and services they are buying are future-ready and will enable them to receive the available DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations. In order to be granted use of the Tick Mark, manufacturers must meet the minimum specification. In order for the manufacturer to prove that they meet the minimum specification, they must put their product(s) (or installation services) through testing. The Tick Mark (pictured below) identifies DAB products and/or digital radio installation services. Please note: applying for the mark is voluntary.

Digital Radio Sample Logo

Why do we need a Tick Mark?

The Tick Mark was required by UK Government to help consumers make buying digital radio decisions. It helps consumers choose quality products which meet minimum functionality requirements. Furthermore, it is helpful for manufacturers, because it defines what is needed, technically, in the UK to ensure the product works where it should work. It also helps broadcasters point consumers to quality products (i.e. we use terminology such as “If you’re going to buy a digital radio, make sure you look for the Digital Tick Mark” in out communications).

When used on digital radio equipment, the mark certifies that “this radio is future-ready and can receive the available DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations”.

Which products can be approved for the Tick Mark?

The following product types are eligible for the Tick Mark:

  • DAB receivers (domestic and in-vehicle)
  • DAB handheld receivers (please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com  if you are applying for a handheld receiver)
  • HIFIs with DAB (domestic)
  • DAB head units (in-vehicle)
  • DAB adapters (in-vehicle and domestic)
  • New vehicles (in-vehicle)

The technology inside the radio equipment can also get itself approved to use the Tick Mark. In fact, in order for the receiver to be Tick Mark approved, they must be using approved technology.

Can installers use the Tick Mark too?

Yes! Retailers, franchise dealers, garages and installers are eligible for the in-vehicle installer Tick Mark. When used by in-vehicle installers, the mark certifies that the installer has completed and passed the official IMI training programme.

Once registered, the installer is entitled to use this version of the mark on their promotional materials.

Where will people see the Tick Mark?

Use of the mark will be granted on approval from Digital Radio UK. The mark can appear at retailer point of sale, on packaging, online and on other marketing materials. Once a manufacturer or installer has been granted use of the mark they will be sent brand guidelines stating how to use the mark.

The Digital Radio UK communications campaign (including on-air ads across commercial radio) will also point consumers towards the Tick Mark.

Keeping it simple, what do I need to do in order to use the Tick Mark? 

Well, it depends on who you are. If you’re a receiver manufacturer it’s different to if you’re an installer or technology provider – see here for more information. But basically, you need to:
(a) Meet a criteria
(b) Demonstrate that you can meet this criteria 
(c) Send an application form to tickmark@digitalradiouk.com

After that Digital Radio UK will give you the artwork, which you can use as per the guidelines.

There’s more information here about the details of how to apply, but simply put, that’s it!

Technical documents

Download the Tick Radio Tick Mark Technical Documents here.

Including:

  • Minimum Specification for FM, DAB and DAB+ domestic digital radio receivers
  • Minimum Specification for FM, DAB and DAB+ in-vehicle digital radio receivers
  • Technology Provider Test Specification
  • Per Product Test Specification

Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com if you are applying for a DAB handheld receiver and use the stick man test.

Any questions please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

What do I need to do to get Tick Mark approved?

If you are a receiver manufacturer, technology provider, vehicle manufacturer or installer take time to learn what you need to do to get the Tick Mark.

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What do I need to do to get Tick Mark approved?
I’m a DAB receiver manufacturer... what should I do?

What is an approved DAB receiver?

In partnership with Government, broadcasters, transmission providers, techUK, the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the supply chain, Digital Radio UK developed a scheme to recognise approved  DAB digital radio products. When used on digital radio equipment, the mark certifies that “this radio is future-ready and can receive the available DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations”. The following product-types are eligible for the Tick Mark:

  • DAB receivers (domestic and in-vehicle)
  • DAB handheld receiver (please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com if you are applying for a DAB handheld receiver)
  • Hifis with DAB (domestic)
  • DAB head units (in-vehicle)
  • DAB adapters (in-vehicle and domestic)
  • New vehicles (in-vehicle)

What is a technology provider and why do I need to use an approved technology provider?

A “technology provider” is a DAB silicon manufacturer or DAB chipset module manufacturer (technology provider chipset, module and /or software). Every DAB receiver requires a technology provider. In order to prove compliance against the Minimum Specification, a DAB receiver product must use an approved technology provider. This is a requirement. If you are unsure whether your technology provider is approved please ask them for a signed Technology Provider Application Form proving their compliance against the Minimum Specification. If you are making your own bespoke technology you will need to have this approved as well. Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com if this is the case and see below (steps 1a-4a below). For a list of approved technology providers please click here .

As part of your technology provider application, you may need to provide information about the equipment used in your technology provider test and provide Digital Radio UK with a sample module. Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com for details on how to do this.

How do I get my DAB receiver products approved?

(Please note: products aimed at the vehicle market (aftermarket and line fit) do not have to carry out a radiated sensitivity test a
s part of the Per Product test).

Step 1 – Access the technical documents here for information on the Minimum Specification criteria and testing procedure. These documents state all the equipment needed for testing.

Please note: if you would like to make a change to any of the papers please see the change request form here.

Step 2 – Use an approved technology provider with approved silicon and software. For a list of approved technology providers please click here.

Please note – It is possible to submit bespoke technology for approval (please see below for details, steps 1a-4a).

Please note – Digital Radio UK is happy to not list bespoke technology online, at the request of the manufacturer. Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com if this is the case.

Please note – Technology providers may apply for the Tick Mark even if there are specific elements of the application (service following, traffic announcements, FM) that they do not implement. It is required that technology providers submit their applications in modular form. Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com for further information.

Please note, the process for technology providers applying for use of the Tick Mark is currently changing. We will soon be requiring technology providers to (a) purchase and use a universal set of ETI files and (b) put their technology through an independent test house (the DTG in London) for testing. This will come into place asap. Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com for further information.

Step 3 – Prove your product’s ability to meet the Minimum Specification by passing the Per Product Test and completing an application form. Please find the Per Product Test documents here and the Application Form here .

It is possible to submit multiple applications based on one test. Please see here for details. Please note, that the product tested should be a fair reflection of the finished product (which would later go onto use the Tick Mark). This can be a reference model, prototype, late prototype, beta quality product, or finished product. Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com if you are applying for a DAB handheld receiver.

Step 4 – Submit your Per Product application form, along with your Approved Technology Reference Number to tickmark@digitalradiouk.com. Once complete, these documents prove compliance. In cases where the receiver does not use approved technology, please also submit your entire technology provider results. Please note: Digital Radio UK advises receiver manufacturers to carry out the Per Product Test in an approved test house. We will fast track all applications that have used an approved test house. Please click here for a list of approved test houses.

For details on how to become an approved test house please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Please note: Digital Radio UK aim to return all applications that have gone through an approved test house within 14 days. If receivers applying for use of the Tick Mark have not been tested in an approved test house then Digital Radio UK reserves the right to ask the manufacturer to carry out further testing and we will ask for pictures of the testing facility and details of the equipment used. Digital Radio UK aim to return all applications that have not gone through an approved test house within 1 month.

Please note: products aimed at the vehicle market (aftermarket and line fit) do not have to carry out a radiated sensitivity test as part of the Per Product test. The two main components of the Per Product Test for an in-vehicle DAB receiver manufacturer are:

  • Testing the receiver’s ability to retune
  • A receiver sensitivity test (radiated or conducted)

Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com if you are applying for a DAB handheld receiver.

Please note, if you are applying as a product intended to be used in a vehicle, Digital Radio UK recommends that you carry out a field test.

Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com for the current service following test route.

Step 5 – If the application is approved, Digital Radio UK will then send the applicant a set of “Brand Guidelines” and a Authorised User License. The brand guidelines state the rules around use of the Tick Mark. You must sign and return the Authorised User License to tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Step 6 – Once Digital Radio UK has received the signed Authorised User License, we will then send the applicant the logos for use on POS, online etc.  

How do I get my DAB receiver products re submitted using the existing product but with new technology?

Step 1a – Complete the Application Form here.

Step 2a – Submit your Per Product application form, along with your Existing Approved Product Reference Number and your new Approved Technology Reference Number to tickmark@digitalradiouk.com. Once complete, this document proves compliance.

Step 3a – If the application is approved, Digital Radio UK will then send the applicant a set of “Brand Guidelines” and a Authorised User License. The brand guidelines state the rules around use of the Tick Mark. You must sign and return the Authorised User License to tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Step 4a – Once Digital Radio UK has received the signed Authorised User License, we will then send the applicant the logos for use on POS, online etc.

I am a vehicle manufacturer... what should I do?

If you are a vehicle manufacturer who would like to submit a DAB product to become an approved receiver and be granted use of the tick mark, please see below.

What is an approved DAB receiver?

In partnership with Government, the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and the automotive industry, digital radio UK developed a scheme to mark out approved DAB digital radio products. The digital radio Certification Mark (“tick mark”) identifies and gives greater assurance to consumers that the DAB digital radio products they are buying are “future-ready and can receive the available DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations”. Please note: vehicle manufacturers are not required to complete a Per Product Test.

What is a technology provider and why do I need to use an approved technology provider?

A “technology provider” is a DAB silicon manufacturer or DAB chipset module manufacturer (technology provider chipset, module and /or software). Every DAB receiver requires a technology provider. In order to prove compliance against the Minimum Specification, a DAB receiver product must use an approved technology provider. This is a requirement. If you are unsure whether your technology provider is approved please ask them for a signed Technology Provider Application Form proving their compliance against the Minimum Specification. If you are making your own bespoke technology you will need to have this approved as well. Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com if this is the case and see below (steps 1a-4a below). For a list of approved technology providers please click here .

As part of your technology provider application, you may need to provide information about the equipment used in your technology provider test and provide Digital Radio UK with a sample module. Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com for details on how to do this.

How do I get my DAB receiver product approved?

Step 1 – Use an approved technology provider. For a list of approved technology providers please see here.

Step 2 – Email a signed Application Form stating that your DAB receiver product meets the minimum specification to tickmark@digitalradiouk.com. Please note: vehicle manufacturers are not required to complete a Per Product Test. Please also note: we aim to return all applications within seven days.

Step 3 – If the application is approved, digital radio UK will then send the applicant a set of “Brand Guidelines” and an Authorised User License. The brand guidelines state the rules around use of the tick mark. You must sign and return the Authorised User License to tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Step 4 – You will then be sent the logos for use on POS, online etc.

I’m an installer... what should I do?

What is the digital radio Registered Installer Scheme

In partnership with Government, the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and the automotive industry, digital radio UK developed a scheme to mark out registered digital radio installers using the digital radio tick mark. This scheme is now being delivered in partnership with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). When used by in-vehicle installers, the mark certifies that the installer has completed and passed the official IMI training programme and is a Registered Installer.

Why should I train and become a Registered Installer?

The digital radio Certification Mark (“tick mark”) identifies and gives greater assurance to consumers that the DAB digital radio services they are buying are future-ready. This scheme is intended for technicians whose job role involves the installation of DAB radio components – to either fit replacement units or to upgrade existing audio units to receive DAB signal.

How can I become a registered installer?

The application is split into two halves for installers. Firstly, the individual installer must go through the accreditation to become an registered installer. And secondly, the organisation (which the installer is working for) must meet several organisational criteria.

Step 1 – Find and approach an Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) Centre (usually a trade association, manufacturer or employer). For a list of ATA Centres please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.  

Please note: as an individual, you must train, test and accredit yourself at an ATA Centre in order to be granted use of the tick mark. This is a requirement.

Please note: If you would like to become an ATA Centre please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Step 2 – As an individual, complete training at an ATA Centre. The training requirement will vary depending on your current experience. The cost of training will vary according to the ATA Centre. See here for a full criteria of everything the installer and installation organisation needs to do in order to be granted use of the tick mark. 

For example – the individual installer applicant will be expected to complete practical and theory tests on the following:

  • Explanation to the customer of the performance of products available
  • Installing DAB replacement head unit
  • Installing DAB adapter unit
  • Antenna installation
  • Testing the fitment of DAB installation
  • Investigation and resolution of issues

 

If you have any further questions please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Step 3 – Complete an accreditation test at an ATA Centre.

Step 4 – If you pass the accreditation test, it is your responsibility to ensure that the ATA Centre informs the IMI and digital radio UK that you have passed the test. Please also email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Step 5 – In order to mark yourself out as a digital radio Registered Installation organisation, applicants must meet further organisational criteria. See here and below for details.

  • At least 1 in 4 of the installers working within your organisation must have completed and passed the IMI’s “DAB Installer Accreditation” Test at an IMI Centre.
  • The organisation must also have a satisfactory documented dispute resolution process in place.
  • Have appropriate insurances
  • Have and display a health and safety policy
  • Have a documented customer care policy
  • Maintain sufficient customer records

Please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com if you are unsure about meeting these criteria.

Step 6 – You will then be sent the logos for use on POS, online etc. If you are not sent these, please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Which installers are currently Tick Mark approved? 

Please see all the approved installers here

How to make a change request

If you would like to make a change request to any of the Tick Mark processes or technical documents please complete this form and email it to tickmark@digitalradiouk.com

Multiple applications for product variants

Digital Radio UK is happy to consider multiple applications for product variants based on the same chassis/design, based on one receiver test, subject to an appropriate level of commonality between products. 

Digital Radio UK will not consider multiple applications based on one receiver test if there are variations between the receivers of a nature likely to affect compliance. As receivers with an attached antenna are more susceptible to performance variation arising from model differences the requirements for commonality are tighter.

Receivers supplied with an antenna that is either attached, integral or is designed for use in close proximity to the radio (eg domestic radios). 

Where a manufacturer submits multiple applications based on one receiver test,they must confirm that the following items are identicalbetween receivers:

  • The module/RF circuitry and any circuit boards, their position and orientation and any software elements on which compliance depends – This is the basis for the receiver’s functionality and should be identical for applications of this nature
  • Additional functionality – if a receiver includes wifi or Bluetooth for example, this can have a significant effect on sensitivity. [COMMENT – We may want to think about whether we’d be willing to consider approval of multiple products on the basis of submission of a worst-case example (eg a product with those options active) ]
  • Case, wiring/cabling together with physical size and orientation of display and any battery pack – the physical layout of the circuitry and any metalwork can have a significant effect on sensitivity and variants will inevitably have different cable layouts, particularly where cases are different. [COMMENT – It may be that some case changes would be benign eg a model with a larger plastic foot
  • The antenna, its positioning and any ground plane – the type of antenna and any ground plane, their dimensions and positioning relative to the rest of the receiver can have a significant effect on the receiver’s sensitivity

Receivers designed for use with a screened receive section or case and with a coaxial connection to a remote antenna (eg in-vehicle radios, in-vehicle adaptors, hi-fi tuners). 

Where a manufacturer submits multiple applications based on one receiver test, they must confirm the following about receivers:

  • The module/circuit board and any software elements on which compliance depends are identical – This is the basis for the receiver’s functionality and should be identical for applications of this nature.
  • Alternate features and functionality – that any alternate features or functionality do not interact with the product in a way that detrimentally affects compliance (eg sensitivity impacted by interference conducted back along power rails).

Please note, the above is meant as a guide. If you have questions about this please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Digital Radio Tick Mark approvals

Which products, technology providers, test houses and installers are Tick Mark approved?

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Digital Radio Tick Mark approvals
Approved DAB receivers / products
Approved technology providers
Approved test houses

Approved test houses

Digital Radio UK advises receiver manufacturers to carry out the Per Product Test in an approved test house. We will fast track all applications that have used an approved test house. Digital Radio UK aim to return all applications that have gone through an approved test house within two weeks. 

If receivers applying for use of the Tick Mark have not been tested in an approved test house then Digital Radio UK reserves the right to ask the manufacturer for additional information and in some cases we may ask the manufacturer to carry out further testing. For example, we may ask for pictures of the testing facility and details of the equipment used. This is at the discretion of Digital Radio UK. Digital Radio UK aim to return all applications that have not gone through an approved test house within one month. 

List of approved test houses

The following test houses have been accredited to perform the Tick Mark tests. 

Digital Television Group

Intertek

For details on how to become an approved test house please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com.

Approved installers and dealerships

Please see all the approved installers and dealerships here.

Application forms needed to apply for the Tick Mark

Download all the forms you’ll need.

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Application forms needed to apply for the Tick Mark
Per Product Application Form download
Technology provider application form download
Vehicle manufacturers application form download
Get in touch

If you have any further questions about the Tick Mark please email tickmark@digitalradiouk.com. We are a small team and will be able to respond to your queries flexibly..