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KCS Verified v5 Instructions

What is the KCSsm Verified v5 Program?

The KCS Verified v5 program is opportunity for vendors to demonstrate their support of the Consortium for Service Innovation’s Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) practices. The program is open to all vendors who supply knowledge management functionality. The KCS Verified v5 designation is for major releases of products which successfully complete the KCS Verified v5 process. Membership in the Consortium is not a pre-requisite, however, for those companies who are members, there are additional benefits such as participation in the KCS program team and the opportunity to publish joint case studies and white papers.

What is KCS? ...Knowledge-Centered Support

Knowledge-Centered Support is a proven, vendor-neutral methodology that was developed and put to the test by the members of the not-for-profit Consortium for Service Innovation. The membership is made up of a collection of leading customer support organizations. The goal of KCS is to capture and structure an interaction and reuse the knowledge gained. The result is improved operational efficiency, employee moral, and customer satisfaction. KCS is not just about the technology but the principles and practices that have to surround the tools in order to be successful. Consortium members continue to hone the KCS process. Meanwhile, they and many other support organizations are adopting these proven practices.

Benefits of KCS Verified v5 for the Vendor

The Consortium has developed a list of minimum functional criteria and a set of scenarios through which vendors demonstrate their tools' ability to support the KCS practices.  Once the formal process of verification is complete for a product, the vendor will have specific rights and privileges to marketing materials. These include:

  • KCS Verified v5 logo for use on software packaging, marketing materials, web site and trade show advertising.
  • A KCS Verified v5 Style Guide defining acceptable use of the logo and color information.
  • Guidelines for a quote from the Consortium should the vendor wish to issue a press release about attaining KCS Verified v5 status.
  • Additionally, a listing of Verified v5 products with links to the vendor’s web page is maintained on the KCS Academy web site (linked from the Consortium web site).


While it is not necessary for vendors of KCS Verified products to be members of the Consortium for Service Innovation, there are additional benefits for vendors with KCS Verified products who are Consortium members.  As a benefit of membership, the vendor can participate in the continuing evolution of KCS by attending the Consortium's program team meetings. Additionally, the Consortium will support Verified Members by participating in or contributing to the following (vendor-hosted) yearly activities, including promoting Consortium-related activities through KCS Academy channels.

  • Presentations at user group meetings (about KCS or other Consortium initiatives)
  • Webinars
  • White papers
  • Briefings for product management and product architects


For Verified vendors who are not members of the Consortium for Service Innovation, the above services are available for a fee.

Benefits of KCS Verified v5 for the Consumer

The Consortium has developed a list of minimum functional criteria and a set of scenarios through which vendors demonstrate their tools' ability to support the KCS practices.  The consumer looking to purchase a technology to support KCS v5 functionality can use the vendors’ completed Self-Assessment Worksheets as a starting point for a request for a proposal (RFP) and as a learning tool to start the conversation.  The completed Self-Assessment Worksheets can be obtained from the tool’s vendor.  This verification does not replace the consumers responsibility to do due diligence in the tool selection process.

Steps to Get KCS Verified v5


  1. Review the KCS Verified v5 Instructions (this document)
    1. These instructions contain the overview of the program.  The candidate product(s) for designation must meet all the mandatory requirements and demonstrate all mandatory criteria.
  2. Obtain KCS Practices v5 (or v6) Certification from the KCS Academy
    1. The representative from the candidate company who will be conducting the demo of the criteria must hold a KCS Practices v5 Certification.
  3. Complete application and submit payment.
    1. Send an email to info@thekcsacademy.net with the following:
      1. the candidate company name and contact info
      2. product name and version number
      3. incident tracking system name and version number and any other additional software requirements
      4. the name and title of the representative who will be conducting the demo
      5. proof of that representative’s KCS Practices v5 (or v6) certification
    2. Receive and pay invoice.
  4. Complete Self-Assessment Worksheets and a copy of the reports and submit
    1. The Self-Assessment and the copies of the reports is a structure for vendors to describe their offerings and additional features and make it available as part of their KCS Verified v5 program.
    2. The vendor completes all worksheets of the KCS Verified v5 self-assessment for the candidate product(s).
  5. Schedule online demo of functionality
    1. When the vendor determines that the product meets the criteria, they request an assessment date.  Assessments are done online via a web session.  The demo should be scheduled at least 3 weeks prior to desired demo date.
    2. The demo of the criteria must be completed within two hours.
  6. Conduct demo following KCS Verified v5 Technology Demo Scripts
    1. KCS Academy staff will confirm the KCS functionality criteria. (For the list of required functionality and scenarios see the Technology Demo Script at www.thekcsacademy.net/get-verified).   The demo must follow the KCS Verified v5 scenarios, not a generic sales presentation.
  7. Sign and submit License and Logo Agreement
    1. If the KCS Academy confirms the product meets the criteria, a license agreement is signed.
    2. If the KCS Academy believes there are criteria that are not met, the vendor is informed of the missing criteria and the KCS Verified v5 designation is declined.  The vendor may choose to make product improvements to address the missing functionality and demonstrate it within one year of initial payment without an additional fee. 
    3. The KCS Verified v5 License Agreement is entered into by the vendor who seeks to have their product(s) carry the designation of “KCS Verified v5.” It outlines the conditions of participation, disclaimers and conditions of the KCS Verified v5 program.
  8. Receive KCS Verified v5 Certificate and Logos
    1. The KCS Academy will mail the Certificate and make the logos available for download
  9. Publish and Market KCS Verified v5 product
    1. Vendor will submit the logo to be posted on the KCS Verified v5 product page.
    2. Vendor issues press release and is able to use the KCS Verified v5 logo subject to the Style Guide.
    3. Products remain on the KCS Verified v5 products page for an initial 12 months. After that time they must be renewed to remain on the list.
    4. Vendor makes completed KCS Verified v5 Self-Assessment Worksheets available.
  10. Complete the Annual Renewal and Updated Product Release Payment form
    1. KCS v5 verification will be issued and renewed for products by number release.
    2. To confirm that the latest iteration continues to support KCS functionality, all verified products must be renewed annually or when there is a new product release (whichever comes first)
    3. Any material change that would nullify the functional requirements requires a complete re-verification.

KCS Verified v5 Pricing Updated January 2016


KCS Verified v5 Application Fee


  • Non-refundable
  • Valid for 1 year from application payment date
  • Processing Self-Assessment
  • Technology Demonstration

KCS Verified v5 Designation Fee

  • Payable when Verified designation is awarded
  • Posting logo on KCS Verified v5 products page
  • Annual Update/Renewal for 1 year

KCS Verified v5 Application fee for  previously KCS Verified products


  • Non-refundable
  • Valid for 1 year from application payment date
  • Processing Self-Assessment
  • Technology Demonstration

KCS Verified v5 Designation fee for previously KCS Verified products

  • Posting logo on KCS Verified v5 products page
  • Annual Update/Renewal for 1 year

KCS Practices v5 Certification


  • Certification test based on the KCS Foundations Workshop, KCS Practices Guide, and KCS Adoption Guide

Annual Renewal


  • Complete the Annual Renewal and Updated Product Release Payment for

*plus any applicable taxes

Additional Resources

See www.thekcsacademy.net/get-verified for additional resources including Self Assessment Worksheets and the Technology Demo Script.

KCS Community Rules of Conduct

Do No Harm: Be responsible and don't misrepresent yourself, claim false credentials or expertise, or give advice in a way that might cause someone harm. Don't incite or advocate harmful, derogatory or illegal practices.

Most of what the Consortium for Service Innovation and the KCS Academy Inc. creates is offered with a "right to use with attribution" agreement. Two exceptions to the right to use with attribution are the licensed materials for the KCS workshops and the contents of the Certification Exams. "Do No Harm" includes do no harm with respect to the integrity of the licensed materials and the value of the Certification Exams. You agree not to copy, distribute or discuss the questions and/or answers on any of the Academy's Certification Exams or in any way diminish the value and integrity of the Certification programs.

Sunshine Rule: Don't do anything that you would be embarrassed about having covered in an article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. And, if in doubt, don't.

Communications: This is your network. Most people have a common-sense feel for what is and what is not appropriate in the network and generally the network polices itself.  The following boundaries of acceptability or ground rules are offered for reference should the need arise.

Offensive Messages: Messages personally attacking, calling names, or otherwise harassing or being disparaging to another member, or any ethnic or religious group will be deleted. Offensive and/or vulgar language is not appropriate.

Adult Content/Illegal Activity: Messages containing sexually oriented or suggestive dialog, content, or links to such will be deleted. Messages with links to or suggesting illegal activity will also be deleted. Either could result in loss of access to the network.

Religious and Political Topics: These topics generally just cause bad feelings and do not align with the intent of the KCS network.

Other: The Academy will make an effort to remove ANY objectionable content in a reasonable time. We reserve the right to remove any content without providing a reason.

Vendor Specific Rules: There are vendors and consultants who have products and services that may help people resolve issues or increase their success with KCS. These vendors and consultants are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the discussions. Product features or service offerings may be discussed in response to an inquiry, however, to avoid the intrusion of overt sales messages in network interactions vendors are asked to:

  • Restrict postings to responses to customer inquiries which may be directly resolved by your product, and please indicate specifically how your product or service may resolve the issue.
  • Exploiting (spamming) the members of the network for personal or company gain will not be tolerated.
  • Clearly specify your vendor affiliation (with more than just an email address please).
  • Do not discuss pricing or purchase requirements. Instead, engage outside the KCS network via -mail, phone, or your web site.

Most vendors currently participating add value, but failure to adhere to any of these rules will result in content being deleted and possible loss of access to the KCS network. (Not to mention the bad image inappropriate behavior will create for your company.)

Lack of adherence to these rules of conduct will be grounds for loss of certification status and exclusion from the KCS network at the KCS Academy's discretion.

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Last modified
09:08, 1 Mar 2017


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