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Certification Programs

 

The United States Postal Service®, in cooperation with the mailing industry, developed certification programs to evaluate the accuracy of software and equipment offered by Vendors and Licensees that provide mailing related services to customers.

CASS™ System

Evaluates address-matching software and improves the quality of ZIP+4®, CRIS, and 5-digit coding accuracy.

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The CASS system improves the accuracy of carrier route, 5-digit ZIP®, ZIP + 4®, and delivery point codes that appear on mailpieces. CASS is offered to all mailers, service bureaus, and software vendors who want to evaluate their address-matching software and improve the quality of their ZIP + 4, CRIS, and 5-digit coding accuracy. This process is graded by the United States Postal Service®, National Customer Support Center (NCSC), and the results returned to mailers in order to provide useful diagnostics for correcting deficiencies.

CASS enables the Postal Service™ to evaluate the accuracy of address matching software programs in the following areas: (1) 5-digit coding, (2) ZIP + 4/ delivery point (DP) coding, (3) carrier route coding, (4) DPV®, (5) DSF2®, (6) LACSLink® (7) eLOT® and (8), RDI™ products. CASS allows vendors/mailers the opportunity to test their address-matching software packages and, after achieving a certain percentage of compliance, to be certified by the Postal Service. CASS does not measure the accuracy of ZIP + 4 delivery point, 5-digit ZIP, or carrier route codes in a mailer's existing files. CASS enables mailers to measure and diagnose internally written, commercially-available, address-matching software packages. The effectiveness of service bureaus' matching software can also be measured.

There are two stages in the CASS process: Stage I, which is optional, and Stage II, which is required for certification.

STAGE I - A TEST WITH ANSWERS

CASS Stage I is a self-test that helps developers measure and diagnose the
performance of their address-matching software when it is applied to a CASS test address file. The Stage I results assist developers with software debugging and troubleshooting in preparation for Stage II of the CASS certification process. The CASS file contains approximately 150,000 test addresses extracted from the City State and ZIP + 4 files with samples of all types of addressing used around the country. (Some test addresses have been changed for test purposes, and not all records have valid ZIP + 4 codes or valid addresses.)

Customers can evaluate the accuracy of their address-matching software by applying the correct carrier route, five-digit, and ZIP + 4 codes and by comparing the applied codes with the correct codes provided by the Postal Service. The results of Stage I processing are not reviewed by the NCSC and have no effect on CASS certification.

The Stage I file can be downloaded electronically from the Rapid Information Bulletin Board System (RIBBS) web site at http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/cassmass. For more information on downloading Stage I files from the Internet, contact the CASS Department at 800-642-2914.

STAGE II - A TEST WITHOUT ANSWERS

CASS Stage II is graded by NCSC and is used to evaluate address-matching software performance by processing a test address file. The CASS Stage II file contains approximately 150,000 test addresses that are extracted and presented in the same makeup and mixture as Stage I-only no answers are provided. Customers use their address-matching software to apply the correct codes.

Match rates using CASS Certified™ software vary greatly depending on address hygiene, the quality of addresses used, and the timeliness of the customer database update applications. An address with an incorrect five-digit ZIP™ Code, ZIP + 4 code, carrier route code, or an address with no ZIP + 4 code or failure to process using DPV or LACSLink can contribute to delays in processing mail.

To be CASS Certified, participants must pass with a minimum score of 98.5 percent for ZIP + 4, carrier route, five-digit and LACSLink. 100 percent for delivery point coding, eLOT, DPV, RDI and Perfect Address. CASS certification is valid until the end of the current annual period (i.e., from August 1 of one year through July 31 of the next). To remain CASS certified for each annual period, developers must reapply for certification and meet the minimum accuracy requirements during Stage II testing. Certified vendors who wish to be listed are published in the CASS/MASS Certified Products Guide located at http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/vendors.

Links
CASS™ & MASS™ Guidelines CD-ROM

Certified Vendors and Licensees

CASS Technical Guide

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CASS & MASS™ Certified Vendors and Licensees

A list of licensees and vendors that have been certified through CASS and MASS address matching software.

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The following is a list of Vendors and Licensees that have been certified through CASS™ and MASS™ address matching software. For some of the products listed there are 2 files; a formatted file for viewing and a text file for optional downloading.

Current Certification Cycle
All certified Products TXT

DPV® Licensees TXT | Formatted-TXT

DSF2™ Licensees TXT |Formatted-TXT

eLOT® Vendors TXT | Formatted-TXT

LACSLink® Vendors PDF

MLOCR Hardware Manufacturers TXT | Formatted-TXT

MLOCR Mailers/Users TXT | Formatted-TXT

MLOCR Service Bureaus TXT | Formatted-TXT

NCOALink Full Service Provider Licensees PDF

NCOALink® Limited Service Provider Licensees PDF

RDI™ Licensees TXT | Formatted-TXT

Software Mailers/Users TXT | Formatted-TXT

Software Manufacturers TXT | Formatted-TXT

Vendor/Service Bureaus TXT | Formatted-TXT

Z4CHANGE TXT | Formatted-TXT

Previous Certification Cycle
All certified Products TXT

Carrier Route Utility TXT | Formatted-TXT

DPV Licensees TXT | Formatted-TXT

DSF2 Licensees TXT | Formatted-TXT

eLOT Vendors TXT | Formatted-TXT

MLOCR Hardware Manufacturers TXT | Formatted-TXT

MLOCR Mailers/Users TXT | Formatted-TXT

MLOCR Service Bureaus TXT | Formatted-TXT

Software Mailers/Users TXT | Formatted-TXT

Software Manufacturers TXT | Formatted-TXT

Vendor/Service Bureaus TXT | Formatted-TXT

Z4CHANGE TXT | Formatted-TXT

Links
Confirmation Services Certified Vendors List PDF | RTF

MAC™ and MAC Gold™ Manifest Certified Software Products List

PAVE™ Certified Products

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CASS and MASS Guidelines CD-ROM

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The CASS and MASS Guidelines CD-ROM is a single source containing all CASS- and MASS-related information. Reference material includes technical guides, address-matching guidelines, as well as the CASS/MASS guidelines, with an open and save document feature. There are also search capabilities throughout.

The CD-ROM is available by calling the National Customer Support Center's
CASS Department at 800-642-2914.

Delivery Confirmation™ Service

A cost-effective, efficient means of obtaining delivery information for commercial mailers and retail customers.

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The Postal Service™ now offers commercial mailers and retail customers a cost-effective, efficient means of obtaining delivery information: Delivery Confirmation.

Delivery Confirmation consists of 2 options: Electronic Service and Retail Service. With both options, mailers receive information about the delivery status of Priority Mail® service or Package Services, including the date, time, and ZIP Code™ of delivery. Other information available through Delivery Confirmation includes attempted deliveries, forwarding, and returns. All of this information is accessible through the Internet or via electronic file transfer.

Other special services such as insured mail, Registered Mail™, collect on delivery (COD), and special handling can also be combined with Delivery Confirmation. Return receipt service or restricted delivery may be used only if purchased in connection with insurance (more than $200), COD, or registry service. Fees for all special services are in addition to required postage.

Electronic Service Option
The electronic service option provides mailers information indicating the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery of a mailed item. With the electronic service option, mailers transmit a file containing information about their Delivery Confirmation packages to the United States Postal Service® host computer using either the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standard. The Electronic Service option is not available at USPS retail counters.

Delivery information may be obtained either by downloading the entire file containing information about the packages in the mailing or making individual inquiries via the Internet. Mailing receipts are not provided; however, a PS Form 3877, Firm Mailing Book for Accountable Mail, submitted by the mailer will provide proof of receipt.

The Electronic Service option allows your company to develop its own mailing profiles and analysis reports based on the information in the file we provide you. This option also allows customers to print their own labels or use preprinted labels. If you choose to take advantage of the Electronic Service option, you must complete a testing and certification process.

Retail Service Option
A Retail Service option is available at Post Offices at the time of mailing. It provides a mailing receipt to the mailer. Delivery information can be obtained by accessing the USPS web site at USPS.com or by calling 800-222-1811. You may mail retail Delivery Confirmation items at a post office, branch, or station or give it to a rural carrier.

Retail Service option customers may print their own labels or use preprinted labels. If you are printing your own labels, you will be provided with a test kit by the National Customer Support Center (NCSC). The purpose of the test is to certify that the barcodes you are printing meet USPS standards and specifications.

MAC™ Certification Process

Evaluates USPS® manifest mailing products manufactured by vendors to determine software accuracy in listing and calculating postage for identical- and/or nonidentical-weight permit imprint mailpieces.

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MAC certification process is designed in cooperation with the mailing industry to evaluate USPS manifest mailing products manufactured by vendors. MAC determines whether manifest mailing software accurately lists and calculates postage for identical- and/or nonidentical-weight permit imprint mailpieces according to the standards of the DMM®, IMM®, and Publication 401, Guide to the Manifest Mailing System reference manuals. Currently, this program is only available to software manufacturers who develop USPS single-piece itemized manifest mailing software for mailers seeking to generate manifested mailings. Mailers who develop manifest software for in-house use only and presorted mail/batch-listed manifest software products will be included in this program at a later date.

Although MAC evaluates and certifies USPS manifest mailing products, the program does not guarantee acceptance of customer mail prepared using MAC-certified software. However, MAC does provide national approval of computer-generated manifest listings, mailing statement facsimiles, and other USPS forms required for manifest mailings. Participation in this program is voluntary, and each user is responsible for proper software installation, use, and quality control maintenance.

MAC evaluates product accuracy by providing test data in mailpiece description files. Each record in the file represents a specific mailpiece and is described by attributes such as name and address of recipient, class of mail, processing category, weight in pounds and ounces, special service type, dollar value, identification number, and country code.

For each specific manifesting category tested, the USPS evaluates the documentation for listing, class, rate, and postage accuracy. In addition, the accuracy, format, and content of facsimile mailing statements and any other postal forms (where applicable) are evaluated. If the USPS determines that the manifest mailing product satisfies all applicable standards, the developer is issued a MAC certificate for the product in that category. Certification is valid for one year or until the end of the current cycle. Vendors whose products are certified in any or all categories receive a MAC certificate and have their name, address, and manifest mailing product name and version number published in the Postal Bulletin or a list of certified customers.

Links
MAC Manifest Certified Software Products List PDF
MAC Gold Manifest Certified Software Products List PDF

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MAC Batch™ Certification Process

Evaluate USPS manifest/presort mailing products manufactured by software developers to determine whether the mailing software accurately calculates postage for non-identical piece mailings.

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MAC Batch is a certification process designed in cooperation with the mailing industry to evaluate USPS manifest/presort mailing products manufactured by software developers. MAC Batch determines whether the manifest/presort mailing software accurately calculates postage for non-identical piece mailings submitted under the permit imprint payment method in accordance with standards published in the DMM® reference manual and Publication 401, Guide to the Manifest Mailing System. MAC Batch is available only to software companies that develop manifest/presort products for resale or internal use.

Although MAC Batch evaluates and certifies USPS manifest/presort mailing products, the program does not guarantee acceptance of customer mail prepared using MAC Batch-certified software. However, MAC Batch does provide national approval of computer-generated manifest listings, postage statement facsimiles, and other USPS forms required for manifest mailings. Participation in this program is voluntary, and each user is responsible for proper software installation, use, and quality control maintenance.

MAC Batch Certified Products Listing › 
MAC Batch Order Form 
PDF 

DMM Reference Manual
Publication 401, Guide to the Manifest Mailing System PDF 

For more information on MAC Batch certification, call the National Customer Support Center at 800-331-5746.

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MASS™ System

Evaluates the ability of MLOCRs, RVE systems, and encoding stations to process address information and apply an accurate delivery point barcode.

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MASS certification is an extension of the CASS™ system, which is a process designed in cooperation with the mailing industry to improve the accuracy of postal codes that appear on mail.

MASS certification is a process similar to CASS but is designed for certification for Multiline Optical Character Readers (MLOCRs), Remote Video Encoding (RVE), and encoding stations. The MASS certification process is designed to evaluate the ability of MLOCRs and encoding stations to process address information and apply an accurate delivery point barcode (DPBC) to a mailpiece. However, RVE and LVE is designed to evaluate the ability of the entire remote or local video encoding operation to process address information and apply an accurate DPBC to a mailpiece.

The MASS certification cycle is comprised of the following phases…

1. Software manufacturer certification
2. Hardware manufacturer certification
3. RVE/LVE manufacturer certification
4. User certification

All MASS tests are similar to CASS Stage II tests in that the performance of address-matching software and barcode application hardware is evaluated after it has processed a test file. The National Customer Support Center (NCSC) issues MASS certification once the required level of accuracy is achieved.

MASS certification is an annual requirement and is valid from the certification date until the end of any current annual period (i.e., from August 1 of one year through July 31 of the next). Customers must reapply for certification and meet the accuracy requirements each year to remain certified and avoid interrupted service to their customers.

MASS certification is mandatory for mailers using MLOCRs, RVE, LVE, or encoding stations to print DPBCs on mailpieces submitted for mailing at discounted automation rates (see DMM 708.3.0).

Links
CASS & MASS Guidelines CD-ROM

Certified Vendors and Licensees

MASS Technical Guides

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Periodicals Accuracy, Grading, and Evaluation

Evaluates the accuracy of publications and print planning (ppp) software in calculating virtual copy weight and percentage of advertising.

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The Periodicals Accuracy, Grading, and Evaluation (PAGE) program is a process designed in cooperation with the publishing industry to evaluate publication and print planning (ppp) software and to determine its accuracy in calculating virtual copy weight and the percentage of advertising according to DMM® standards.

Participation in the program is purely voluntary. Although this program evaluates and validates copy weight and advertising percentage calculations, PAGE does not eliminate physical review of issues or annual audits of Periodicals prepared using PAGE-certified software. However, PAGE does allow Periodicals mailers to forego the submission of marked copies for every edition of every issue, unless otherwise requested by postal officials.

PAGE certification is available to developers of software products and the software users. This program will test and certify the calculation accuracy of ppp software on the product level. On the user level, the competency and general knowledge of Periodicals mailings as set forth in the DMM and applicable Customer Support Rulings (CSRs) is tested. Additionally, any mailer (publisher) wishing to forego the submission of marked copies must be authorized for acceptance of Periodicals weights from PAGE certified software through the New York Rates and Classification Service Center (NY RCSC). Authorization involves completing and returning the Application to Accept Publisher’s Weights for Periodicals along with all required materials to the NY RCSC.

The USPS defines a PAGE-certified software product as a publication and print planning (ppp) software specifically written to operate on a particular platform or operating system and assigned a specific version number. Many products use different language compilers to process files within different operating systems or on different hardware platforms. Therefore, to maintain the highest quality standards, PAGE will certify a developer’s product that operates on a particular platform at the current version number. The developer may submit all platforms or as many as he/she chooses for certification. PAGE will evaluate each publication and print planning software product platform on its own merits and will issue a specific certification for that
platform if warranted.

For additional information on the PAGE program, contact the PAGE coordinator at the National Customer Support Center at 800-238-3150, x4632. You can also mail questions or comments to:

NATIONAL CUSTOMER SUPPORT CENTER
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
225 N. HUMPHREYS BLVD STE 501
MEMPHIS TN 38188-1001

Links
Additional PAGE Information

PAVE™ Program

Evaluates the accuracy of presort software in sorting address files.

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The PAVE program is a process designed in cooperation with the mailing industry to evaluate presort software and determine its accuracy in sorting address files according to DMM® standards. PAVE is available only to software and hardware developers, i.e., companies that develop presort software or manufacture presorting equipment for resale or internal use. Participation in the program is purely voluntary.

Although this program evaluates and validates presort products manufactured by developers, PAVE does not guarantee acceptance of mail prepared using PAVE-certified hardware and/or software; however, it does provide national approval of computer-generated facsimiles of USPS postage statements, standardized documentation, and other presort documentation.

The USPS defines a PAVE-certified software product as a presorting product with source code specifically written to operate on a particular platform or operating system and assigned a specific version number. Many products use different language compilers to process files within different operating systems or on different hardware platforms. Therefore, to maintain the highest standards of quality assurance, PAVE will certify each product that operates on a particular platform at the current version number. One platform will be tested completely according to the test files ordered, and additional platforms will be tested randomly. The developer may either submit all platforms or just a few for certification. PAVE will evaluate each platform of the presort product separately and will issue a certificate for each platform that meets the PAVE accuracy requirements.

For more information concerning PAVE, contact the National Customer Support Center at 800-238-3150.

Links
PAVE™ Certified Products

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Zone Analysis Program

Assists mailers in determining the proper postage to apply to Periodicals mailings.

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The Zone Analysis Program (ZAP) provides a common platform to measure the quality of Zone assignments, ensuring the accuracy of postage rates claimed in accordance with requirements set forth in the DMM® reference manual. Software products that successfully complete the ZAP testing process are identified as ZAP approved.

The United States Postal Service provides Zone Chart information in an electronic format to assist mailers in developing software that provides accurate zone assignment to mail. To qualify for ZAP approval, the software developer must subscribe to the electronic National Zone Chart Matrix, and their software must incorporate the most recent version of the National Zone Chart Matrix.

Publishers who use ZAP-approved software no longer have to go through the zone analysis during their annual Postage Payment Review. After ZAP approval, the publisher's Postal forms and qualification reports will indicate 'ZAP' and the Zone Chart Matrix date of the data used.

The most current Zone Chart matrix must be used at all times to qualify for ZAP approval. For more information, contact the National Customer Support Center at 800-238-3150.

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Zone Analysis Program