Thread certification

Thread Group requires certification for devices using the Thread protocol. You can follow different scenarios to assure that your Nordic Semiconductor device based on nRF Connect SDK becomes a Thread-certified product.

For general information about the certification process, check the Thread Group’s certification information.

Thread certification options

Depending on your development approach, you have several certification options when using Nordic Semiconductor devices.

Certification by inheritance without modifications to binaries

If you are developing a Thread product with nRF Connect SDK, you can apply for certifying this product by inheritance as an official Thread certified product. This is possible because the Thread stack and devices delivered by Nordic Semiconductor are already certified by Thread Group. As long as you do not modify their initial functionality, your product is eligible for certification by inheritance.

This scenario offers the most simplified and potentially the shortest certification process at the lowest cost. It is available to Thread Group members at Implementer tier or higher.

Check OpenThread pre-built libraries for the latest available OpenThread certified libraries with nRF Connect SDK and their usage.

Certification by inheritance with modifications to binaries

If your solution uses the same version of the OpenThread stack as the one used in the precompiled, certified binaries, but you made modifications within the operating parameters defined by Thread Group, you need to contact Thread Group to check if certification by inheritance is still possible.

You must officially list all changes with a detailed explanation in your application. Based on this list, Thread Group can accept or reject your application for certification by inheritance.

Certification at ATL

If your solution modifies the certified functionality of the stack, or if Thread Group rejects your application for certification by inheritance, you need to undergo the full certification procedure at an Authorized Test Lab (ATL). Only Contributor and Sponsor tier members of Thread Group can apply for certification by an ATL.

Thread Test Harness integration

To certify a Thread product, all certification test cases must be run on the Thread Test Harness software.

A detailed description of how to assemble and configure a Thread Test Bed and run the Thread Test Harness can be found on the Thread Group’s Confluence wiki page.


The following procedure references the nRF52840 Development Kit. The same procedure can be used to run the certification using other development kits.

Complete the following steps to run the certification tests:

  1. Build the certification image.

    The Thread: CLI sample is used as a base, modified with an overlay file.

    cd ncs/nrf/samples/openthread/cli/
    west build -b nrf52840dk_nrf52840 -- -DOVERLAY_CONFIG="harness/overlay-cert.conf"


    The overlay file selects the precompiled OpenThread libraries by default. It also enables multiprotocol support with Bluetooth LE advertising.

  2. Prepare Thread Test Harness.

    1. Copy the provided ncs/nrf/samples/openthread/cli/harness/ file into C:\GRL\Thread1.1\Thread_Harness\THCI.

    2. Copy the provided ncs/nrf/samples/openthread/cli/harness/nrf52840.jpg file into C:\GRL\Thread1.1\Web\images.

    3. Edit C:\GRL\Thread1.1\Web\data\deviceInputFields.xml and prepend it with the following code:

      <DEVICE name="nRF52840-ncs" thumbnail="nRF52840.jpg" description = "Nordic Semiconductor: nRF52840 (NCS) Baudrate:115200" THCI="nRF52840-ncs">
         <ITEM label="Serial Line"
            hint="eg: COM1">COM
         <ITEM label="Speed"
            hint="eg: 115200">115200

See the following links for more information on OpenThread:

Thread Test Harness with nRF52840 DK

Thread Test Harness does not correctly identify the PCA10056 Development Kit, based on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 SoC, right out-of-the-box.

Due to a collision of USB PID:VID with another vendor (this is valid only for Nordic Semiconductor development kits with J-Link virtual COM port), Nordic devices are not automatically added to the device list.

To add an nRF52840 device, drag the nRF52840 device and drop it on the configuration page. After that, the devices are configured and the proper baud rate (115200) and COM port are set.