When a contract calls out the following; "52.246-11 Higher-Level Contract Quality Requirement". Does the contractor have to be certified by a third party in order to demonstrate compliance to the higher requirement?
This response is based on the information provided. We suggest you discuss with your contracting team, program manager, technical team and/or legal department as appropriate.
"FAR 46.202-4 Higher-level contract quality requirements.
... (b) Examples of higher-level quality standards include overarching quality management system standards such as ISO 9001, ASQ/ANSI E4, ASME NQA-1, SAE AS9100, SAE AS9003, and ISO/TS 16949, and product or process specific quality standards such as SAE AS5553."
These examples are some higher standards your team may consider. It needs to decide what standard is most appropriate for the acquisition. The certification process required should be identified within the standard. In most of theses cases, the company would have earned the certification before performance (that could be a solicitation requirement) and any third party certification concerns will have been addressed before selection.