Certification of safety–critical software is a multi-disciplinary topic. Process assessment is an essential part of that, but is not enough for software certification. Certification also employs several other method families, such as inspections and reviews, independent V&V, conformance with selected reference standard(s) and use of selected measurements and analyses. Process assessment directly supports qualification of safety–critical applications but is less relevant for certification of platforms and environments. Anyway, qualification and certification are closely related. Certification as a whole supports qualification and makes it more effective. It is possible to adapt and evolve process assessment so that it supports both qualification and certification. Typical process assessment is done for improvement purpose. In qualification and certification it is not so relevant as conformance and management of risks. In this article we discuss the possibilities to develop process assessment to achieve that goal. In most cases assessment is a combination of several approaches. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.