ISO Certification Process Of Management System Conforming To ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, And ISO 18001 As Operated By ARS
ARS ISO Certification Process.
Complete the Application Questionnaire and return to ARS who will review the information provided and prepare and issue a proposal of cost (Quotation) for a three-year Cycle and the management system rules. Please Note that all the audits are conducted in two stages and that in some cases both of these audit will need to be conducted at your premises. Application Questionnaire can be asked by mail or download the complete information pack from our website (download section), which includes the questionnaire for the required ISO certification service.
On acceptance of the quotation, organization need to submit the signed quotation and ISO certification agreement and rules (which is the final page of the proposal of costs) to confirm your intent to utilize the ISO Certification services of ARS. A confirmation copy of ISO certification agreement & rules and invoice for the first year’s fees will be posted to you by return.
On receipt of a signed ISO certification agreement, a Lead Auditor will be allocated to conduct your audits. He/she will contact you to agree a provisional schedule for the visits, explain the registration process and answer any questions you may have.
Once your company’s Procedures and Manuals and other system documentation are complete, these will be reviewed against the requirements of the relevant ISO standard. It may be necessary to carry out this review on-site supported by a limited audit to validate the effectiveness of the documentation prior to the ISO certification audit. This is referred to as a Stage 1 Audit. Most potential problems can be identified during the Stage 1 Audit and these can be eliminated by you prior to the formal registration/compliance audit. You will be presented with a formal report of the findings from this audit.
On completion of the Stage 1 audit the Lead Auditor will discuss and mutually confirm the registration audit date. This will take account of any time needed to make any adjustments to the documented system resulting from any deficiencies identified during the document review.
The ISO certification audit will commence with an opening meeting. During this meeting the methodology and conduct of the audit will be explained. The itinerary will also be confirmed and an opportunity given for any questions you may have regarding the audit. Who attends the opening meeting is a matter for the client but it is recommended as a minimum the key management personnel responsible for the implementation of the system are in attendance.
The ISO certification audit will consist of sampling of objective evidence (records) observation of working processes and discussion with personnel at all levels of your company’s organization. For audits over several days a brief outline of the progress of the audit will be given at the close of each day.
Should the Lead Auditor decide at any time during the audit that there is a complete breakdown of the system against the requirements of the standard; a meeting will be called with senior management to advise you of the Team’s findings and agree with you a course of action. It is worth noting however that this is a rare occurrence.
On completion of the ISO certification audit (Stage 2), a closing meeting will be convened to provide an overview of the audit and detail the audit findings and recommendations. Any deficiencies identified which affect your compliance with the standard or can impair your ability to provide your customers with a quality product/service will be documented within a Corrective Action Request (CAR). Where these deficiencies are minor in nature, the CAR will be designated as a minor, where major deficiencies are noted then the CARs will be designated as major. In both cases a written indication of the action to be taken to address the deficiency before the ISO certificate can be issued must be provided to ARS. In the case of Major CARs you will be required to submit documented evidence that action has been taken to address the problem and in certain circumstances a return visit may be required to visually check that corrective measures have been implemented. In addition, at this meeting you will be advised of the surveillance routine operated by ARS.
It is general policy of ARS to produce a written report on site at the time of the main registration audit (where this not possible, a written report shall be prepared within 10 working days of the registration audit). This report will be submitted to ARS for review by the ISO Certification Committee on behalf of the, whose role it is to ensure that ARS are impartial and fair in its dealings with its customers.
Once the report has been successfully reviewed a Registration (ISO) Certificate will be issued, usually within 20 working days of completion of the audit.
Quotations will be provided on the basis of a 12 monthly or 6 monthly surveillance visit routine following the main registration audit. The 12 monthly routine is preferred by most of ARS clients. However the option exists for 6 monthly surveillance routines (for those who prefer more frequent visit programmes) and a quotation can be provided accordingly upon request. Should clients fail to effectively maintain their management system on a 12 monthly visit programme or during the main registration audit it is evident that there were sufficient concerns to indicate that more regular visits would be more appropriate, then ARS would retain the right to impose 6 monthly surveillance visits until confidence is restored.
- All formal complaints / appeal needs to be submitted in writing either through email / fax / letter.
- Appeals shall be received within 45 days from the date of conveying the decision.
- Appeal committee (AC) will be responsible for handling all appeals and it shall be ensured that person/s initially involved in the subject of appeal are not involved Formal Complaints are handled by the Certification Manager and if the complaint involves the CM, the subject will be escalated to the CEO.
- ARS along with its AC shall ensure to maintain confidentiality throughout the process of investigation and reporting.
- Appellant or complainant may be invited, if required, to explain the details during the investigation process.
- Decision shall be communicated to the Appellant or complainant and feedback is sought. Feedback not received within 15 days shall be considered as acceptable and appeal / complaint as resolved.
- The decision on any appeal can be re-appealed once within a maximum period of 15 days from the date of the decision. The decision of the second appeal shall be considered as final and no appeal on the subject shall be taken further.
- Submission of Complaint / Appeal shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant or complainant.
A complaint is said to occur when a partner / customer of ARS is dissatisfied with the quality of the performance and/or service of ARS. Complaints are categorized into formal complaints and informal complaints. In case of Informal complaints received, all informal attempts such as meetings, discussions, telephonic conversations etc to resolve the complaint. Any staff of ARS can involve in the informal complaint resolution process but when a formal complaint is received, the procedure for handling complaints shall be followed.
Post your complaint:
In the interest of safeguarding the confidential information of its clients and applicant organizations, the management of ARS hereby declares, ARS will not disclose any confidential applicant / certification information unless authorized in writing by the individual or as required by law.