Certification Process

1. Introduction

These rules have been prepared against criteria for competence set out in (2) below. The Scope of Accreditation issued by UKAS is an acknowledgement that ISOQAR has the necessary expertise and ability to manage audits in those particular sectors. Details of all accredited scopes held are available on request to ISOQAR. If a particular sector is outside the present accredited scope of ISOQAR and if agreed by the client a non-accredited certificate can be offered by ISOQAR.

Certification of a management system is not a statement by the certification body guaranteeing that the product or services actually meet specified requirements. Certification does not imply a view on the specification of a product or service. It does not guarantee a good product or service.

ISOQAR is a privately owned independent organization.

2. Scope

ISOQAR undertakes the audit, evaluation and certification of management systems operated by companies to the respective management system standards applied for. The client must agree to supply all necessary information to ISOQAR.

3. Personnel

ISOQAR Ltd undertakes to provide suitably qualified personnel for all audit and surveillance work using their own staff or suitable qualified subcontractors. All members of ISOQAR (full-time employees or sub-contractors) are required to sign confidentiality agreements concerned with all confidential information to which they may be exposed at client premises.

The client has right to object to any auditor if he perceives conflict to his interest. Client can raise his objection to Director Operations, who shall review the potential impartiality threat and take necessary actions; however the change cannot be guaranteed in case of no conflict perceived.

4. Certification Contract

On receiving a completed Questionnaire ISOQAR will prepare a contract detailing audit cost, terms, conditions and requirements. On acceptance of this contract, the client will sign the contract and forward it with the advance cheque to ISOQAR. The project will then be allocated by the Director Operations to a suitable audit team who will then carry out the audit in line with ISOQAR's procedures.

5. Audit Methodology

  1. The first stage of the audit as carried out by ISOQAR is to carry out Stage 1 audit, a review of the client's documentation with respect to the appropriate standard(s). This is to be performed onsite at the client's premises in conjunction with the client's management representative.
  2. Once the adequacy of the management system is ascertained during the Stage-1 audit and all the identified non conformances during Stage-1, Stage 2 audit date is agreed and an audit is carried out by the auditor(s). If further visits are required due to non-compliances found, these will be undertaken and extra charge will be incurred by the client. The on-site audit is carried out using client manuals and procedures and by interviewing relevant members of staff regarding their working practices.
  3. After certification, if the client changes anything which significantly affects the conformance to applicable management systems, applicable regulatory or statutory requirements or interested party requirements, then ISOQAR must be informed. ISOQAR reserves the right to re-audit if necessary.
  4. Triennial / Renewal audit is required by ISOQAR prior to the expiry of current certificate.
  5. The details of the certification process is also available on our web site www.isoqar.com/ www.isoqarindia.com

6. Certification

On completion of the on-site audit the Lead Auditor reports to the Director Operations. On receiving a report stating that the client's management system meets the requirements of the relevant Standard(s) and approval by Certification Committee, the certificate is issued. The certificate remains the property of ISOQAR. Providing the client maintains the management system to the required standard, the certificate is valid for three years. Triennial / Renewal audit is to be carried out at least three months prior to the expiry of the certificate at extra cost and the findings raised in the renewal / triennial audit will need to be closed and certification decision needs to be taken prior to the expiry of the current certificate.

7. Surveillance

After the issue of a certificate, to maintain annual registration, surveillance visits will be carried out at the client's premises (announced visits) at least once per year. If areas of concern are identified, more visits may be carried out at the discretion of the Director Ops. The client agrees to meet the extra costs relating to such increased surveillance. Any changes to scope, products or manufacturing/ service delivery6 processes must be communicated to ISOQAR.

The First Surveillance Audit needs to be conducted within twelve months from the date of the Stage 02 / Certification / Renewal Audit and the time duration between two successive audits in a cycle shall not cross twelve months. Failure to comply with this will lead to certificate suspension and further to withdrawal and client deregistration.

8. Extension to the scope of registration

This may be applied for in the same way as the initial audit, indicating the increased scope of registration being required. Audit will be carried out in the areas not previously audited. If successful, a new certificate indicating the new full scope will be issued by ISOQAR. There will be a charge for extensions to scope and re-issue of the certificates. The future surveillance days will be accordingly amended.

9. Short Notice Audits

ISOQAR may when necessary conduct short notice audits to investigate complaints, or in response to changes, or as follow up to suspended clients

10. Reduction in scope of Certificates issued

ISOQAR shall wherever applicable reduce the scope of certification if during the time of routine surveillance audits / Re approval or Renewal audits it finds that the certified client has continually / seriously failed to meet the certification requirements for those parts of the scope of certification. The reduction in scope will be approved by the Chairman of Certification Committee.

11. Publicity

Once a certificate has been issued, the client has the right to publish the fact. The relevant logos can be used on its stationery relating only to the audited scope of registration and the relevant part of the standard. All conditions of the Logo Rules issued along with the Certificate will need to be followed.

12. Certificate Misuse

ISOQAR will take all reasonable precautions to see that there is no misuse of their certificate in client advertising etc. The client undertakes to use certification marks as appropriate to its audited scope of registration and relevant Standards.

13. Suspension

ISOQAR shall initiate the suspension process based on the following reasons:

  1. Effective corrective action for the nonconformance is not implemented within a specified time period (06 months after the last day of a Stage 02 Audit days for any nonconformance ).
  2. Improper or misuse of the certificate, symbol or logo not remedied to the satisfaction of ISOQAR.
  3. Client ceases to supply product or service of the certified quality system for an extended period of time.
  4. Client’s certified management system has persistently fails to meet any of the requirements for certification including requirements for the effectiveness of the management system.
  5. Client fails to meet financial obligations to ISOQAR.
  6. Client is unable or unwilling to ensure conformance to revisions of standards.
  7. Existence of a serious complaint, or a large number of second- or third-party complaints, which indicate that the management system is not being maintained.
  8. Client does not allow routine surveillance / recertification to be conducted at the required frequency
  9. Client does not comply to the deadlines set by ISOQAR to upgrade to the latest revision of Management System Standards.
  10. Client requests for suspension.
  11. During the period of suspension the client shall not advertise or promote their certification mark.

The Suspension period will be for a maximum period of six months, after which the certificate will be withdrawn if the conditions for placing the certificate under suspension is not met.

14. Deregistration/ Withdrawal/ Cancellation.

ISOQAR shall deregister/ withdraw or cancel the certificate on the following grounds:

  1. The client fails to take effective corrective action within six months of suspension for any of the reasons given above.
  2. Client makes a formal request to withdraw certification.
  3. Infringement by the client of any contractual conditions between the client and ISOQAR.
  4. Client will be deregistered on expiry of the current certificate unless renewal audit has been successfully completed.
  5. Client can be deregistered upon expiry date of the current standards in which there are revision in the standards.
  6. In case a client has certification to multiple standards, based on the reason for suspension/ withdrawal, Operations Director of ISOQAR will decide the impact of continuation of certification of other standards not affected by suspension/ withdrawal and re issue the relevant certificates in case of withdrawal.

15. Changes in Management System Standards

ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 have undergone a revision and the current versions are ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001: 2015. These standards were released on 15 September 2015. The validity of the ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 is until 14 September 2018. ISOQAR India has taken a decision not to conduct certification and renewal audits against ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 140001:2004 wef from the expiry dates of these standards

16. Appeals Procedure

If for any reason a client is not in agreement with the Lead Auditor's verdict after an audit, re-audit or a surveillance visit, including suspension or withdrawal of a certificate, he/she is at liberty to lodge a written appeal with the Managing Director of ISOQAR India Pvt.Ltd. All appeals will be held in the presence of an Appeal committee. The committee will hear evidence from the client's representative and the relevant Lead Auditor. The decision of the committee is final and binding on both the client and ISOQAR. No counter claims will be allowed by either party. No costs, for whatever reason, will be allowed for either party as a result of an appeal.

In case the Managing Director is the lead auditor or part of the audit team, then Executive Director (ED)/ Operations Director (OD) will chair the appeals committee.

The actions in response of a complaint and appeal will be recorded by the OD and will be held under confidentiality and communicated to respective appellant/ complainant.

Appeals will be handled as per the appeals handling procedure.

17. Complaints against ISOQAR personnel

If a client has a complaint regarding any employee of ISOQAR, this should be sent in writing to the Managing Director of ISOQAR India Pvt. Ltd. If the complaint involves the MD then the complaint is to be addressed to the Board of Directors of ISOQAR. The complaint shall be handled as per ISOQAR’s defined complaint handling process.

18. Complaints against ISOQAR certified clients

If any interested party has a complaint against ISOQAR certified client, this should be sent in writing to the Managing Director of ISOQAR India Pvt. Ltd. at the Head Office address. The complaint shall be handled as per ISOQAR’s defined complaint handling process.

19. Liability

Neither ISOQAR nor any of its promoters, employees, auditors or subcontractors warrants the accuracy of any audit, review, information, certification, service or advice supplied. Except as stated in this document, neither ISOQAR nor any of its promoters, employees, auditors or subcontractors shall be liable for any loss, expense or damage however so sustained by any company, client or person due to any act whatsoever taken by ISOQAR or its promoters, employees, auditors or subcontractors, save to the extent that any attempted exclusion or liability would be contrary to law.

20. Accreditation body witnessed audits

It is a condition of the rules of registration that all ISOQAR certificated clients should, if requested, allow, Accreditation Body auditors to visit the client premises / witness ISOQAR staff carrying out their audits. Failure to allow this could jeopardize the client’s registration.

ISOQAR reserves the right to change these rules of registration herewith without prior notification.