The actual process of certification is a relatively straightforward matter.
Indeed, most of the certification schemes follow the same basic procedures as outlined below.
A potential client will be asked to provide the following information for the purpose of generating a quotation for certification services:
Once the quotation is accepted by the client, the acceptance will be acknowledged. Auditor(s) will be nominated and the client will be contacted to setup a Stage 1 audit.
A Stage 1 audit is performed for all new clients and will include the following:
For most management systems, at least part of the Stage 1 audit will need to be carried out at the client’s premises in order to achieve the objectives stated above.
Upon completion of the Stage 1 audit a report will be generated and given to the client documenting the audit findings including identification of any areas of concern that could be classified as nonconformity during the stage 2 audit.
If the outcome of the Stage 1 audit is satisfactory, albeit with minor points raised, the Auditor will agree a date for the Stage 2 audit to commence.
Where the outcome is not satisfactory (major points raised) and the Auditor does not believe the client is ready to proceed to the Stage 2 audit, the Stage 2 audit will not be scheduled until the client has had sufficient time to resolve the points raised during the Stage 1 audit.
A Stage 2 audit is conducted to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the clients’ management system and will include at least the following:
Upon completion of the Stage 2 audit, the Audit Team will analyse and review all information and audit evidence gathered during the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits and agree on audit findings and conclusions.
A report will be generated and given to the client.
Once registration has been recommended, Report will be submitted to Further Review of Decision Maker and After review of Report, if Decision Maker accepted the Report, Certificate issued.
If it’s not accepted, reviewer will keep report on hold and may ask auditor for Justification on particular area of audit, if justification accepted, can be proceed further, if not Certificate cannot be proceed, This may require to Re-audit client or reject the certification.
The Decision Maker/ report reviewer should make the decision for granting or refusing Certification (upon Completion of certification Audit), expanding or reducing scope of certification, suspending or restoring scope of certification (upon Completion of certification/Surveillance Audit), Withdrawing or renewing certification (Upon Completion of Surveillance/Recertification Audit).
After issuance of certificate and the client will be placed on an agreed surveillance regime. For the smaller company, this may mean a single one-day visit per annum. However, for the larger client and depending upon the standard registered, the surveillance man-day requirements can be more onerous – see notes below.
At each surveillance visit, a random sample of the client’s system will be audited, but the approach will be similar to that of the formal on-site audit described above as a Stage 2 audit.
As such, a written report will be issued at the close of each surveillance visit and providing no major noncompliance points are raised, continued registration will be maintained.
The initial certificate of registration is valid for a three-year period, providing the client complies with the Certification Regulations, and the surveillance visits scheduled during the three-year period are satisfactory.
Prior to the end of the three-year certification period, a triennial review of all previous visit reports is conducted and then a complete reassessment audit is performed to ensure that all is in order for a new certificate, valid for a further three-year period, to be issued. The recertification audit may need to include a Stage 1 audit in situations where there have been significant changes to the management system, the client or the context in which the management system is operating (e.g. changes in legislation). The process then repeats as described above.
View Document: URSME-014
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