APPEAL & COMPLAIN

1.0 Purposes
This procedure is for handling the Appeals and Complaints process of UNICERT as per requirements of ISO/IEC 17021 and other applicable international standards for certification bodies offering management system certifications.

2.0 Scope
This procedure is applicable to all appeals and complaints received by UNICERT related to its Management System Certification.

3.0 Responsibility
Authorised Director

4.0 Description of activity
4.1 Appeals
UNICERT has a documented process to receive, evaluate and make decisions on appeals as under.

4.1.1 Any client can make an appeal to UNICERT in respect of the following,

a) Non acceptance of client’s application for certification
b) Granting, suspending, refusing, withdrawing or denying of certification

4.1.2 UNICERT is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeals-handling process. UNICERT ensures that the persons engaged in the appeals-handling process are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions. UNICERT records all appeals in documents MSP05-F01, MSP05-F02 and acknowledge the receipt of the appeal. All appeals are  addressed within 7 working days from the receipt of the appeal.

4.1.3 UNICERT ensures that submission, investigation and decision on appeals do not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant

4.1.4 UNICERT while receiving the appeal is responsible for gathering and verifying all necessary information to validate the appeal. All appeals are reviewed by the appeal panel constituted by authorised director for each appeal. The appeal panel contains at least one member from the UNICERT’s auditor panel who have not been part of the audit and also not involved in certification decision or involved in the subject of the appeal. For appeal against the decision of the Authorised Director the matter is referred to another director or personnel for taking decision.

4.1.5 UNICERT acknowledges receipt of the appeal and provides the appellant with progress reports and the result of the appeal.

4.1.6 The appeals panel investigates the appeal by looking into the records and / or talking to the appellant and UNICERT and takes a decision taking into account the results of any previous such appeals. Based on the decision of the appeal panel. UNICERT initiates appropriate correction and corrective action and the same recorded in MSP05-F02. The decision to be communicated to the appellant is made by, or reviewed and approved by the panel not previously involved in the subject of the appeal.

4.1.7 UNICERT gives formal notice to the appellant of the end of the appeals handling process.

4.2 Complaints

 4.2.1 UNICERT is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the complaints handling process. UNICERT while receiving the complaint is responsible for gathering and verifying all necessary information to validate the complaint.

4.2.2 Submission, investigation and decision on complaints does not result in any discriminatory actions against the complainant.

4.2.3 Upon receipt of a complaint, UNICERT confirms whether the complaint relates to certification activities that it is responsible for and, if so, accordingly deals with it. If the complaint relates to a certified client, then examination of the complaint considers the effectiveness of the certified management system.

4.2.4 The complaints received are recorded in MSP05-F01 and is acknowledged to the complainant. The authorised director reviews the complaint to ascertain the seriousness and the genuineness of the complaint. UNICERT provides the complainant with progress reports and the outcome.

4.2.5 The complaints redresses process:

4.2.5.1 Complaints about UNICERT from the client or third party

a). Depending on the nature of the complaint, authorised director decides to conduct the investigation himself or appoint a complaint panel for each complaint. The complaint panel contains at least one member from the UNICERT’s auditor panel who have not been part of the audit and also not involved in certification decision or involved in the subject of the complaint. Further, the complainant is given an opportunity to present the case to the panel in person if he so desires.
b). The complaints panel will be investigating the complaint by looking into the records and / or talking to the complainant and UNICERT and takes a decision taking into account the results of any previous such complaints.
c). The details of investigation and the correction and the corrective actions identified are recorded in the complaint register. Upon verification on the effectiveness of corrective action taken, UNICERT informs the complainant about the correction and corrective action taken and if the complainant is satisfied with the actions taken the complaint is treated as closed

 

4.2.5.2 Complaints about the certified client from its customers or any other Third party:

a).  UNICERT inform the client about the complaint received and ask the client to investigate the complaint and report the findings to UNICERT within two weeks from the date of receiving the complaint by the client.
b). If UNICERT does not receive any response from the client or the action taken by the client is not found effective, UNICERT informs the client accordingly and ask for a special audit at the client site by UNICERT. On confirmation from the client UNICERT conducts a special audit as per UNICERT procedure, MSP-07 and recorded by MSP05-F01 and investigates the complaint.
c). If the complaint is of serious nature UNICERT initiates the special audit directly with the client.
d). As its policy, UNICERT does not disclose the identity of the complainant to the client.
e). If any action is needed to be taken by the client UNICERT verifies the effectiveness of such action by suitable means appropriate to the gravity of the problem.

f). If the corrective action taken by the client is found effective UNICERT informs the complainant accordingly and the complaint will be treated as closed.

4.2.6 UNICERT has decided to make public the complaint and its resolution if agreed with client and complainant.

4.2.7 The decision to be communicated to the complainant is made by, or reviewed and approve by authorised director or complaint panel not previously involved in the subject of the complaint.

4.2.8 Whenever possible, UNICERT give formal notice of the end of the complaints- handling process to the complainant.

4.3 Client feed back

4.3.1 After every audit (certification, surveillance and re- certification) a feedback from the client in obtained in document MSP09-F05, to assess,

  • UNICERT’s office responsiveness to client queries at various stages of the certification process
  • Performance of the audit team
  • Areas for further improvement

4.3.2 All the feedback received from the clients are analyzed and appropriate action taken if required.

4.3.3 The actions taken are recorded in MSP09-F05

4.3.4 A summary of feedback and the findings with corrective action taken are reviewed in MRM (Management Review Meeting)

4.4 Disputes

4.4.1 Any dispute arising of UNICERT’s certification activities will be settled by private negotiations between the parties, and if this is not possible, then it should be referred to association of certification bodies or arbitration as per the UNICERT registered local country act jurisdiction.

5.0 References

5.1 MSP-07, Procedure for Planning, Conducting and Reporting

5.2 ISO/IEC 17021:2015

6.0 Enclosures
Nil

7.0 Forms

7.1 MSP05-F01, Appeal and Complaint Form