The actual process of certification is a relatively straightforward matter. Indeed, most of the certification schemes follow the same basic procedures as outlined below.
STEP: 1 Application
Applicant will be asked to provide the following information for the purpose of application review and generating a quotation for certification services:
a) the desired scope of the certification;
b) relevant details of the applicant organization as required by the specific certification scheme, including its name and the address (es) of its site(s), its processes and operations, human and technical resources, functions, relationships and any relevant legal obligations;
c) identification of outsourced processes used by the organization that will affect conformity to requirements;
d) the standards or other requirements for which the applicant organization is seeking certification;
e) whether consultancy relating to the management system to be certified has been provided and, if so, by whom.
STEP: 2 Application Review
On receipt of above information, a review shall be conducted based on the application and supplementary information for certification submitted by client. Following the review of the application, UNICERT shall either accept or decline an application for certification.
As a result of successful review of the application and where client application is accepted, an audit program for the full certification cycle shall be developed and certification quotation is submitted to client.
Refusing: – UNICERT may refuse the application of Client in the following cases:
STEP: 2.1 Quotations
Based upon the information provided, the quality manager or subject expert reviews the scopes available with UNICERT and prepares the quotation, which will be sent along with the application for registration.
STEP: 3 Certification Audit Contract
Once the Application for registration received & reviewed, which confirms the exact way client company name and site address will appear along with the description of scope (products or services) for which registration is sought. The certification audit contract will be made and sent to the client.
Step: 4.1 AUDIT PLANNING
Once the certification audit contract received, the quality manager plans the audit on the basis on audit time allocation and audit assignment, which is defined as below and raise the audit plan in duplicate, which should narrate the requirements of the relevant management system standard; size and complexity, name, address and scope of the client, date of audit and the constitution of the audit team and send it to the auditors before fifteen working days. After getting the consent from auditor, audit assignment register will be filled and the statement of confidentiality and no conflict of interest will be obtained. The Audit plan shall be sent to the client there after. The operational manager will confirm the date then about the auditor & technical expert detail with the client.
STEP: 4.2 AUDIT INTIMATION
Audit plan shall reach the client at least before 2/3 working days of audit. The operational executive shall confirm the dates of audit and the constitution of the auditors and mark the same on the office copy of audit plan
STEP: 4.3 Stage-1 Audits
The stage one audit is performed by lead auditor at client’s premises, to audit the client’s management system documentation. To evaluate the client’s location and site-specific conditions and to undertake discussions with the client’s personnel to determine the preparedness for the stage 2 audit. To evaluate if the internal audits and management review are being planned and performed, and that the level of implementation of the management system substantiates that the client is ready for the stage 2 audits.
STEP: 4.4 Stage-1 Audit Report
After the stage one audit the auditor shall submit their finding & advice by written report.
STEP: 4.5 Stage-2 Audits
Stage two audits is an assessment audit, which is carried out after phase one audit’s inadequacies have been removed and the organization is all set to demonstrate the compliance to the selected international standard. Auditors will plan and conduct the assessment audit.
STEP:4.6 Certification Decision
The decision on whether an applicant is granted certification will be determined by the technical reviewer in conjunction with the Quality Manager, based upon the audit evidence collected during the entire certification process. The Quality Manager may also consult with other Lead Auditors or other more senior personnel from UNICERT in determining their final audit recommendation to be presented for the Technical Reviewer.
UNICERT shall delay or postpone its decision on certification in order to take proper account of new or additional information, which has become available to the certification body and which has not already been considered in its evaluation report and which, in the opinion of the certification body, could affect the outcome of its evaluation.
Step-5 Granting Certificate
The technical committee is appointed from the auditors and experts working with UNICERT to consider specific recommendations made in relation to granting, refusing, maintaining of certification, expanding or reducing the scope of certification, renewing, suspending or restoring following suspension, or withdrawing of certification. Members of the technical committee will be independent from the auditing activity. The authorized director will appoint the technical committee. The technical committee is impartial & free from commercial or financial pressure.
STEP: 6 Surveillance audits
Surveillance audits are carried out bi-annually/annually to ensure that the certified management system is in compliance and demonstrates continual improvement in terms of Systems, products and resource management.
Suspension of Certification (After Granting Certification)
In the event that Client is not complying with following, UNICERT may suspend Client’s registration.
Amendment to Scope of Certificate of Registration
Withdrawal of Certification (After Granting Certification)
In the event that Client is not complying with following, UNICERT may withdraw Client’s registration.
Re-certification audit at Certificate Expiry
A UNICERT audit team will re-assess an organization’s Certification status upon the expiry of the certificate of Certification granted to the organization.
Planning of the Certification/Re-certification Audit and certificate issue/expiration date requirements
UNICERT will make every effort to initiate the planning process for re-certification audits to allow for reasonable time to complete the re-certification audit prior to the expiry of the existing certificate. Considerations for a reasonable time to enable a successful recommendation and decision may include:
As part of this planning process, the Quality Manager or Technical Manager shall communicate to the client the risks and implications associated with their certificate expiration. When re-certification activities are successfully completed prior to the expiry date of the existing certification, the expiry date of the new certification can be based on the expiry date of the existing certification. The issue date on a new certificate shall be on or after the re-certification decision.
In cases where the re-certification audit activities extend past the expiry date or where the Lead Auditor has been unable to verify the implementation of corrections and corrective actions for any major non-conformity, then re- certification will not be recommended, and the certificate shall not be extended. The certification can be restored within 6 months of the expiration provided the outstanding re-certification activities are completed. Otherwise, a Stage 2 Audit will be completed. In such cases the Certificate issue date on the new certificate(s) shall commence on or after the re- certification decision date (Quality Manager’s approval) and shall expire based on the prior certification cycle (e.g., within 3 years of the previous anniversary expiration date).
Re-certification audits may be conducted in place of a surveillance audit and or prior to the existing certificate expiry date. In these cases, the expiry date on the certificate shall be within 3 years of the re-certification decision date.