The Certification process shall consist of the following key stages
2. Application/Contract Review
3. Initial Certification Audit (stage-1 audit),
4. Assessment (stage-2 audit) and
5. Continual assessment (surveillance audit).
1. Application :
Enquiries may be received in several forms, by telephone, letter, e-mail or facsimile or online as available on the website under the Tab Application. In case client needs a physical copy of the application form then client can write to us at email@example.com and demand a copy of the application.
2. Application Review :
After getting the complete application the Certification Manager will send the application to application review and there after a work order shall be sent to client including the copy of client agreement.
3. Initial Certification Audit (Stage I & Stage II) :
A. Stage 1 audit
AQC shall proceed with Initial Certification Audit (Stage-1) audit activity on completion of earlier activities. A pre-assessment is a trial audit which is conducted before the Certification audit at client’s option to provide a macro level assessment of the status of implementation and identification of any major deficiencies in the compliance of the documented quality system with the requirements of the certification standards, for corrective actions to be taken in advance of the certification audit. It provides valuable inputs to give confidence to the client and saves time for taking necessary corrective action, later. However pre-assessment is done in special cases and it is also ensured that the auditor signs the conflict of interest before every visit.
A detailed report shall be prepared by the Team Leader and a copy shall be given to the client. The report shall be evaluated by Audit Member (AM) and plan for the subsequent audits of the organization is discussed with the client.
A detailed report shall be prepared by the Team Leader and a copy shall be given to the client. The report shall be evaluated by AM and plan for the subsequent audits of the organization is discussed with the client.
B. Stage 2 audit
The purpose of the Assessment (STAGE-2) is to ensure that the requirements of relevant ISO standards as addressed by the documented quality system are being complied with. The Auditors will be looking for objective evidence of compliance with the standards, and Non compliances are brought to the attention of the guide and noted on a report form. At the end of assessment, these are discussed and the company’s management representative is asked to sign the report acknowledging that he understands and accepts the findings.
The Assessment is concluded with a “Closing Meeting” at which the Team Leader presents the findings and makes recommendations, either for certification to the applicable standards of ISO otherwise with a requirement for a verification audit in case of major non-conformances having been identified. 2.5.3 In case where non-compliances are of a minor nature, certification is recommended subject to a corrective action plan that addresses the non compliances and observations raised in the report being submitted together with objective evidences for all non compliances within 60 days. When this corrective action plan and the objective evidences are received at the AQC office, the audit reports shall be verified for conformance against the requirements of the certification standard. The client’s file is reviewed to ensure an independent verification of compliance against certification checklist and grant of certification.
The stage 2 audit shall take place at the site(s) of the client. It shall include at least the following :
- a) information and evidence about conformity to all requirements of the applicable management system standard or other normative document;
- b) performance monitoring, measuring, reporting and reviewing against key performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard or other normative document);c) the client’s management system and performance as regards legal compliance; d) operational control of the client’s processes;
- e) internal auditing and management review;
- f) management responsibility for the client’s policies;
- g) links between the normative requirements, policy, performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard or other normative document), any applicable legal requirements, responsibilities, competence of personnel, operations, procedures, performance data and internal audit findings and conclusions.
Each certified organization shall be required to undergo a surveillance audit at once a year during the term of validity of its certification. The continual conformance of the organization management system with the certification standard shall be verified by auditing selected elements of the management system at each visit besides verification of the effectiveness of the corrective actions against the non-conformities raised during the previous audit.
The Auditors are required to complete the Reports in a precise and accurate manner. The justification for non inclusion of any element as per the ISO standards e.g. Design Control etc from the company’s quality system should be carefully verified and recorded in the Report.
4.Information for granting initial certification
The information provided by the audit team to AQC for the certification decision shall be as per AQC procedure shall include, as a minimum:
- a) the audit reports,
- b) comments on the nonconformities and, where applicable, the correction and corrective actions taken by the client,
- c) confirmation of the information provided to AQC used in the application review, and
- d) a recommendation whether or not to grant certification, together with any conditions or observations.
AQC shall make the certification decision on the basis of an evaluation of the audit findings and conclusions and any other relevant information (e.g. public information, comments on the audit report from the client).
The audit team/AM shall analyze all information and audit evidence gathered during the stage 1 and stage 2 audits to review the audit findings and agree on the audit conclusions.
QC shall issue the certificate as per procedure
5. Surveillance audits
Surveillance audits are on-site audits, but are not necessarily full system audits. Surveillance audits planned together with the other surveillance activities so that the certification body can maintain confidence that the certified management system continues to fulfill requirements between recertification audits.The surveillance audits conducted at least once a year and the date of the first surveillance audit following initial certification shall not be more than 12 months from the last day of the stage 2 audit.
- The objective of surveillance audit is to:
- Ensure that the client’s management system which was the basis of the granting of the certificate has been maintained on a continuous basis.
- Periods Verify and ensure that any changes to management system which might have taken place since last audit meet the requirement of the standard/ specification and implemented effectively
- Ensure on-site audits assessing the certified client’s management system’s fulfillment of specified requirements with respect to the standard to which the certification is granted.
- Ensure that the management system continues to be appropriate to the product/ process/ service offered by client, with the capability of managing and improving performance.
- Periods Assess continual improvement in client’s management systems
6. Recertification Audit
There shall be recertification after every 3 year of certification. Conduct re-certification audit prior to certification period for continuation of Certificate of registration and subsequently followed up by Surveillance audits as per the accepted proposal. Re-certification audit shall be completed, preferably prior to one month of expiry of the present certificate of registration including the provision of adequate time to close any NCRs.