TERMS AND CONDITIONS
RULES of REGISTRATION
TERMS AND CONDITIONS of CONTRACT
Legally binding agreement between Quality Academy (QA) and the Client. Valid from the point that the Client’s application for Registration is accepted by QA.
QA is an independent certification body and these rules have been drawn up in accordance with the requirements placed on QA by Accreditation Bodies. QA shall abide by these requirements as specified in ISO 17021 and other related documents and standards. The scope of accreditation can be found on the related accreditation body's web site. If a sector is outside the scope of accreditation then an unaccredited certificate may be offered at the discretion of QA.
Although not a statement guaranteeing that the product or services actually meet specified requirements, accredited certification of a management system is a measure of compliance, at the time of audit, with the appropriate international standards.
For the purpose of these Terms and Conditions:
- Applicant; means an individual, body corporate or body unincorporated applying for a Certificate of Registration.
- Audit/Assessment; means a verification of the effectiveness of the relevant management systems and processes operated by an Applicant through the examination of materials, finished product, methods of test, records, systems, environmental and other activities established by the Applicant within its Management System.
- Certificate of Registration; means a document issued by QA in recognition that the management system operated by the Applicant meets the requirements of the applicable Standard or Scheme and these Terms and Conditions.
- Client; Companies, organisations or parts thereof that are audited and certified by QA.
- Major non-conformance; where there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate that a clause within a standard has been met. For example, no evidence, records or documents can be found or non-conformities raised at a previous audit have not been properly closed.
- Minor non-conformance; where there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate that a clause within a standard has been fully met. For example, some evidence, records or documents are available.
- Observer/Witness; means person who accompanies the audit team but does not act as an auditor. An observer can be a regulator such as Accreditation Body such as EGAC or other interested party. In addition a technical expert may accompany an auditor but does not act as an auditor in the audit team unless qualified to do so.
- Registration; The process by which Clients gain and maintain certification against a standard. Registration covers all certification activities, including all activities required outside the certification process required to maintain Registration. For example, payment terms and conditions, regulatory requirements.
- Registered Company; means an individual, body corporate or body unincorporated which has been granted a Certificate of Registration.
- Services; as set out in the quotation.
- Scope of Registration; means the range of products, services, activities covered by the management system of a registered company specified on the Certificate of Registration.
- Standard; means the Standards or other requirements for which the applicant organisation is seeking certification.
- Scope of the Rules of Registration
These rules of registration are applicable to all audits undertaken by QA (or its local representatives) within the current scope of accreditation as detailed on the EGAC web site. In fulfilling this scope, the Client agrees to supply all necessary information to QA so that a full and fair assessment can be undertaken. QA will give due notice of any changes to its requirements and will verify that each certified Client complies with the new requirements. This agreement is applicable to all sites as listed on the certificate or attached schedule.
ISO 45001 requirements: – This contract requires that the certified Client informs the Certification Body, without delay, of the occurrence of a serious incident or breach of regulation necessitating the involvement of the competent regulatory authority.
- Personnel, Impartiality and Confidentiality
QA undertakes to provide suitably qualified and technically competent personnel for all audit and surveillance activities using their own staff or suitable qualified and competent associates. All members of QA (full-time employees, associates or local representatives) are required to sign confidentiality agreements concerning all confidential information to which they may be exposed. They are required to declare any conflict of interest prior to an audit or as soon as they become aware of a threat to the impartiality of the audit.
The Client will be notified in advance of the lead auditor’s name and who will be attending.
To maintain impartiality, it is a condition of the Passport Scheme and QA Standard Route Scheme that applicants/ registered companies allow the certification body to rotate its assessors at least once in a three year period.
All information acquired by QA about an applicant or a registered company shall be confidential and, except as required by an accreditation body or regulator or for input to required industry databases, shall not be disclosed to a third party without prior written agreement of the company concerned. QA does reserve the right to inform the relevant authorities if breaches of legislation are found as part of the audit process. Click Here to see our privacy notice.
All certification activities and the management of impartiality are overseen by the Directors of QA. Risks to impartiality are reviewed by an Independent Certification Board.
- Access and Safety
The Client is responsible for ensuring that when QA visits your site QA has adequate protective equipment for the working environment to be assessed. Where specialist training is required this shall be disclosed to QA at the outset. Clients shall raise these issues with QA in advance of a visit.
To ensure an effective audit, Clients are required to make all necessary arrangements for the conduct of the audit, including access to all processes and areas within the organisation, records and personnel. This policy also applies to follow up audits following a complaint received from an interested party, for example, about the products/services provided by the certified organisation.
- Application for Initial Registration
On receiving a completed Application Form/Request for Quotation, QA or its local representative will prepare a quotation detailing audit cost which will be forwarded to the Client. You agree to accept these terms and conditions by signing and returning your quotation document.
On receipt of the signed acceptance of the quote, QA or its local representative will issue an invoice to the Client who in turn will make payment to QA or its local representative. The audit will then be planned and carried out in accordance with QA accredited management system processes.
The process for initial registration normally involves an on-site stage 1 audit of the management system and a subsequent on-site stage 2 audit of the implementation of that system.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to satisfy themselves that the proposed scope of registration meets their requirements. Changes to the scope following acceptance of the quotation could result in amendment to the fees.
- Changes to your Organisation
It is a condition of this agreement that you inform QA of any substantive changes that take place or are planned to take place in or to your structure, strategy, management or culture (a “change”) which could affect your certificate.
Without limitation, a change may include any merges, acquisitions, takeovers, new brand using existing people, cases of significant growth or reduction in employee numbers and changes in name or ownership. You must inform QA prior to the change taking place or, if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable following the change.
QA reserves the right to investigate the nature of any change and its impact on your certification. Wherever possible, this investigation shall be timed to take place with a routine assessment of your certification. There may be a requirement to re-quote in line with the new changes and you will be notified of this prior to the assessment taking place.
- Audit Method
The first stage of the audit requires the Auditor to conduct an on-site readiness review of the Client’s management system to assess the documentation and if the implementation of the management system is at a level sufficient to progress to the Stage two audit.
When satisfied with the compliance of the documentation and system readiness the Auditor will produce a report and will agree a date with the Client for the Stage 2 audit. The Stage 2 audit will then be conducted in accordance with QA accredited management system processes. If further visits are required, due to non-compliances found, these will be undertaken and the Client will be liable for any extra charges incurred based on the current audit day rate in the quotation. The audit will be carried out against agreed audit criteria.
Once registration has been obtained the Client will be under a duty to notify QA of any changes that significantly affect the registration. QA may re-audit if necessary (short notice) due to the significant changes or as a result of any complaint, or follow up on suspended clients. If any additional charges are incurred QA reserve the right to pass these additional charges on to the Client.
ISO 45001 requirements: If the Client provides services at another organisation’s premises, we will verify that the client’s OH&SMS covers these offsite activities (notwithstanding the OH&SMS obligations of the other organization). In determining the time to be spent for audit, we shall consider to audit periodically any organization site where these employees work. Whether all sites shall be audited will depend on various factors such as OH&S risks associated with the activities therein performed, contract agreements, being certified by another accredited CAB, internal audit system, statistics on accidents and near misses.
Audit methodology will include interviews, observation of activities, electronic and hard copy document and record review. Conclusions will be based on the evidence obtained during the audit. The auditor(s) will use sampling techniques to obtain the evidence and no guarantee can be given that a different conclusion may have been reached previously or if a different sample had been taken.
On completion of the audit the Auditor will submit the report with a recommendation for either granting or refusing registration. A suitably qualified, independent and authorised member of the QA team will make the certification decision and authorise the issue of the certificate.
Any non-conformities raised during an audit must be corrected and closed prior to a certification decision being made. The Client agrees to meet the extra visit or documentation review costs involved in closing out the non-conformities.
Certificates will not be issued unless payment in full has been received. The certificate remains the property of QA and is valid for three years, providing the client maintains the management system to the required standard.
- Annual Registration, Surveillance, Re-certification and Special / Short Notice Visits
After the issue of a certificate, planned surveillance visits will be carried out by an Auditor at the Client’s premises at least annually in order to maintain registration. If areas of concern are identified, more visits may be carried out at the discretion of the QA Management. Major non-conformities identified at a surveillance visit must be corrected by the Client within the timescales agreed with the auditor and closed out by QA either by document / record review or additional site visit. The Client agrees to meet the extra costs relating to any additional close out work required.
Minor non-conformities identified at a surveillance must be corrected in the agreed timescale. The action taken will be checked at the next scheduled audit. QA may require the Client to send evidence to confirm that effective action has been taken. Failure to address minor non-conformities may result in escalation to a major non-conformance and in such cases the Client agrees to meet extra costs relating to additional close out work.
Following a Stage 2 audit Clients must undertake their first surveillance before the first anniversary date of their certificate. If this is not completed on time for any reason the certificate will be suspended. Following suspension, failure to complete within three months will result in certificate withdrawal.
Re- Certification: A certificate will normally be valid for a period of three years (subject to ongoing compliance as detailed in these terms and conditions) A re-certification audit is required to maintain registration. The Client will notify QA without delay of any matters incurred that may affect the capability of the management system to fulfil requirements.
The re-certification audit must take place prior to the expiry of the certificate. Should the audit identify any non-conformities these must be corrected by the Client within the agreed timescale agreed with the auditor and subsequently closed out by QA.
Special Visits: Work required to close out improvements needs or non-conformities on, for example, ISO Assessments may require additional revisit audits. The Client agrees to meet the additional costs and these will be quoted by QA in advance.
In addition, if a complaint is made about a certified Client, or we have received notification of any changes we reserve the right to undertake a special / revisit audit to investigate whether the company is still meeting the requirements of the appropriate standard they are approved to. The client agrees to meet these additional costs.
Independently from the involvement of the competent regulatory authority, a special / revisit audit may be necessary in the event that QA becomes aware that there has been a serious incident related to occupational health and safety, for example, a serious accident, or a serious breach of regulation, in order to investigate if the management system has not been compromised and did function effectively. QA shall document the outcome of its investigation.
Information on incidents such as a serious accident, or a serious breach of regulation necessitating the involvement of the competent regulatory authority, provided by the certified Client or directly gathered by the audit team during the special / revisit audit, shall provide grounds for CCAS to decide on the actions to be taken, including a suspension or withdrawal of the certification, in cases where it can be demonstrated that the system seriously failed to meet the OH&S certification requirements.
- Extension or Revision to the Scope of Registration
This may be applied for in the same way as the initial audit, indicating the increased scope of registration required. The audit will be carried out in the areas not previously audited. If successful, a new certificate indicating the new scope will be issued by QA. There will be a charge for extensions to scope and the re-issuing of the certificate. Should a certified scope be reduced, the Client will amend all advertising matter.
If a Client is already registered to a particular standard, for example ISO 45001 and subsequently wishes to add an additional standard such as ISO 9001, this will be treated as a new application and the Rules of Registration relating to initial audits shall be followed.
- Publicity & Privacy
When a certificate has been issued, the Client has the right to publish the fact. The relevant accreditation marks and logos can be used on stationery and websites relating only to the audited scope of registration and standard. A separate document relating to the use of certification marks and logos will be issued by QA at the time of registration. QA will make available on request, the certification status of any client. The use of any logos must abide by the QA branding guidelines.
Once certified, the certificate information is placed onto the QA Certificate Checker which is public domain, the following information will be available: the organisation’s name, the standards, the certificate number, and the expiry date.
The Client must not make or permit any misleading statement regarding its certification, the scope and/or standards covered, the Client’s locations covered by certification. Any references to a Client’s management system must not imply that QA certifies a product, service or process.
The Client must not apply certification marks or accreditation marks to laboratory test, calibration or inspection reports as such reports are deemed to be products.
QA will contact the Client in relation to organising their certification and to inform/provide information or facts of relevance to their certification. A copy of the Privacy notice can be found by clicking here and is available on the QA website.
- Logo and Certificate Misuse
The Client shall adhere to the QA branding guidelines, throughout the certification. The branding guidelines will be sent to the Client with the certification marks and logos on successful outcome of the initial certification.
QA will take all necessary steps to ensure that there is no misuse of the accreditation marks and logos or the certificate by the Client. The Client undertakes not to misuse or misrepresent the marks and logos or the certificate in any way.
- QA will always quote for any work in advance of delivery and ensure Clients are fully aware of their obligations.
- All fees are strictly non-refundable and will be paid in accordance with the terms indicated on the invoice.
- All fees for audits and annual registration are reviewed annually and are available on request. All fees are subject to VAT and are strictly non-refundable.
- Annual fees are payable in advance of audit dates and are to maintain registration.
- Fees include mileage and travel but not accommodation which will be arranged separately when required unless included as part of the quotation and noted as included.
- Fees include the issue of 1 certificate per standard for new certifications or re-certification cycles. For extra copies required for multiple sites, or at surveillance stages for transfers, an additional cost is incurred.
- Additional fees are payable where QA is required to close out non conformities raised during an audit. These can be additional document reviews, special visits or on-site audits.
- Fees for re-instatement of Registration following a period of suspension or withdrawal will be incurred. QA will specify the fees required in advance along with any conditions.
- Certificates will not be issued to Clients unless payment has been received.
- Instalments are only permissible if the previous year’s fees have been paid in full and on time.
- Certificates re-issued as a result of changes to the Clients circumstance like change of address, company name. etc., at the client request, shall attract a nominal administration fee of USD 25 + VAT per certificate.
- The fee payable for cancellation will be on a sliding scale based on a percentage of QA’s current day rate for certification days quoted for the job.
- QA may cancel a planned audit which may also result in Registration being suspended or withdrawn if the Client fails to make payment in full on the due date.
- Certification Suspension, Withdrawal or Restoring Certification
On completion of the audit, to the appropriate standards or specifications, the certificate:
May be suspended due to:
- Continued misuse of certification marks and / or QA logos.
- Failure to apply corrective action as a result of non-conformities found at during an audit or surveillance visits.
- Failure to allow an audit to be conducted as planned, e.g. surveillance.
- Breaches in legislation relevant to the scope of Registration.
- Failure to pay on time.
- Any other breach of QA’s Rules of registration and Terms and Conditions of Contract.
Or withdrawn due to:
- Failure to respond to requests made by QA after suspension of certificate.
- Failure of a Client to settle a financial account.
- At the Client’s request.
- Failure to pay.
- Ceasing to carry on business or threatening to do so, application for insolvency or bankruptcy petition presented against it, entry into voluntary or compulsory liquidation or having a receiver, administrator appointed over its assets.
Following either the suspension or withdrawal of a certificate the client will discontinue its use and return the original certificate to QA and discontinue to claim accredited management system registration.
If the Client continues to claim certification following withdrawal then QA maintains the right to report the Client to the relevant legal authority and to take appropriate legal action.
Certificates cannot be extended beyond the expiry date and if it does expire the consequences will be explained. Following withdrawal, the certificate can be restored if the Client re-applies within the first 6 months of withdrawal, subject to technical review and completion of the re-certification audit process. After 6 months the Client will need to re-apply and at least be subject to a stage 2 audit. The stage 1 audit can be waived if a technical review confirms no significant changes have occurred since the last audit.
ISO 45001 requirements:- Information on incidents such as a serious accident, or a serious breach of regulation necessitating the involvement of the competent regulatory authority, provided by the certified Client or directly gathered by the audit team during the special audit, shall provide grounds for the Certification Body to decide on the actions to be taken, including a suspension or withdrawal of the certification, in cases where it can be demonstrated that the system seriously failed to meet the OH&S certification requirements. Such requirements shall be part of the contractual agreements between the CAB and the organization.
- Cancellation of Planned Audits
QA is committing resource when agreeing audit dates. Future audit dates are normally agreed between the auditor and Client during an audit and will be recorded in the report. Also, QA and the Client will agree dates which will be confirmed by QA in writing. It is not our policy to issue reminders and it is the Client’s responsibility to ensure that the audit can be delivered in accordance with the plan. Consequently, a fee will be charged if a visit is postponed or cancelled within 20 working days of the first day on site. The cancellation fee will be on a sliding scale, based on a percentage of the quoted days.
Where QA incurs a cost for technical experts, EGAC or other accreditation body observers as result of a Client postponement or cancellation these fees will be charged at cost to the Client.
- Appeals Procedure
If for any reason a Client disagrees with the Auditor’s verdict they are at liberty to lodge an appeal with QA’s Managing Director. All appeals will be held in the presence of an Independent Certification Board sub-committee. The sub-committee will hear evidence from the Client’s representative and the relevant Auditor. The decision of the Independent Certification Board is final and binding on both the Client and QA. 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. Expenses of the appeal will be met in full by the party who has the decision against them.
- Client Complaints against QA Personnel
If a Client has reason for a complaint this should be submitted in writing to QA. Documented procedures for handling complaints can be found on the QA website. All complaints will be responded to in line with the timelines set out in our procedures and will be investigated thoroughly. Results will be sent in writing to the Client. Following investigation, if the Client is not satisfied with the outcome it will be referred to a Director or the Client may be asked to lodge an appeal.
- Complaints against the Registered Company
The Client agrees to make available to QA or its representative all information pertaining to complaints received by the client from customers, regulators and any other interested parties. In the event of an alleged breach of relevant legislative or regulatory requirement the QA Client/registered company must inform QA as soon as possible.
- Audit Team
QA will provide an appropriately qualified, competent and impartial audit team or individual auditor to deliver the agreed audit plan. In addition, the auditor / audit team may be accompanied by a technical expert, translator or interpreter. The Client has the right to object to any individual auditor but must do so immediately upon notification of the auditor/audit team. QA reserves the right to change the assigned auditor(s) or add additional auditors to meet operational requirements.
The Client does not have the right to require that a specific named auditor conducts a particular audit.
To maintain impartiality QA will review from time to time the frequency of audits undertaken by an auditor with a particular Client. If QA considers that impartiality is threatened due to familiarity then it may be necessary to change the auditor.
From time to time the auditor / audit team may be accompanied by a trainee. A trainee has no status on the audit and will at all times be under the supervision of a lead auditor. Clients will not be charged for a trainee and advance permission for attendance will always be sought from the Client.
The Client in agreeing the Rules of Registration also agrees that no pressure, intimidation or inducement will be offered to QA auditors or staff designed to change or alter a decision. All instances will be reported to QA.
- Witnessed Audits by Accreditation and Authorised Bodies
It is a condition of these Rules of Registration that all QA certificated Clients should, if requested, allow representatives of accreditation or regulatory bodies such as EGAC or any other related accreditation bodies to witness QA staff carrying out audits. Failure to allow this could jeopardise the Client’s registration. The presence of any observers will be agreed prior to any audit. Observers will have no influence over the outcome of the audit.
- Terms of Payment
Charges for services will be those agreed in advance with the Client in the quotation and any additional charges as outlined in the Rules of Registration. A quotation will only be deemed to be valid when QA receives the signed acceptance agreeing to these Rules and Contract Terms.
All fees are payable in advance of audits for initial and re-certification. Annual registration fees will be invoiced prior to anniversary date of the stage two assessment and should be paid in full within 30 days from receipt of invoice or earlier if the anniversary date is within this period.
QA reserves the right to carry out an annual review of charges and shall endeavour to notify the Client of any resulting changes to the charges at least 30 days prior to implementation.
The Client may cancel this contract giving notice no later than one month prior to delivery of service. The Rules of Registration for suspension or withdrawal will apply.
Cancellation of this contract, the audit or surveillance dates by the Client within twenty working days of the agreed dates will result in a cancellation fee. This will be on a sliding scale, based on a percentage of the quoted days as follows; 20 working days or less – 25%, 15 working days or less – 50%, 10 working days or less 100%.
QA will be unable to deliver services if the Client fails to pay in accordance with the invoice terms and Rules of Registration.
Neither QA nor any of its servants or agents 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 QA or its servants or agents, save to the extent that any attempted exclusion or liability would be contrary to law. All work and information obtained during an audit will be treated as confidential and not disclosed to any third party unless as required by law or under the terms of our EGAC Accreditation or any other related accreditation body.
All warranties and conditions and other terms implied by statute or common law, are to the fullest extent permitted by law, excluded by this agreement.
The Client acknowledges and accepts that where services are required to change to comply with EGAC guidelines or any other legal requirements, QA shall not be liable for breach under this Agreement.
Nothing in this agreement limits or excludes the liability of QA for:
- Death or personal injury resulting from negligence; or
- Any damage or liability incurred by the Client as a result of fraud, or fraudulent misinterpretation by QA.
QA shall not be liable for:
- Loss of profit;
- Loss of business;
- Depletion of goodwill and/or similar losses;
- Loss of contract
- Loss or corruption of data or information or
- Any special indirect, consequential or pure economic loss, costs, damages, charges or expenses;
QA‘s total liability in contract, (including negligence or breach of statutory duty), misinterpretation, restitution, or otherwise arising in connection with the performance of this agreement shall be limited to the Services Fee.
The Client will indemnify and keep indemnified QA against all and any claims or losses, proceedings, lost profits, damages, awards, expenses, claims and costs suffered by QA as a result of misuse or misrepresentation by the Client of any certification marks, logos, approval or registration given to the client by QA under these Rules of Registration Terms and Conditions.
Current requirements (The National Accreditation Logo & Symbols: Conditions for use by EGAC and EGAC accredited organisations on the use of logos) are found on our web site www.qualityacademy.org
- Entire Agreement
This Contract constitutes the whole agreement between the parties and supersedes all previous agreements between the parties relating to its subject manner.
Each Party acknowledges that in entering into this Contract it has not relied upon any representation, inducement promise or agreement, whether oral, written or otherwise made by or on behalf of the other Party and which has not been incorporated within or specifically referred to in this Contract, and that no other agreement, statement or promise not contained in this Contract shall be valid or binding.
- Governed Law and Jurisdiction
This Contract shall be governed and construed in accordance with the Laws of ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT. The Parties hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and procedure of the Egyptian Courts.
- Notice and Communication
Any notice to be given under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been duly given if left at or sent by first class post, registered post or facsimile or other electronic media (email is deemed an acceptable form of communication) to a party at the address or relevant telecommunication number for such party or such other address as the party may from time to time designate by written notice to the other.
Any notice or other document shall be deemed to have been received by the addressee two working days following the date of despatch of the notice or other document by post or, where the notice or other document is sent by hand or is given by facsimile or other electronic media simultaneously with the delivery or transmission.
- Changes to Terms and Conditions
No variation of the contract shall be valid unless it is in writing and signed by duly authorised representatives of both parties.
A person who is not a party to this contract shall not have any rights under or in connection with it.
Both parties shall comply, and shall ensure that each of their sub-contractors, agents and personnel comply with any relevant and applicable anti bribery and corruption laws, regulations and/or legislation related to delivery and receipt of the services.
- Anti- Bribery and Corruption
The Client warrants and represents to QA that it complies with the Bribery Act 2010 and that it has not and shall not, in connection with the services contracted, make, promise or offer to make any offer of payment or transfer of anything of value, directly or indirectly; i) to any government official or to any intermediary for payment to a government official, or ii) to any political party for the purpose of influencing any act or decision of such official or securing an improper advantage to assist QA in obtaining or retaining business. Failure by the Client to comply with this clause shall constitute a breach of contract
Both parties shall keep in strict confidence and treat the other parties confidential information as confidential and use it only for the purposes of the contract except in so far as may be necessary for the performance of any obligations of the contract or to the extent that such information is generally available to the public or to the extent that disclosure of information is required to be made by law.
Each party agrees that this obligation shall continue in force without limitation in point of time irrespective of the termination of the contract for any reason but shall cease to apply to information once it enters into the public domain. It shall also cease to apply to information which is received independently from another source without the imposition of any duty of confidence.
- Force Majeure
Neither party shall have any liability to the other if it is prevented from, or delayed in performing, its obligations under the contract, or from carrying on its business by any event(s) or combination of events where such event(s) arises from, or is attributable to acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond the reasonable control of the relevant party including, but not limited to, acts of God, terrorism, war or flood (force majeure event). In such circumstances the time for performance shall be extended by a period equivalent to the period during which performance of the obligation has been delayed or failed to be performed due to the force majeure event.
- Contact Permission
By agreeing to these terms and conditions you give permission for QA to contact you by email or telephone for the purpose of certification or certification training.