Rules of Certification

1.0 Purpose:

To document, establish, implement and maintain the system for Grant Maintain Restoring Extension Reduction Suspension Withdraw Of Certification, as per requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, & ISO 17021-2:2016, 17021-3:2016, ISO 22003:2022, 17021-10:2018 , IAF MD 22, and other applicable international standards for certification bodies providing management system certification and ISO 19011.

2.0 Scope:

This procedure is applicable to all certifications performed by QA.

3.0 Responsibility: 

  • Technical / Managing Director.

4.0 Procedure:

4.1 Criteria for granting certification

Certification committee (Managing Director and/or Technical Director) may grant and issue the certificate to the client under the following criterion;

  1. The client has a documented Management system that is laid in accordance to its scope of certification and that it conforms to the requirements of the applicable Management System Standard as mentioned above.
  2. The Client has implemented the management system and have completed at least one cycle of internal audit and management review of the management system established.
  3. Both internal audit and management review have been found effective as assessed by QA auditors
  4. The client has paid all the dues including the certification fee.
  5. The client shall keep a record of all complaints and actions taken and the same shall be submitted to QA auditors for verification when requested.
  6. The client has undergone the stage-1 and stage –2 audit satisfactory and the recommendation of the audit team is favorable.
  7. The process flow for all Management System Standards is same as given in “CERTIFICATION PROCESS FLOW

4.2 Certification Process

Click here for the certification process flow

4.2.1 Certification agreement

On acceptance of the Quotation, the certification agreement is signed between QA and the client for providing certification of the client’s management system by QA to the applicable international standard.

4.2.2 Stage 1 audit

QA shall conduct a stage –1 audit at client site to verify the adequacy of documentation with respect to the requirements of the applicable standard and also to understand and gather further information on the client activities and processes including applicable statutes, to plan for the stage –2 audits. The client shall satisfactorily resolve all the observations raised in document review along with other concerns / issues highlighted during the audit and the same confirmed to QA before planning the stage –2 audit QAshall submit a formal report to the client

4.2.3 Stage 2 audit

QA’s audit team shall visit the client’s premises, as per an agreed plan, to verify effectiveness of the client’s management system in meeting the requirements of the applicable ISO and other international management system standard. QA shall submit a formal report to the client. 

4.2.4 Non conformity report

If a nonconformance is detected during audit, a Nonconformity Report shall be issued to the client. For the non-conformities raised during the audit client shall submit the correction and the corrective action (based on root cause) to QA office within 20 working days from the last day of the audit. QA shall verify the submitted correction and the corrective action and confirm the acceptance of the same to the client. Client shall take the correction and corrective action within the stipulated date and submit the documentary evidence to QA to verify the effectiveness of action taken and accordingly to close the non-conformances.

In case of a major non-conformance, the effectiveness of action taken shall be verified at client site by a follow up visit or as communicated by the team leader on the closing day of the audit. This shall be completed within 90 days from the last day of the audit.

In case of certification audit (fresh client) the QA shall cancel the audit under the following conditions.

  1. Client does not submit Corrective Action Plan for the Non Conformity raised within 20working days as stipulated above
  2. In case of major Non Conformity the verification of effective of corrective action is notcompleted within 90 days as stipulated above

QA shall recommend certification of the client’s management system, based on the following

  • QA has reviewed the audit reports and has accepted the recommendations of the audit team
  • The client has submitted the correction and corrective action for the non-conformities raised within the stipulated time and QA has accepted the same
  • In case of a major non-conformance, the effectiveness of correction and corrective action is verified by QA’s auditors as agreed and the non-conformity either closed or down graded to minor.

If the client is not recommended for certification QA shall accordingly inform the client.

4.3 Issue of certificate

QA shall issue the certificate against the applicable standard to the client provided that,

  • QA has verified the effectiveness of the corrective actions in case of major non- conformances or accepted the corrective actions for minor non-conformances as stated before or as required by the specific management system standard
  • QA has taken a decision in client’s favour

The Certificate is the property of QA. and shall be produced to QA as and when requested.

The certification will be valid for a period of three years from the date of approval of certification, subject to the satisfactory maintenance of the Management System as confirmed through agreed surveillance audits

4.4 Surveillance audit

Surveillance audits shall be conducted regularly at the client site at least once in a year to confirm that the Client’s Management System continues to conform to the requirements of the standard to which it is certified.

The first surveillance audit shall take place within twelve months from the last day of the stage –2 audit and failure to comply with this requirement will lead to suspension and subsequently withdrawal of certification.

For the non-conformity raised during the surveillance audit the conditions stipulated before shall be applicable

In the case that a surveillance audit cannot be carried out because the client’s operations are affected owing to factors outside its control, e.g.: employee union strike, natural calamity, etc. the case shall be presented to QA for a decision.

QA shall submit a formal report to the client.

4.5 Recertification audit

The purpose of re-certification audit is to confirm the continued conformity and effectiveness of the client’s management system as a whole and its continued relevance and applicability for the scope of certification.

The Re-Certification audit shall include site audit and shall consider the performance of management system over the period of certification and shall also include a review of previous surveillance audit reports. The re-certification audit may have a stage –1 audit in situations where there have been significant changes to the management system, the client or changes to legislation.

QA shall conduct the re-certification audit at least 60 days in advance to the expiration of certification so that the client has time to implement corrective actions before the expiry of the certification

For non-conformities raised during the audit, the conditions specified before and become applicable.QA shall submit a formal report to the client.

4.6 Special audit

QA shall conduct special audits under the following conditions,

  • Extension of the scope of certification already granted, on the request of client. This could beclubbed with routine surveillance audit.
  • To investigate complaints received by QA about the
  • Follow up audit in case of
  • Follow up audit for Major non conformance reported in any of the audits namely, certification, surveillance and re-certification
  • Changes in QA’s certification requirements
  • Transfer of certification
  • Reduction in scope as requested by the client
  • Decisions by the Certification Panel based on the results of the review of the audit reports to re- verify and confirm certain aspects of the management system.

In case of short notice audits to investigate complaint, response to changes and follow up of suspension, QA shall select auditors from earlier audits done on the client, because of the lack of opportunity for the client to object to the audit team

For non-conformities raised during the audit the conditions identified before and shall become applicable.

QA shall submit a formal report to the client. 

4.7 Notice to changes by QA

QA shall inform the client in advance any changes to its requirements for certification and shallsubsequently verify that each client complies with this requirement. It shall necessitate a special audit in certain cases.

4.8 Notice of changes by the client

Client shall inform QA, without delay, of matters that may affect the capability of management system to continue to fulfill the requirements of the standard used for certification. These may include changes related to,

  • The legal, commercial, organizational status or ownership,
  • Organization and management (e.g. changes in key managerial, decision making or technical staff).
  • Contact address and
  • Scope of operation under the certified management
  • Major changes to the management system and

QA shall review the changes and accordingly discuss with client for an early verification to ensure that the capability of the management system continues to fulfill the requirements of the applicable standard.

 4.9 Maintaining certifications

The Certification is maintained for a period of 3 years under the following conditions;

  • The Surveillance Audits are conducted as planned and the client has demonstrated that it continues to satisfy the requirements of the management system standard as confirmed by QA.
  • All the non-conformance raised during previous surveillance are closed within the time frame agreed and correction and corrective actions for the non conformities raised during the current audit are identified and accepted by QA as per conditions specified before.
  • The Internal Audit and the management reviews are conducted as scheduled and there are no issues pending.
  • The client shall maintain suitable records of customer complaints and keep the records of investigation and remedial actions taken with respect to such complaints for verification by the QA Auditors.
  • All outstanding dues to QA.

4.10 Suspending, Withdrawing Or Reducing The Scope Of Certification

4.10.1 Suspension

QA shall suspend certification in cases wherein

  • The client’s certified management system has persistently or seriously failed to meet certification requirements, including requirements for the effectiveness of the management
  • The client does not allow surveillance and re-certification audits to be conducted at the agreed frequencies.
  • Wishful misuse of logo & reference to
  • Non compliance to submission of Corrective action as stated
  • Non payment of dues to QA

The suspension shall be for a period of maximum six months and the suspended status of the client shall be publicly made available in the register of certified clients being maintained by QA at its registered office. During this period the client’s management system certification is temporarily invalid and the client shall discontinue the use of logo or any reference of certification in advertising matter. 

4.10.2 Withdrawal

QA shall withdraw the certificate under the following circumstances.

  • Failure of the client to resolve the issues of suspension within six months shall result in withdrawal of certification
  • Other reason like major legal complaint, company involved in malpractices, QA loses accreditation etc.
  • Client voluntarily requested for a withdrawal

Upon withdrawal of certification the client ceases to enjoy the certification status and the client shall immediately cease use and distribution of any literature, stationary etc bearing the mark. The artwork supplied and all the original approval certificates are to be returned to QA.

4.10.3 Reduction in scope of certification

The certificates issued by QA remain the property of QA and must be returned where requested. The client authorized to use the certificate mark or its logo in advertising matter as per instruction given by QA at the time of issuing the certificate.

The client, while using its certification, shall ensure that it,

  • Conforms to requirements of QA when making reference to its certification status in communication media such as Internet, brochures or advertising or other
  • Does not make or permit any misleading statement regarding its certification,
  • Does not use or permit the use of the certification document or any part thereof in a misleading manner,
  • Upon suspension or withdrawal of its certification, discontinues its use of all advertising matter that contains a reference to certification, as directed by QA.
  • Amends all advertising matter when the scope of certification has been reduced,
  • Shall not use the certification information in a manner to imply that the product or service is certified. The certification mark or logo shall not be used on a product or product packaging and laboratory test, calibration or inspection reports or any form of certificates issued by educational institutions as these could be interpreted as denoting product conformity or these are deemed as products in some context.
  • Does not imply that certification applies to activities that are outside the scope of its certification,
  • Shall not use the certification in such a manner that would bring QA and /or the certification system into disrepute and lose public trust
  • Logos shall also not to be applied on visiting cards

4.11 Publicity accessible information

QA shall make the following information publicly accessible through its web site

  • The activities of QA
  • The requirements for certification including information on the audit processes and certification process for granting, maintaining, extending, renewing, reducing suspending and withdrawing certification.
  • Certification status of clients through the register of certified clients maintained at QA ’s office
  • Appeal and complaint

All other information shall be treated as confidential.

4.12 Obligations of the applicant / certified organisation

  • The applicant / certified organization shall commit to fulfill continually the requirements of certification set by QA for the scope for which certification has been granted including adapting changes in requirements for certification as and when communicated
  • When requested the applicant / certified organization shall cooperate with QA in the fulfillment of the requirements for certification. This shall apply to all locations included in the certification
  • The applicant / certified organization shall provide access to information , documents and records as necessary for granting certification and maintaining certification
  • Certified organization shall allow the personnel from the accreditation body ( e.g. EGAC etc ) access to their sites and shall provide access to information , documents and records when requested by QA
  • The certified client shall claim certification only with respect to the scope for whichcertification has been granted
  • The certified organization shall not use its certification in such a manner as to bring QA into disrepute
  • The applicant / certified organization shall pay fees as determined by QA
  • The applicant / certified organization shall inform without delay any significantchanges relevant to the certification in respect of its status or its operation related
    1. Its legal , commercial or ownership status
    2. The organization, top management & key personnel
    3. Resources and premises
    4. Scope of certification
    5. Other such matters that might affect the ability of the certified organization to fulfil requirements of certification

4.13 Obligations of QA

  • QA shall make publicly available information about the status of certification that it has granted the certified organization. The information shall be updated regularly. The information shall include the following
    1. Name and address of the certified client
    2. Dates of granting certification and expiry date as applicable
  • Scope of certification
  • QA shall give due notice of any changes to its requirements for certification. It shall take into account the views expressed by interested parties before deciding on the precise form andthe effective date of the Following a decision on, and publication of , the changed requirements it shall verify that each certified client carries out necessary adjustments
  • QA shall ensure that the Management System Certification to all clients is provided independently, impartially and in fair manner. The policies and procedures under which QA operates the certification services are non-discriminatory and are administered in a non- discriminatory manner
  • QA shall submit an audit summary report to the organization audited and also to the accreditation body as per the requirement of the accreditation body. The report will be treated in strict confidence
  • On request from any party the information regarding the validity of certification for anyspecific client is also communicated by QA cert in writing with intimation to the client
  • When confidential information about a client is made available to external bodies e.g. accreditation body or peer assessment body as per QA’s agreement with such external bodies, the same shall be informed to the client by QA.

4.14 QA CERT Offering Other Services (other management system certification) unaccredited

QA shall not give any special consideration to the client in terms of any financial or any concession in the requirements of new management system certification.

4.15 Changes In The Scope Of Certification (Certified Organizations)

Under the management system certified, there is a provision for change in scope for certification and this shall be applicable to the following cases (This however does not apply to the reframing the scope to bring-in more clarity without change in the activity or the process)

  • Extension in the scope (e.g. addition of a different product or new initiative/activity)
  • Reduction in the scope (e.g. discontinuing certain products or processes or activity)
  • Change in the location (shifting of factory , office to new location)The above changes can be affected only after verification and confirmation by certification body and the following requirements should be met by organization seeking change in scope.
  • The organization has amended the management system documentation with respect to the changes and has implemented the same and have the same subjected to at least one internal
  • The change in scope can be done either with surveillance or re-certification provided the organization informs the certification body (QA) at least 30 days prior to the audit due. Any short notice requests for changes will not be entertained

4.16 Tasks given to Audit Team

The task given to audit team shall include,

  • To examine and verify the structure, policies, processes, procedures, records and related documents of the client
  • To determine that these meet all the requirements relevant to the intended scope of certification
  • To determine that processes and procedures are established, implemented and maintained effectively to provide a basis for confidence in the client’s management system
  • To communicate to the client, for its action, any inconsistencies between the client’s policy, objectives, targets and the results