Introduction to Managing Certificates
Auva is responsible for, and retains authority for, the decisions relating to the certification, including granting, maintaining, renewing, extending, reducing, suspending, withdrawing and managing ISO certificates.
You can verify the validity of an ISO Certificate issued by Auva on our website Certificate Checker.
The certification officer shall be independent of the audit activity and shall not have carried out the audit.
The certification officer is responsible for ensuring that the audit has been carried out thoroughly with all applicable clauses audited to conclusion. Verification should be carried out against the initial application information to ensure the scope, site information, activities and effective number of employees is accurate and does not invalidate the audit.
Non-conformances shall be reviewed and where applicable corrective action plans and supporting objective evidence confirmed. Effective correction, root cause and corrective actions need to be demonstrated as per the auditor handbook.
If Auva is not able to verify the implementation of corrections and corrective actions of any major nonconformity within 6 months after the last day of stage 2, then Auva shall conduct another stage 2 prior to recommending certification.
If the officer is not happy with the report and/or corrective actions after discussions and follow-up information as required, then this will be handled as per procedure 8. Auditors shall be informed and action taken as appropriate.
During the certification review stage, the certification officer shall complete the certification review form (Form 05). Particular attention shall be paid to the section for reviewing the day allocation and adjustments made as necessary should the client change considerably. A clear record of the queries and comments raised with the auditor during the certification review shall be made on the certification review form (form 05), along with the responses from the auditor. This may include reference to a file or email hyperlink.
The decision(s) made regarding the granting, refusing, renewing or maintaining of certification and that made regarding expansion or reduction of scopes shall be recorded on Form 05.
The decision(s) made regarding suspension or withdrawal of certification shall be recorded on Form 09.
Clients shall be informed and updated on all decisions made regarding the granting, refusing, maintaining, renewing, suspending or restoring of certification and expanding or reducing the scope of certification.
If certification is refused, for whatever reason, the auditee will be advised in writing of the reasons and given the opportunity to respond. Notification shall be given without delay.
Refusal to grant, continue or renew certification may be for a number of reasons. These reasons shall be clearly and fully explained by Auva to the auditee in writing (typically via email) and the auditee will be asked to acknowledge the notification.
The auditee shall have explained to them the option to appeal the refusal, along with the process of addressing the issues raised. This may be a reapplication, a new or further audit or submission of actions / evidence.
The refusal process shall be overseen by the CEO and administered by the COO.
Suspension of ISO Certificates
Auva shall take the decision to suspend certification in cases when, for example:
- The client’s certified management system has persistently or seriously failed to meet certification requirements, including requirements for the effectiveness of the management system,
- The certified client does not allow surveillance or recertification audits to be conducted at the required frequencies,
- The certified client has voluntarily requested a suspension or withdrawal
- The certified client has not paid any monies due
- Misuse of certification marks/logos etc;
- The customer’s circumstances change in such a way as to invalidate the scope of certification;
- The customer otherwise contravenes the terms and conditions of the certificate.
- The client has not successfully submitted a Corrective Action Plan and/or objective evidence within three months of the audit taking place;
- Cases where it can be demonstrated that the system seriously failed to meet the OHS certification requirements;
- The client fails to submit suitable corrective actions and evidence (as applicable) to address audit findings;
- Deliberate or consistent non-compliance shall be considered a serious failure to support the policy commitment to achieving legal compliance and shall preclude certification or cause existing EMS/OHS standard certificate(s) to be suspended.
Under suspension the client’s management system certification is temporarily invalid.
In the event that it may be necessary to suspend certification, the case is referred to the CEO or delegated representative. The CEO will consider all available evidence, including audit reports, certification reviews, examples of misuse of marks/logos etc, and prepare a written report on the situation and/or identify the actions within the certification review record. The person reviewing the information shall be competent for the Technical Area applicable to the scope of certification as identified on the skills matrix.
If the decision has been made to suspend certification, the CEO or nominated representative shall write to inform the client that the certificate has been suspended, detailing any actions that are to be completed as necessary.
During suspension, the customer will not make any claims that the system is certified. The Auva logo / certification mark will not be used on any marketing literature of documentation during the period of suspension. The Auva Certificate Log shall be updated and the Website Validator shall be updated and uploaded onto the Auva website for public access.
The CEO or delegated representative will review any information submitted, record the review and inform the customer in writing as to whether or not it has been accepted and if there are any follow-up requirements such as a special visit/audit.
The suspension status shall not exceed 6 months and the certificate shall be withdrawn after that period.
If registered under the SSIP scheme, the portal upload shall be updated accordingly.
Withdrawal of ISO Certificates
In the event that the customer does not complete the activities set out in the letter or requests withdrawal from a scheme, the Certificate will be withdrawn. With immediate effect, the customer will be required to return the certificate to Auva International, cease all further use of the Auva logo and certification marks, and will not make any claim to certification of systems, services or products. The withdrawal status of the certification shall be shown on the certificate log and Validator on the website.
Auva will endeavour to obtain all withdrawn ISO certificates and records of attempts made in the client file.
All records relating to the withdrawal and/or withdrawal of certification will be kept in the customer’s file. The CEO will include a summary of the case in his/her report to the Impartiality Committee. Returned certificates will be marked as “returned” and kept in the customer’s file.
The Certificate Log and Website Validator shall be updated once decisions have been made.
The decision to restore certification shall be recorded within the client file after any issues have been addressed. This shall be performed by a competent person in line with the skills matrix.
Extending or Reducing the Scope of ISO Certificates
The scope of ISO Certificates issued to a Client may need to be reduced or extended in response to changes to a Client’s operations and business. When a client has persistently or seriously failed to meet the certification requirements the parts of the scope affected shall be excluded. Any such reduction shall be in line with the requirements of the standard used for certification.
Requests for changes to scopes received from Clients shall be reviewed by Auva and, in the case of an extension to scope; a decision will be taken on whether any additional on-site audit activity is required before a revised certificate is issued. The information and review shall be recorded using the Contract Review Form.
A request to reduce the scope of certification shall be reviewed to ensure that it will not affect the frequency and duration of on-site audits. This information and review shall be recorded within the client file
The need for change may also be identified during on-site audit activity and this shall be recorded on the Audit Report and any recommendation for change will be subject to confirmation.
Upon successful changes to scopes of certification, the current certificate shall be requested for return by the client, the certificate log shall be updated with the new scope of certification.
If the client is shown on the SSIP database their scope shall be updated accordingly and uploaded to the SSIP website.