Methodology

  • Understand business process of client through client information for certification and submit proposal
  • Contract finalization and agreement
  • Review management system documents for adequacy to relevant standard
  • Conduct management system audit as per applicable standards


Certification process

Application

Information about the applicant organisation is gathered through client information for certification (CIC). Details such as scope of certification, man power, statutory & regulatory requirements, exclusions, processes and product information are critical inputs for certification process

Application Review

The submitted CIC is reviewed to ensure the adequacy of the information for submitting the proposal and subsequent provision of certification services. The ability and competence to perform the certification is decided by IQC considering its accreditation scope. IQC shall submit the proposal for certification services for initial assessment and 2 surveillance audits for the 3 years period along with certification agreement and conditions for certification.

Proposal & Agreement

Commercial proposal is submitted to client providing information on number of audit Mandays required for each stage of audit process and professional charges associated. Upon acceptance of terms and condition stated in the proposal and client acceptance to condition for certification, a certification agreement is signed between IQC & Client. Agreement is signed in two originals. One is retained with client and other with IQC.

Initial Certification Assessment

Initial certification Assessment is conducted to evaluate the implemented management system and Decide on the maturity of the system and issue certificate of compliance. Initial assessment is conducted in two stages as per the requirement of ISO 17021.

  • Stage I Audit: Conducted to assess the management system planning, validate the information provided in the client information for certification, required logistics and planning for Stage II assessment
  • Stage II Audit: Verify compliance of the management systems to the planned arrangements and decide on the recommendation for certification based on assessment output.

Upon signing of the certification agreement, client shall coordinate the date for stage I audit.IQC shall inform client of the stage I audit schedule.

Stage I Audit

Stage 1 is conducted to evaluate site specific conditions, focus on Management System planning and planning for stage II audit, document review to evaluate the adequacy of the document to the applicable standard, allocation of resources for stage II audit, understand the scope/applicable statutory requirements/product standards/processes/evaluate client’s understanding of the applicable standard/aspect-impact study for EMS, hazard-risk analysis for OHSAS and hazard-risk analysis and HACCP study & plans for FSMS.

Assessment report shall be provided to client along with audit observations, if any. Client is responsible to plan for adequate corrective actions for audit observations along with revision to system documents, if required. Client shall communicate the corrective actions to IQC prior to stage II assessment. Output of stage I assessment and nature of observations may have impact on the stage II assessment schedule. Inadequate and ineffective corrective actions for stage I assessment may lead to major non-conformances in stage II assessment.

 

Stage II audit

Stage II audit is conducted to evaluate effective implementation of the Management System.

  • Inform audit team nomination and audit programme in advance.
  • Conduct opening meeting to explain audit methodology.
  • Verify effective implementation of the management System for adequacy to the scope of certification by examining personnel, policies, procedure and records on sample basis against the contractual standard.
  • Stage II audit is carried our as per the checklist.
  • Record Non conformance and classify as Major or Minor.
  • Conduct closing meeting and explain audit findings, recommendations and revision to scope of certifications if required.
  • Provide copy of audit report with recommendations.
  • Review the suitability of surveillance frequency and/or man days based on the audit findings.
  • Review corrective actions provided by client for all the non-conformance reports by follow up audit or documentation verification.

Report Review and Issue of Certificate of Compliance

  • Review of audit reports by IQC certification decision committee. Impartiality shall be maintained during such reviews.
  • Resolutions of clarifications in the audit reports if any prior to approval of recommendations.
  • Issue certificate of compliance valid for 3 years from the date of approval by certification decision committee.
  • Issue instructions on the use of quality marks and accreditation mark

Surveillance Audit

  • Conduct surveillance audit at agreed frequency to verify continued implementation of Management System as per the proposal.
  • Verify the effectiveness of continuous implementation of Management System and planned processes during each surveillance audit ensuring to cover all processes at least once during each certification cycle.
  • Conduct follow-up audit, if required.
  • Verify use of Quality mark and accreditation mark as per IQC instructions.
  • Provide recommendations on continuation of certification as per audit report provided at the conclusion of each surveillance audit.

 Re-certification

  • Conduct re-certification audit prior to certification period for continuation of certificate of compliance and subsequently followed up by Surveillance audits as per the accepted proposal. Re-certification audit shall be completed before the validity of the previous certificate issued.

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