Assessment and Certification Regulations

Special

The objectives of a special audit will depend upon the reason for the special audit and will typically be a combination of the above objectives.

The reasons for a special audit will usually be in response to client actions, either an extension/reduction in scope activity or to follow up actions taken to address nonconformity

Unless otherwise advised by Advanced Certification head office, a special audit is carried out on site and is reported using the surveillance report.

Regulations

These Terms & Conditions have been written to address the requirements of accredited conformity assessment services

1. Scope

Advanced Certification Limited provides independent conformity assessment services for the following relevant International Standards:

2. General Conditions

The basic conditions for acquiring and retaining certification with Advanced Certification Limited are that the applicant company agrees to, and complies with, the following procedures and rules:

  • The audited company shall be made available any and all information deemed necessary by Advanced Certification Limited, in order to complete the relevant audit program;
  • Advanced Certification Limited, if not satisfied that all the requirements for certification are being met, shall identify non-conformities and require the audited company to correct and take actions to prevent recurrence of said non-conformities.
  • The registered company grants Advanced Certification Limited permission to publicise their certification status.
  • In the case of Major non-conformities, when the applicant company can demonstrate that actions have been taken to meet all the requirements, Advanced Certification Limited will arrange to repeat only the necessary parts of an audit that cannot be verified by submission of documentary evidence;
  • If the applicant company fails to take corrective action within the specified time limit, it may be necessary for Advanced Certification Limited, at extra cost to the applicant company, to repeat the audit in full;
  • Identification of conformity shall refer only to the site or sites audited and shall only apply to the worded scope appearing on the certificate;
  • Fees must be paid within the timescales stated on the quotation. Certificates will not be issued, until relevant fees have been paid in full;
  • In order for a registered company to demonstrate effective management reviews and internal audits these activities shall be carried at least once per year by the registered company;
  • Failure to comply with these Terms & Conditions may result in legal action being taken against the company;
  • The registered company must allow Advanced Certification Limited to conduct on-going surveillance audits in line with the planned arrangements stated in the proposal;
  • Certified clients must only use the certification marks in accordance with the Advanced Certification Limited rules for use of certification marks;
  • Certified clients must inform Advanced Certification Limited within 7 days of notification of prosecution by a regulator within the scope of registration.
  • EFfCI Certified clients must inform Advanced Certification Limited within 7 days of initiation of any cosmetic ingredient recall/withdraws conducted on the grounds of product safety
  • An audit day consists of 8 hours of audit activity
  • A cancellation fee may be charged for visits booked and confirmed in writing that are cancelled or postponed by the registered client within 2 weeks of the booked date

Advanced Certification Limited is responsible for, and will retain authority for, decisions relating to accredited certification, including the granting, maintaining, renewing, extending, reducing, suspending and withdrawing of certification.

3. Confidentiality

Advanced Certification Limited is responsible for ensuring that secrecy is maintained by its employees and its agents, concerning all confidential information with which they may be acquainted as a result of their contacts with the company. Where information is required to be disclosed to a third party, either by law or in maintenance of certification (e.g. Accreditation Bodies & EFfCI), the client shall be informed of the information provided as permitted by the law.

4. Changes

The company shall inform Advanced Certification Limited in writing and without delay of any intended changes relating to the following:

  • the legal, commercial, organisational status or ownership
  • organisation and management
  • contact address and sites
  • scope of operations under the certified management system
  • major changes to the management system and processes

Advanced Certification Limited will determine whether the notified changes require any additional audit activity. Failure to notify Advanced Certification Limited may result in certificate suspension.

5. Application for Certification

Upon receipt of a completed application for quotation from an applicant company, a quotation outlining the audit criteria and fees will be submitted to the applicant company

Once the application for certification, suitably authorised by the applicant company, and accompanied by the necessary fee payment has been received by Advanced Certification Limited, the project will be allocated an audit team. The audit team leader will be responsible for ensuring that the audit is carried out in accordance with Advanced Certification Limited procedures.

6. Fees

Fees are detailed in the quotation submitted to the applicant. All costs are based on the charge rate applicable at the time of quotation and Advanced Certification Limited reserve the right to increase charges during the certification period. Such increases will be notified to the client company in writing.

Once an application for certification is made, payment of the initial registration fees is required, payment of ongoing registration fees are due as per the payment schedule within the quotation

Additional fees will be charged for additional work not included in the scope of the original quotation and for any extra, unscheduled visits required due to non-compliances being identified in the continuing adequacy and/or implementation of the relevant management system.

Unless otherwise stated, fees quoted include travel and expenses associated with the audit/surveillance activities.

Advanced Certification Limited reserves the right to charge late payment charges.

All fees are subject to local taxes in the country concerned at the appropriate rates.

7. Initial Audit

Conformity assessment audits are based on sampling within a Management System and are therefore not a guarantee of 100% conformity with standard requirements.

The initial audit of an applicant company's management system shall be carried out over two stages:

  • Stage 1- to audit the applicants management system documentation; evaluate location and site-specific conditions and to determine readiness for the stage 2 audit; establish the applicants understanding of the requirements of the standard, in particular with respect to the identification of key performance or significant aspects, processes, objectives and operation of the management system; to discuss and agree the scope of the management system, processes and location(s) and related statutory and regulatory aspects (where applicable)and associated risks, etc; to plan the Stage 2 audit and establish planning arrangements for internal audit and management review and the general readiness for the Stage 2 audit;
  • Stage 2 - to audit the implementation (including effectiveness) of the applicants management system through the audit of the information and objective evidence about conformity to all requirements of the applicable management system standard or other normative documents; assess performance monitoring, measuring, reporting and reviewing against key performance objectives and targets; evaluate the applicants management system and performance as regards legal compliance, operational control of processes, internal auditing and management review and policies; 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

All records produced for the implementation and operation of the appropriate management system shall be readily available for inspection by the audit team.

The applicant company shall ensure that Advanced Certification Limited is advised of the name of the Management Representative who has authority and responsibility for maintaining the Management System. This individual shall be required to maintain contact with Advanced Certification Limited. Any change to this designated person must be confirmed to Advanced Certification Limited in writing.

8. Certification Decision

When the responsible decision makers of Advanced Certification Limited are confident that the company meets all the requirements for certification following a thorough review of the audit report(s) and associated objective evidence, the applicant shall be entered on the Advanced Certification Limited certification directory and a registration number and certificate issued.

Certificates issued will remain the property Advanced Certification Limited and shall be returned to Advanced Certification Limited upon request.

9. Surveillance

Periodic surveillance visits shall be carried out to confirm that the certified management system has continued to fulfil requirements between recertification audits; ensure internal audits and management review have been performed to programme; review actions taken on nonconformities identified during the previous audit; evaluate treatment of complaints; evaluate the continued effectiveness of the management system with regard to achieving objectives; evaluate the management system and performance as regards legal compliance; review progress of planned activities aimed at continual improvement; ensure continuing operational control and review of any changes since the last visit.

The certificate holder shall allow Advanced Certification Limited the right of access for surveillance purposes and Advanced Certification Limited shall reserve the right to make unannounced visits as required. The certificate holder will be informed of the results of all surveillances.

First surveillance visits shall be conducted no later than 12 months after the last date of the stage 2 audit; and at least once per year thereafter.

10. Renewal of Registration

Regardless of the frequency of the Surveillance routine, a certification cycles runs for a three-year period from the date of the certificate decision with a full re-audit to be completed within 3 years of the last date of the stage 2 audit, and every 3 years thereafter. Failure to submit for re-audit prior to the expiry date will result in a period during which the company's registration will deem to have expired.

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